How to Build an Effective and Rewarding E-mail List for Your Small Business


Maintaining a list of valid customer e-mail addresses is an essential marketing tool for small businesses.  But if you’re starting a new business, how do you begin to gather addresses?  And as your business grows, how do you continue to grow that e-mail list with it?  Here are a few useful tips and tricks for building a quality e-mail list that will make reaching out to your customers more effective and rewarding.

  1. Events & Conferences – If you’re holding any sort of event or gathering for your business, always collect the e-mail addresses of the attendees.  These are clearly loyal customers with whom you’ll want to stay in contact.  It can be done by requiring them to enter their e-mail addresses on the RSVP form.  If there is no RSVP form, simply put a notebook out at the event and ask attendees to leave their e-mail addresses as they enter or leave.
  2. Online Giveaways/Contests – Require customers to enter an e-mail address before submitting their entry.  This is an easy way to get new addresses of those interested in what you have to offer!
  3. Divide and Conquer – If you’re feeling ambitious, dividing your e-mail list into different target       audiences can help maximize the effect of your e-mail campaigns.  Some customers may not be interested in your general e-mails, but may be interested in certain promotions and deals you have.  If you know enough about the customers to do so, divide the large group into those with specific interests.  This will increase the success of your campaigns and make it more likely for customers to open and interact with the e-mail.
  4. Social Media – Yet another reason to make your business active on social media is for the e-mail marketing tools it provides.  There are several tricks you can use on these sites to build your list:
  • Include an opt-in tab on your business’ Facebook page – Visitors to your page can easily click on this tab and enter their e-mail address to receive promotions and event postings.
  • Youtube – Include a subscribe link or URL at the end of each video, so that interested viewers can easily enter their e-mail address or be re-directed to your website.
  • Social sharing buttons – Use your current e-mail subscribers to attract new ones.  At the bottom of each e-mail campaign, make sure to include links for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram (or whichever social media site you want to include), and e-mail so that receivers can forward the campaign to their friends and family.  In addition to these links, include a subscribe button, so that anyone being forwarded the e-mail can jump on your list too.

Lastly, e-mail marketing is a very successful platform for your business if you use it correctly.  Quality content is key to making the most of your business e-mails.  If you’re putting the effort into building a list of current and future customers, you should put equal effort into the e-mail campaign itself.  Well put-together content will not only get people to open your e-mails, but will get them to interact with your business and forward the message onto others.

So, what are you waiting for?  Get building!