With over 4 billion email accounts in the world, email is one of the oldest — and most powerful — digital marketing tools out there. In a recent survey, over half of the respondents reported checking their email more than ten times throughout the day. 

If your company is not one of the nearly three-quarters of businesses designating resources to an email marketing strategy, today is the perfect time to start. Utilize newsletters to:

  • Develop a connection with your audience by establishing trust — the principal foundation for long-term relationships
  • Share your brand story while simultaneously kindling excitement around your products or services

However, creating a strong email marketing strategy won’t be effective unless you also have a high-quality (and fresh) email list to support it. Have no worries; in this article, we’ll teach you how to build a high-quality email list and how to ensure it is always clean and up-to-date. First, let’s discuss why you should grow your email list.

Why Do I Need to Build My Email List? 

If you think your email list is long enough already, we recommend you take a look at your statistics — such as opens, click-through rate and conversion. Unless you are continually growing your list, you will notice that all of your metrics will naturally decline as time goes on.

Studies have shown that email databases naturally diminish by over 22 percent every year. People’s email addresses change as they move jobs, abandon old email accounts or start new chapters of their lives. It’s essential to treat your email list as a living document, always growing and evolving.

The great thing about your email list is — unlike social media — you have complete control over it. There are no changing algorithms that determine who will or will not see your email; that’s all up to you.  

Plus, most people (99%) check their email every day, so it’s the perfect opportunity for you to provide updates and convert subscribers into paying customers. Now that you are convinced, let’s go over the steps to grow your email list.

How Do I Build My Email List?

Developing an all-encompassing and robust marketing strategy is the secret to building a useful email list. Never purchase an email list out of desperation; it will do much more harm than good. In addition to annoying people, obtaining emails without consent is a direct violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Additionally, emailing people who did not opt-in be detrimental to your email deliverability and IP reputation. 

Instead, follow this time-tested method to build a high-quality email list, and you will be well on your way to business growth.

1. Start by creating a spectacular blog

Develop an engaging blog for your website that offers fresh, informative and relevant content to your audience. If visitors enjoy reading your blog, they will be encouraged to subscribe to your newsletter so they can be reminded to check out your next blog post as soon as you publish it.

You create trust with your users by delivering educational (and entertaining) content. Aim to create content that either helps them do better at work or improves their personal lives in some way. Building trust is what will turn blog subscribers into paying customers, so it’s a win-win.

 2. Offer gated content as an incentive

Providing users with a variety of types of gated content is an effective way to build your email list. Gated content is material that is hidden behind a virtual wall and can include:

  • eBooks
  • Webinars
  • Templates
  • Tools
  • Guides

To obtain the content, your website visitors must provide some information — in this case, an email address. If you already have an engaging website and a killer blog, your website visitors will already be more willing to give you their email address in turn for exclusive content.

 Pro Tip: Utilize your social media channels as another way to effectively promote your gated content and grow that email list.

3. Offer visitors a demo or free trial

Suggesting that your visitors try out a free trial or schedule a demo with your sales team is an excellent marketing strategy on its own. In addition to obtaining their email addresses, you will also have the opportunity to turn visitors into paying customers

Allow your potential customers to try the service for free for a predetermined period, or have a member of your team walk them through a demo while explaining all the features. This trial is your chance to win them over — hopefully they realize they can’t live without your service and sign-up right away. 

4. Include a Call-to-Action (CTA) for subscribing to your newsletter

A call-to-action is a button that you typically place at the end of your blog piece, newsletters and various parts of your website. It encourages your visitors to take action and generally includes phrases such as: 

  • Sign up now!
  • Contact us today!
  • Download our app
  • Try a demo

To build out your email list, utilize a CTA at the end of your blog posts (or social media posts). Use it to encourage viewers to subscribe to your email newsletter for more great content.

 Pro Tip: Include a CTA in your email newsletters as well. Encourage subscribers to share the newsletter with their friends or colleagues.

 5. Use a pop-up to collect emails

Pop-ups are customizable forms that appear over a webpage once a guest has explored the site for a set amount of time or has been scrolling down to a certain point on the page. They are meant to quickly grab the visitor’s attention and encourage them to do something, such as enter their email.

A study by MailChimp found that by placing a pop-up email form on your site, you can increase your list growth rate by over 50 percent. Pop-ups make it easy for visitors to sign up for your mailing list without having to go to a different page of your website.

There are many great ideas for growing an email list, try a few from our list to determine what works most effectively for your audience. Once you know how to build your email list adequately, the next essential (and often overlooked) task is to keep it fresh and clean. 

Why Should I Clean My Email List?

Keeping your email list maintained is critical to ensure the successful delivery of your marketing strategy. Here are the three key reasons:

 1. It will save you money 

Email advertising is a critical element of business growth — in fact, the U.S. alone is estimated to spend over 350 million dollars on email marketing in 2019. However, without regular cleaning and maintenance of your email lists, you will be spending part of your budget on sending communications to spam folders, old email accounts or no one at all. The more your email list fills with bad emails, the more your marketing costs will rise.

 2. It will increase your return-on-investment (ROI)

You’ve likely given a considerable amount of time creating engaging content and building out the design of your newsletter. For you to get a return on your commitment, your email has to make it to your audience’s inbox.

As soon as you clean your email list of invalid addresses — and you only send newsletters to real people — you will notice your email campaigns will have better open rates, click-through-rates (CTR) and conversions.

3. It will increase sender reputation and deliverability

Internet service providers use your IP address to detect the demographics and user profiles of the visitors that go to your site.  When you send email campaigns, your IP address gets a reputation score that will drop if you are getting a high rate of bounces or spam traps. 

A low reputation score will cause problems with deliverability, and your emails could end up in “promotions” or “junk” folders. Regular maintenance of your email list will prevent this and in turn preserve (and increase) your reputation and deliverability.

Now that you understand the importance of freshening up your email list let’s get into the simple steps to get started. 

How Do I Clean My Email List? 

Cleaning an email list by hand will require a variety of different techniques and a considerable time commitment. For the best value and time-savings, enlist in the help of an email verification tool. The process is as simple as uploading your email list and then downloading a clean file — within minutes. Email verification tools can help you in a variety of ways, including;

  • Checking ISPs and filtering out invalid and inactive accounts
  • Improving reputation score by cleaning spam traps
  • Identifying catch-all domains
  • Removing emails with syntax errors
  • Getting rid of duplicate emails
  • Checking for hard bounces

Once you have an invigorated email list, it’s essential to catch the invalid email addresses before they make it on to your database. Implement an API into your website, so you can verify emails that you collect from newsletter sign-ups, registrations or gated content in real-time. 

To Wrap it Up

Building a high-quality email list and getting rid of all the toxic email addresses before your next campaign will increase your reputation score and boost your deliverability, so more people see your content. You’ll notice increased open and click-through-rates right away — increasing your ROI, saving you valuable resources and putting you back on track to driving business growth. Don’t wait any longer; start implementing the list-building and list-cleaning techniques today!