5 Easy Ways To Build Your Email Marketing Database

You know how you sometimes read a business article or watch a ‘how to’ video and you get one of those Homer Simpson ‘doh’ moments because the advice is so simple you kick yourself for not thinking of it before now? Well this video is one of those.

I found this clip a while ago of the enthusiastic David Garland talking about The Art of The List. David’s tips for building your email database are ones we’re always sharing with our clients, so I figured, why not share the video with absolutely everyone?! So here you go …

Even if you don’t have 4 minutes spare to watch the video (and for the seriously time-poor you can just press play below to watch it without even having to leave MarketingGum.com); I’ve also included a summary of David’s comments along with some of my own tips for you of the highly effective, yet Homer-Simpson-simple ways to build your customer database for email marketing.

# 1 – Make it easy

Don’t ask for too much information. Ask for the absolute bare minimum instead. Most of the time this is nothing more than first name and email address, sometimes it’s just their email.

Sure, you might want to send different messages to different customers or gain insights into their areas of interest – but you can very easily segment your list later or send out surveys and special offers after they’ve signed up. Don’t put barriers up from the get-go before you even have their details!

#2 – Provide an incentive

Give your website readers some form of incentive in exchange for giving you their valuable details. Always ask ‘What’s in it for me?’ (‘me’ being your website visitor of course).

This might be a whitepaper, an entry into a competition for something desirable, or simply a discount code (discounts off your customer’s next order or free shipping can be great incentives for ecommerce retailers in particular).

#3 – Target

Sometimes the way to stand out is to go niche. Being everything to everyone risks being nothing to no one.

Go niche instead and create a list of highly engaged prospects. Make everything relate directly to your website visitor’s interests at the time they signed up.

If you sell more than one product or service, #3 is a great tip for you.

For example: You’re a business mentor and one of your services is just for helping business owners get started. How about including a sign-up form on the website page that talks about ‘business start up support’. Use copy that mentions the benefits for new business owners of joining your list. Offer a related incentive (e.g.: Free whitepaper: The 10 tips for start up success). Don’t forget to target your actual email communication as well, so your emails to that segment are focused on that exact topic.

#4 – Cross Promote

Promote joining your list in as many ways as possible. Mention it on your Facebook page, add it into your Twitter bio, use your business card, mention it in your email signature…

Don’t forget ‘What’s in it for me?’. Whatever methods you utilize to promote joining your list, remember to mention why.

So in your email signature, don’t just say: Join our mailing list. Say: Join our mailing list today and get free shipping worth $10 with your next order. Spell it out.

#5 – Reminders

Remind people to subscribe! Mention it at the end of every blog article, in your signature in every email, during your audio podcast, every chance you get, everywhere you can.

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