Picture this. You’re a B2B business that needs enquiries coming in quickly with only a small amount of budget for your marketing efforts. When you’re resources are stretched thin, you need to be sure that your money is being spent in the right way. And there’s no better way to ensure you’re getting a great return on your investment than utilising email marketing.
What is email marketing?
At a basic level, email marketing utilises emails to promote your business’ products and services. It’s not restricted to just that, though. It can be used to increase brand awareness, develop the relationship a brand has with its customers, keep customers up to date with company news and reach new potential customers.
Email marketing has the highest ROI (return on investment) than any other marketing avenue. For every $1 spent on your email marketing, you can expect a $42 return. A 4100% increase is certainly not something to ignore. When the ROI is so high, it’s no surprise that 87% of marketers use email marketing to share their content. So if you’re not a part of that 87% already, it’s time to learn how to build up an email list.
What’s an email list?
An email list, or mailing list, is a collection of email addresses provided to a business for their email marketing. Whilst there are technically three ways to build an email list, there’s only one method that we’d truly advise… But for the sake of transparency, we’ll explain every method (and why you shouldn’t use some of them.)
The three ways to build an email list
A bought list
The first way to get an email list is to purchases a list from a third party. You’d work with them to determine what sort of contacts you’d like in your list, you’d send them a tidy sum, and then they’d hand over the list of emails for you to use. If you ask us, this is a really bad way to get an email list. It violates GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation) big time. Plus, most reputable email marketing platforms won’t let you use a bought email list, so you’ll have wasted all that hard-earned cash. And if those reasons weren’t enough, it’s likely that the emails you receive won’t be of any quality.
A rented list
A slightly more reputable method of obtaining emails than buying a list, but still not recommended. It’s got all the drawbacks of a bought list, but with none of the benefits. The most pressing issue would be the fact that you don’t actually own the list. As soon as you stop paying a third party, you’ll be unable to send any more emails to that list, and you’ll be right back where you started.
An opt-in list
Using an opt-in list is the only method of email list building that we’d advise. (It’s also the only legal method… So… Yknow…) Opt-in email addresses are the result of an individual wanting to invest further in your brand and voluntarily providing their email address. So, they’re already the most valuable kind of lead, because they’ve actively chosen to see more from your business.
But how do you build an opt-in email list? We’ve got 4 top tips to help you build your email list in the best way possible.
Created gated content
Sometimes the best way to get emails is to provide something in exchange. There’s a range of different long-form content you could use, and we’d advise the more creative you get with your downloadable content, the better! But here are a few tried and tested forms of gated content that are sure to net you some emails:
- Whitepapers/Ultimate guides
- Research reports
- Free trials
Create a gated tool
Maybe long-form content isn’t your area of expertise. Creating a tool is another great way to provide value to a potential lead. Whilst we’d always recommend creating both a tool and long-form content, creating something is better than nothing! There are loads of tools out there that could provide value to your customers, but it’s important to keep the tool relevant to your offering. If you’re an accountancy agency, you could create a gated tax calculator as a way to get email addresses. Or, if you’re a technology company, you could offer a free demonstration of your product in exchange for their email address.
Promote across your channels
Now that you’ve created loads of really valuable gated content/tools for your potential customers to enjoy, it’s time to promote them! No content or tool will be any good to anyone if nobody is aware of its existence. A great way to drum up some attention for your content and tools is to create blog posts centred around them.
Be creative with your marketing campaigns
By 2022, it’s been projected that there’ll be over 347.3 billion emails sent daily. That’s a lot of competition. Imagine all the emails clamouring for your customer’s attention. You need to stand out in a crowded inbox. Think outside the box (see what we did there?) and experiment with your subject line, copy and assets.
For more helpful email marketing advice, be sure to check out our ultimate guide to email marketing or if you are looking for that extra helping hand, contact us for a free consultation with one of our marketing experts.