Creating an e-mail list – how to conquer this massive task

According to the 'E-Mail Statistics Report, 2015-2019' carried out by the market research company, the Radicati Group, there were over 4 billion e-mail accounts belonging to around 2.5 billion users worldwide in 2015. This means that more people have an e-mail address than a social media account.  As a result, e-mail can be regarded as the most important and most reputable electronic communication medium, despite the fact that around 80% of all sent messages are spam.

For this reason, newsletters are incredibly relevant for marketing and customer and reader loyalty. There are numerous cost-effective tools out there that you can use to create newsletters. The challenge with newsletter marketing is actually distributing them, since you need the e-mail addresses of your audience. The sooner you begin creating an e-mail address list consisting of interested users, the quicker you can promote your marketing campaign with the right tricks and reach a wider audience. But how do you manage to collect a successful list, and which mistakes should you avoid? We give you an idea of how to start with the following tips below.

Starting out is difficult – individual e-mail lists need patience

If this is your first time dealing with newsletters and you’re starting to create your first mailing list, you will encounter many providers who will offer you already-compiled lists, made up of several hundreds of thousands of e-mail addresses. These offers may seem tempting, but you should avoid accepting them. On the one hand, you’re treading on thin ice regarding legalities, and on the other, this approach isn’t very promising: users won’t be happy to receive newsletters that they haven’t even signed up for. You could end up losing potential customers or readers or, if worse comes to worst, even be labelled as a spammer.

The best way to start is to put in the effort yourself: strive to create a mailing list by advertising your company through lots of campaigns, and make the registering process as easy as possible.

Simplify the registration process

You should make it obvious to visitors that your web project also offers a newsletter that they can subscribe to. Hiding this option away on a subpage, or presenting it as a small button, reduces your chances of success - especially when you’re just beginning to create an e-mail list. In order to present a signup as optimally as possible, you should use a newsletter tool. This tool includes registration buttons for social networks, pop-up solutions and personalized buttons for your website.

Add some special campaigns to boost registration

Depending on how extensive your e-mail address list is, your newsletter has the potential to develop into an effective marketing strategy for your web project. Since you often profit from the content of the newsletter more than the reader, you should consider making the registration seem more attractive by offering something, such as:

  • Discounts on downloads and other products
  • Exclusive content such as e-book guides
  • Free webinars
  • Competitions
  • Premium membership

The downside of this type of marketing is that you won’t be able to prevent users from registering simply to gain access to these attractive offers, and then unsubscribing straightaway. But these tend to be users who aren’t very relevant to your e-mail campaign anyway, so in the very least you can benefit from getting a few extra page views from them.

Advertise your newsletter

Creating an e-mail list is rarely enough to ensure sure-fire success: don’t just rave online about how great your blog, web store, or website is; also report about news and interesting topics in your newsletter. Take advantage of social networks and create special campaigns that introduce your newsletter and any additional campaigns. Don’t hesitate to use such social media measures to point interested readers in the direction of the newsletter subscription. This includes specifically asking your visitors to join your mailing list – you can also do this at the end of a post on your blog, or on an external blog.

People on your e-mail list can even help you to promote your newsletter. Firstly, this will happen automatically if your newsletter has something worth sharing. Secondly, it helps to add social media and e-mail buttons so that readers have the possibility of sharing your newsletter with friends and acquaintances. Lastly, you also have the possibility of building your e-mail list through traditional marketing with ads and QR codes, or through webinars, conferences, and trade fairs.

How to keep your newsletter subscribers

If you create an e-mail list, you want it to be permanent: the idea is not to lose too many subscribers. So the focus shouldn’t just be on attracting new users, but also on keeping the existing ones. This is where the saying 'content is king' comes in. Deliver quality content, so that your newsletter is worth reading. Make sure that the content has some relevance to your users, meaning your newsletter shouldn’t just contain pointless topics and advertorials. Some options for keeping your subscribers include:

  • eye-catching subject lines
  • exclusive content
  • good timing and frequency of each edition
  • regular reader surveys
  • appealing layout

You can find out more on the topic of customer retention in our guide about professional newsletter marketing.

Not at all costs

With these tips you can create an e-mail list that stands out from the crowd in terms of quantity, quality, and longevity. Implementing it, however, requires investing a certain amount of time as well as some funds. To succeed with your newsletter, and marketing campaign in general, it is crucial to weigh the costs and benefits against your defined goals and strategies. This allows you to gradually build up an e-mail list that will give you back more than you invested.

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