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Grow Your Opt-In Email Marketing Lists

Written by Pete Lytwyniuk.

Being passionate about your business is an admirable quality, but many small businesses make the mistake of assuming their email communications are full of critically important content that everyone wants to absorb at any time. Aside from developing great content and presenting it in a professional, easily accessible fashion, making sure your communications are sent only to those who actually want to receive them, and have asked to receive them is critically important.

The stakes are very real and often overlooked. Arbitrarily blasting out unwanted email communications to random email addresses can result in being labeled a spammer, having your email service provider account suspended and having your sending domain name blocked – including your email – all while turning off potential customers and damaging the credibility of your business.

Unlike traditional mail, email marketing must be handled as an opt-in process. Do not ever buy an email list or manually add recipients to your list assuming they’ll appreciate receiving your communication. No matter how great the urge, avoid the temptation of sending communications to those who haven’t given you express permission to do so.

A single opt-in is the minimum legal requirement, but best practice is the double opt-in method (click to sign up, then confirm a link via email).

This simple method will keep you in the good graces of both your customers and your email service provider. Additionally, when sending communications only to those who have asked for them, metrics for each campaign will improve.

In the world of email marketing, slow and steady wins the race. Growing your list organically and authentically is the best way to gain subscribers that are engaged and willing participants in the success of your business.

Follow the tips below and watch your opt-in email marketing list grow.

Optimize Your Website

Offer an opt-in form in the navigation of your website. The shorter the form, the more will sign-up.

Create a dedicated subscription page to tell potential subscribers the benefits of giving their email address.

Adapt common UX practices for opt-in pop-ups to avoid alienation of current users but retaining the benefits of the popup.

Utilize Social Media Networks

Add opt-in forms to Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

Share links to your dedicated subscription page.

Run a contest offering something of value to your audience but that relates to your business.

Provide Useful Content

Offer a free white-paper download upon newsletter sign-up via landing page.

Learn more about target audience(s).

Offer email-only exculsives.

Get Consistent

Develop consistent timing for newsletter blasts.

Blasts should contain somewhat similar information.

Every subscriber should find value in every email sent.

Digital Tips

Add a sign-up button to newsletters just incase it is shared or forwarded.

Review metrics after every blast to see what is and isn’t working.

Experiment with a contact form checkbox.

In-Person Tips

Offer email sign-ups at events.

Work with other organizations to offer your subscription.

Make the “what’s in it for me” crystal clear.