Building an email list is one of the smartest decisions your B2B business can make. A properly maintained email list allows you to directly connect with your prospects on your own terms to promote new offers and alert them to new opportunities.
In short, it gives you a direct link to the people most likely to do business with you – a link that no Google algorithm adjustment or change in PPC bid prices can sever. An email list that’s properly engaged is worth its weight in gold, especially in B2B.
In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of creating an email list for your B2B business to engage your existing customers, market to your prospects and grow your business online without having to depend on Google.
First, three things you shouldn’t do
Before we get into what to do, let’s cover what not to do. Many B2B businesses make the same mistakes when they get started with email marketing. We’ve listed some of the most common email list building mistakes below:
- Never buy, rent or borrow an email list from another company. It’s never as profitable as you think, and it’s also against the terms of service of the vast majority of email service providers.
- Don’t just add people to your list without asking them first. If you frequently email your customers already regarding business, adding them is alright. On the other hand, acquaintances and occasional emails shouldn’t be added.
- Never send misleading or spammy emails. The key to a successful email list is trust, and sending emails with misleading subject lines or spammy content is a great way to lose the trust of your list and increase your complaint rate.
There are many ways to build your email list, from including a checkbox as part of your checkout to making a note of your email newsletter on product packaging and in brochures. Below, we’ve listed five of the easiest ways to build your email list:
- Add a call to action to the end of your blog posts and informational pages that lets people enter their name and email address. If your content is engaging, a large number of your readers will be eager to join up and receive updates.
- Add a modal pop-up box to your website that’s programmed to pop up when a user reaches the end of a page. While slightly annoying, pop-up boxes have great response rates and can help you rapidly build your list.
- Add a checkbox to your checkout or registration page that opts customers in to receive promotional emails. Make sure you clearly note the purpose of the opt-in box so that customers understand what they’ll be receiving.
- Guest post on popular blogs and online communities. Instead of using guest blog posts for SEO, use your author byline to direct readers to your subscribe form and add them to your email list.
- Add an opt-in form to your website’s sidebar. This gives users a passive and easily accessible way to join your email list without feeling too aggressive or ‘in your face.’
The power of gradual email list growth
Once you add some (or all) of the above elements to your website, you might begin to notice an email subscription trickle in every day or two. Growing an email list is often a slow process, with several months required to develop a valuable list.
There are several ways to speed up the process of growing your list. One is to blog frequently and share content that attracts potential subscribers. Remember, most people will subscribe to access more of your content; not for your products.
Blogging frequently in order to generate email subscriptions has the added benefit of giving you content to send to your email subscribers. The more blog posts you’ve got published, the more content you have to link to in your emails.
Although it might seem fruitless to check your email software and only see one or two new subscribers per day, over time your email list will grow to become one of your most valuable marketing tools.
After all, three new subscribers a day means 1,000 subscribers over the course of a year. That’s a valuable audience to market to, especially when you sell a B2B service or product with a high per-sale value.
Does your business have an email list?
Email marketing is one of the most profitable forms of digital marketing for those in the B2B field, but it’s also one of the most frequently ignored. Many businesses look at the slow growth involved and write it off in favor of instantly rewarding PPC.
While email lists can take a while to ‘mature,’ they’re immensely valuable once they come of age and start producing conversions. If your business doesn’t have an email list yet, now’s the perfect time to start building one.