Despite many calling for the “end” of email marketing years ago, it has made a huge turnaround and is back to being one of the most effective, and highest converting marketing tactics out there. Email marketing can is one of the few channels that allow you to continuously sell, and get a multiple on your revenue, from the same customer. It is a marketing channel that will allow you to compound the effects every blast has, as long as you are continuously growing your list.

This, of course, is easier said than done. Let’s talk about a few ways to grow your list and dive into the best option.

Building Your Email List, Your Options

There is no one way to build your email list, and what works best for you may not be what works best for someone in another industry. But for the most part, things stay pretty relative across different marketing channels.

Facebook Advertising

If you’re a new business and don’t want to do the organic work, then Facebook and Instagram ads may be your best bet. What you can do is run a lead generation campaign and offer some free information, discounts, or giveaways in exchange for your target audience’s email address. This is a really effective way of building a list because you can target your audience by demographics, interests, employment status and much more. You will also see results pretty instantly given you set up a good campaign. The downside is that it works like a faucet. When you’re spending money there are leads and when you aren’t, the well is dry. This is the most sustainable way if you have a limited budget, which most news businesses do.

Paid Search

Slightly similar to Facebook in the area of sustainability is PPC ads for Google. You can create a landing page that has a free offer on the other side of a lead capture form. Then, you will create an ad and target the keywords that you think will bring in interested visitors. But much in the same fashion, it only works if you have the budget to sustain it.

The Best Method, SEO and Content Marketing

If you’re looking to grow your email list in a sustainable fashion with a method that has the potential for exponential growth, then SEO is what you need to pursue. The best part is SEO doesn’t have to cost you anything more than sweat equity. You can always outsource your efforts to an SEO agency, but if you don’t have the budget, you can easily do it yourself. Let’s dive into how to do it right.

Keyword Research

The first thing you want to do is to research the kind of content that you will need to write about. Keyword research allows you to see where the opportunities are for you to get traffic. Make sure you find keywords that have a significant volume but are also relevant to the kind of customers you need on your list, and the type that would want to sign up for that list. For example, if you’re a vegan apparel store, writing about vegan news, recipes, tips, and tricks will be the way to go. Because the type of audience that finds you will be the type that will want to hear more from you and more likely to sign up to your newsletter.

Competitor Research

Once you pick out some keywords you want to target, you want to research your competitors ranking for that keyword. Scan their content and find weaknesses in it. Maybe it missed something, maybe they didn’t go into enough detail, whatever it is, make sure your content is better than anything that ranks for those keywords.

Reach Out to Other Sites in Your Niche

Once you create the content, you have to make sure it moves up in rankings to the first page or you will never see a return on the work put in. The way to do that is to build links from relevant websites in your niche. Reach out to these websites and offer free content that you’re willing to publish for their site. In return, ask for a link back to your website within that content. This does two things:

  1. It puts you in front of their audience
  2. It gets you a link, which helps with your content’s organic rankings

The more relevant the website is, and the higher authority it is (as measured by Moz) the better. Make sure to steer of spammy sites and blog networks.

Optimize for Conversions

Having content that brings in traffic is great, but if that traffic is not turning into anything, then it isn’t worth much. If you’re going to build an email list, you have to learn how to optimize for conversions. The best way to accomplish this is to include multiple ways to capture your visitor’s info. Make sure there is a sign up form visible when they are reading the content and always add a popup at a certain point or after a certain amount of time that encourages them to leave their info to receive something in return. This can be the fact that they will be the first to see more info like this, or maybe a free e-book or another collateral that you have to offer.

Here is an example:

Twice the Opportunity

The reason SEO works so well for list building is that it gives you two times the opportunity to convert your traffic. You get to try and sell them when they first come in, and if they don’t buy but leave an email, you get to continue to follow up with them. The great thing with SEO is that, when done right, your ranking remains, and if you keep it up, you will continue to see future content land on page 1 and increase your traffic, and thus, your list size, exponentially.

The only downside with SEO is that it can take time, which is why its better started sooner than later.

Get After It!

The best thing you can do when it comes to building your email list is to start today. Anyone of these efforts will take time to optimize so time is of the essence. Get started today on your business growth journey and blaze a trail.

Sean Dudayev is the Founder of Frootful Marketing who is passionate about all things related to business growth. After selling his first company, he chose to take what he’s learned and help other entrepreneurs scale their start-ups to the next level.

Email list stock photo by Roobcio/Shutterstock