How to Build Your List for Email Marketing

Before we talk about building a list for your email marketing campaign, consider these statistics:

  • Email’s ROI for 2009 was $43.52 for every dollar spent on it
  • Email is delivering sales at an average cost per order of less than $7, compared to $71.89 for banner ads, $26.75 for paid search and $17.47 for affiliate programs.
  • The email marketing industry is a $3 billion industry in the U.S. in 2007
  • 11.1% of online merchants count on email messages and campaigns to drive more than 25% of total sales.

*Credit to for these statistics

I could go on and on with these stats, but I think you get the point. Email marketing is a powerful tool that can drive sales for your business. But as the experts say “It’s all in the list.” If you want to have success with your email campaign, you need to have a strong list of interested subscribers.

How can you build an effective email marketing list? Get started by following these simple tips.

  • Know and obey the CAN-SPAM Act – Before you even begin your email marketing campaign, you need to study the CAN-SPAM Act to make sure you’re in full compliance with it. The last thing you need is to get labeled a spammer and to be forced to pay stiff penalties. And remember, ignorance of the law is never an excuse for breaking it, so learn it today.
  • Offer incentives for signing up – Sometimes, you need to give people an extra push to get them to sign up for your email list. One of the best ways to do this is to offer an incentive for signing up. Common incentives include free eBooks, whitepapers, or video series upon signing up.
  • Place signup links above the fold on every page – Because people will be entering your website through all different pages (due to search engines and back links), you need to include signup links on every page of your website. Make sure to place them above the fold with a strong call to action so they get maximum exposure.
  • Don’t buy your list – Building an effective email list can certainly take a good amount of time. That’s why many companies are tempted to buy email lists from other providers. Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems with this. First, buying an email list is a surefire way to create a reputation as a spammer, and second, an email list that you buy won’t be nearly as targeted as one you build yourself. Therefore, the results you get from it will be greatly diminished.
  • Use article marketing – Article marketing is one of the oldest internet marketing tools around, but it still works. Take advantage of the author resource box in your articles by placing links to signup pages for your email newsletter. Remember, to get the most from article marketing, you need to write quality content that targets relevant keywords.
  • Make newsletters a part of your email campaign – Enhance the experience for email subscribers by making newsletters a part of your email marketing campaign. This way, your subscribers get more than advertisements from you in their inbox. In your newsletters, provide quality content that the reader can easily put to use.
  • Provide exclusive deals to subscribers – Sending exclusive deals to your email subscribers is a good way to get more subscribers and to increase your open rate. You could even consider offering a coupon to all new subscribers (e.g. “Get 25% off any item when you sign up for our email list today!”).

Do you use email marketing for your business? How have you built your email list? Leave a comment with your best tips.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit:

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