6 Ways To Grow A High Quality Email List

Remember back in high school when you’d show up to a party in your coolest grunge wear, ready to guzzle a six-pack of cheap beer to help you get over your social anxiety? With enough of a buzz, you could talk to anyone – or at least care less if you found yourself standing alone.

Your company’s email list is kind of like vindication for those awkward high school parties. Email subscribers actually want to hear from you.

More importantly, they want to buy from you.

They’ve either already purchased your product, or they’re intrigued enough that they’re willing to learn more.

You might say, “Those high school parties left too big a scar. I’m never doing that again. Can’t I just hang out with my prospects on Twitter?”

Unfortunately, no. Twitter only allows for short conversations with one user at a time. Email lets you talk to all your subscribers at once, without any other brands interrupting you in subscribers’ news feeds.

So put away your flannel and put down that can of Milwaukee’s Best. You’ve graduated to hipster chic and microbrews, and you’re about to run this party.

Party – err, email list – planning

You can have the saltiest pretzels, the hoppiest IPAs, and the smoothest playlists, but your shindig will still be a bust without the right people.

The same goes for email lists. You want qualified subscribers who opt-in for the right reasons, not just because they saw flyers advertising free booze posted around town (in case you missed the metaphor, “free booze” is shady marketing and the Internet is your town).

Follow these tried and true tactics for attracting high-quality customers and prospects to your list.

1. Develop a clear brand message.

Customers have enough on their minds without being bombarded with constant sales pitches in their inboxes. Every interaction they have with your business, whether it’s on your website, social media, an ad campaign, or an email should tell your brand’s story and make them want to be part of it.

2. Make sure customers subscribe.

So people are buying your retro L.A. Gear-style sneakers. Great! Just don’t get so caught up in your shared 80s nostalgia that you forget to invite them to your list. If someone buys from you once, they’re likely to do it again, as long as you stay on their radar. Give them the option of unsubscribing in the future — but make your content and offers so good that they never will.

3. Provide a real value exchange.

Email addresses are sacred things, and prospects don’t give them away lightly. Offer them a mutually beneficial exchange: their emails for a 10 percent discount or a free ebook.

4. Be smart about opt-in placement.

Have you ever visited a website and been immediately assaulted by pop-ups and opt-in buttons? We certainly have, and we’re not fans of the experience. It doesn’t make sense to offer people discounts or ask them to join your email list if they don’t even know whether they like your products yet.

Make your email opt-in easy to find so prospects can sign up when they’re ready, and display discount codes prominently on the checkout page. Don’t pressure customers into signing up, but again, make the offer so good they won’t be able to resist learning more.

And if you can’t resist using a full screen popup, make sure it’s after the visitor has had at least a little time to explore your site before you make the offer.

5. Establish an intuitive referral system.

People enjoy talking about things they like almost as much as they like being authorities. If they have a good experience with your brand, you can bet they’ll want to tell their friends. Nudge them in that direction by making your content easily shareable on social media or offering a discount to them and every friend they refer.

6. Most importantly, create great content.

Unique articles, profiles of your team members, funny behind-the-scenes videos – these are the things that humanize your brand and make subscribers want to open your message when it hits their inboxes. And on those occasions when you are emailing them to sell, they’ll be more likely to say yes.


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