How to Supersize Your Email Database

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Email is the heart of many organisations marketing efforts, but if the database you’ve got to market to is weak, how can you expect your emails to be effective. Even if your product or service truly was, the best thing since sliced bread, if no gets the message or not enough of them do then your efforts might be in vain.

Building and optimising your email list is one of the best things you can spend time on doing as it will allow you to boost the success of so many different elements of your marketing efforts. Emails can be used to promote so many different things such as offers and promotions, events, launches, newsletters, events, webinars, announcements, new content… and the list goes on and on.

If you’re just starting out building a marketing list or database, the chances are you’ll have no one, or very little, in it. This can be quite disheartening for some as the desire to want to build and send emails to promote your business and feel like you’re doing something proactive – yet have no one to send it to – makes it tough. Building an email database to communicate to takes time though and you shouldn’t expect to be able to secure thousands of new contacts every week – unless of course you go and “buy” some data from a broker or other source.

Whilst it does take time to build a great data list, there are a few ways you can help yourself to do it and keep those new contacts flowing in.

Most websites that have been established for some time, tend to have ways for the audience to sign up to become part of a mailing list, yet often get disheartened that they receive very few. Perhaps they think they’ve got a great form that’s easily seen or a really strong CTA (Call to Action) but it’s getting disappointing results, maybe adding 1 or 2 every few weeks. Well there are some pretty simple steps you can follow to help boost the success of your email capture programmes.

Before you can add an email signup form to your website, you’ll want to define the method you’re going to use to store it all safely and securely. If you’ve had an agency build your site then it’ll likely be best to connect with them to determine the strategy for doing this. If you’ve built your website yourself, your site building tool will often help with tools or plugins to do this. If it doesn’t there’s a ton of ways that you can add a data capture tool to your site – sites such as Mail Chimp allow you to both manage email send and add a form to collect data to most websites very easily.

Mailchimp Dashboard.PNG

Now you’ve got your email signup mechanic sorted, here’s a few tips and tricks to help you to boost the success of your email signups.

Clearly convey the value in signing up

Make it clear to your audience what they will get by signing up to join your email list. These days pretty much all of us receive countless emails on a daily basis, so actively signing up to get more is usually only done for something we think is valuable. Think clearly about what value you believe your emails are going to convey to the recipient or what types of content you’re going to be sending and tell them. Yes, it’s pretty much that simple. Being up front on what someone will get by joining your email list is a really powerful way to encourage them to sign up.

Morningstar Email Signup.PNG

In the example above from Morningstar, an investment news platform, they clearly explain what value the person will get from receiving their emails.

Make it easy to signup

It’s tempting to want to get as much information as possible from someone when they’re signing up receive your email content. We’ve told you before and I’m sure you’ve seen it plenty of times elsewhere, that the more you know about your audience and potential market, the better.

The temptation with email list subscription forms is to ask too many questions and want to get as much info as possible – capturing things like first name, last name, address, email, phone number, favourite colour, pets name and so on. But don’t. The more barriers you put in front of someone to add their details to sign up, the less chance that they’ll do it.

Hubspot Subscription Pop Up.PNG

As you’ll see with the example above, many organisations, like with this example from Hubspot, choose only to ask for email address as a field in order to sign up. Admittedly by doing this you won’t be able to personal address emails to the recipient initially e.g. writing Dear John/ Jane/ Joe or whatever, but there are plenty of ways to add that down the line if needed.

Create a lead magnet

A lead magnet I can imagine many people are saying to themselves, what on earth is that? Think of it this way, a magnet is in essence something that attracts something else towards itself and pulls it in. A lead magnet is something that you use do exactly the same thing but instead for email subscription.

It can be a special offer, a free giveway like a piece of content or a guide, or whatever else would suit your organisation and your audience. A lead magnet is that extra reason you’ve just given your audience to signup to your email list now. They’re not going to think about doing it next time, they can see there’s additional value in doing so now and therefore they’re more likely to do it. This additional value you’re offering is designed to show a more immediate value by signing up now.

Make more money signup.PNG

As you can see in the example above, the website I Will Teach You to Be Rich isn’t pushing an email subscription function, but is instead focusing on that lead magnet. In this example, the CTA is actually to receive a free guide on a subject immediately by providing your details. There’s a ton of different ways in which you can do this and the most effective one will depend on your organisation and the type of product/ service that you offer.


By taking these 3 areas and building them into your email list signup strategy, we’re positive that you’ll see improved results. Don’t be afraid to test different strategies of different messaging to find what works best for your audience and your business, until you get to the one that really clicks.

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