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How to build your email marketing database

Email marketing – whether used to promote special offers, products, business announcements, or simply to send newsletters – is an important part of your digital marketing mix. Email marketing keeps potential customers moving through the sales funnel towards their first purchase, and ensures current customers stay engaged with the brand.

And because it doesn’t require a huge investment, thanks to easy-to-use online tools such as MailChimp that do the heavy lifting for you, it’s an excellent way for small businesses to get their message out there. To get started with email marketing, first you’ll need a database of contacts. Here’s how to build one of your very own.

1. Gate your content

Gated content is when you offer assets, such as an e-book or webinar, for free in exchange for an email addresses. This is a great way to collect the contact information for potential leads you already know have an interest in your industry or subject matter. But, be sure to include an opt-in box that invites people to subscribe to your email newsletter on the download form.

2. Run a giveaway

People love to win prizes, so try running an online giveaway where entrants have to provide their email address to go in the draw. Promote the giveaway via your social media channels with links to the competition landing page on your website. Again, be sure to include that all-important opt-in box on the entry form so contestants can give you permission to email them with future offers.

3. Raise your profile

Guest blogging, media interviews, and speaking at industry events are all great ways to raise your profile. As you build your reputation in your industry, people will become more receptive to subscribing to your email content. Why? If they know who you are and what you do, they’ll be more confident that what you’ll be sending them will be valuable and benefit them.

4. Attend industry trade shows

Attending trade shows is an excellent way to build your email marketing database. Rather than just handing out business cards to interested parties who attend your booth or display, record their email addresses so you can take the active role in building the relationship after the event.

5. Use email list building apps

There are several innovative apps you can use to help build your email marketing list. For example, Scroll Box adds an email subscription box to your website which automatically pops up when a visitor scrolls to a predetermined place down your web page. Welcome Mat is another example – it displays a full-screen email subscription call to action when a visitor arrives on your website.

Once you have an email list up and running, remember that the most effective way to keep your audience engaged is to create quality email content that people want to share. If you do succeed at that, you’ve achieved what is essentially a digital form of word-of-mouth marketing that will likely win you a new crop of subscribers. For the biggest boost, be mindful not to overshare and be sure to include social sharing buttons in your content.

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