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Last Updated on May 1, 2023 by SWHA

Email marketing remains one of the most powerful tools for businesses of all sizes. However, building an effective list is not a simple task. It requires a strategic approach and careful planning. To help you create a successful email list, we have compiled a list of the Do and Do Not in building an effective email list.


Email marketing is a powerful tool that can help you connect with your target audience and improve your business’ bottom line. But building an effective email list can be a challenge. Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to improve your existing email list, here’s a do list of strategies that can help you build a strong, engaged, and targeted emails.

1. Offer Value To Your Subscribers

Building an email list can be challenging, especially if you don’t offer anything of value to your subscribers. We’ll discuss why offering value is crucial for building a strong email listing and provide some tips on how to do it.

Why Offering Value Matters

Your subscribers are giving you their personal information, and in return, they expect something valuable in exchange. If you fail to deliver, they’ll be quick to unsubscribe, ignore your emails, or even mark them as spam.

Offering value goes beyond simply sending promotional emails or discounts. Value is providing content that informs or entertains, solves problems, and meets the needs of your audience. When you provide value, you build trust, establish credibility, and create a loyal subscriber base that will eagerly anticipate your emails.

Tips for Offering Value to Your Subscribers

a. Know Your Audience

Know your audience is crucial for providing value that resonates with them. Understand their needs, wants, pain points, and interests. Use analytics and surveys to gain insight into what content or offers they find valuable.

b. Provide Quality Content

Sending regular, quality content is a must for keeping your subscribers engaged. From blog posts and videos to webinars and eBooks, providing valuable content that addresses your audience’s needs can help position you as an expert in your industry.

c. Interact with Your Subscribers

Engage with your subscribers by responding to their emails or comments on your social media channels. Creating a conversation and making them feel heard can help build a sense of community and loyalty around your brand.

d. Set Expectations

Setting clear expectations from the beginning can help prevent unsubscribes or disengagement later on. Let your subscribers know what type of content they’ll receive, how frequently, and what they should expect from you as a brand.

Building an email list takes time, but offering value is the key to turning casual visitors into loyal customers. So, focus on offering value and watch it grow.

2. Utilize Opt-in Forms

Are you tired of sending out emails to unengaged subscribers who never open your messages? Building an effective email listing is essential to the success of your marketing efforts, and utilize opt-in forms is a great way to attract the right audience.

Email List - Post 1 - 2Opt-in forms give your audience the option to sign up and receive updates from your brand, and they provide a myriad of benefits. By opting in, your subscribers have demonstrated an interest in your content, allowing you to focus on targeting those individuals who are most likely to engage with your messaging.

Not only does an opt-in form help you target the right individuals, but it can also lead to increased engagement over time. With a growing list of engaged subscribers, you can create personalized messages that appeal to your audience’s interests and needs, building brand loyalty and driving sales.

When creating your opt-in form, it’s important to consider your audience and be transparent about what subscribers can expect from your email updates. Offering exclusive content, special promotions, or a newsletter with valuable information can incentivize potential subscribers to opt-in.

Utilizing opt-in forms is also a great way to comply with anti-spam regulations. By obtaining consent from your subscribers to receive emails, you avoid sending unsolicited emails, and your audience remains engaged and interested in what you have to offer.

3. Offer Incentives

Offering incentives is a powerful way to encourage people to subscribe. The concept is simple: you offer something of value in exchange for their email address. It could be anything from a free eBook or white paper to a discount on your products or services.

But why do incentives work so well?

Here are a few reasons.

a. They Create a Sense of Value

When you offer an incentive, you are telling people that what you have to offer is valuable. By doing this, you’re not just offering a gift or discount but also reinforcing the value of your brand.

b. They Increase Engagement

Incentives encourage people to take action. When people feel like they are getting something in return, they are more likely to engage with your brand, which can lead to a more substantial email listing.

c. They Build Trust

When you offer incentives, you’re giving people a reason to trust you. By providing something of value, you’re showing that you care about your customers and want to provide them with something that can help them solve a problem or achieve a goal.

So, what are some incentives you can offer to grow your email listing?

Here are a few ideas.

Email List - Post 1 - 3a. Discount or Coupon Code

Offering a discount or coupon code is a great way to incentivize people to join your mailing list. Not only does it give people a reason to subscribe, but it also encourages them to become paying customers.

b. Free eBooks or Whitepapers

If you are in a business that revolves around education or information, you can offer free eBooks, whitepapers or other informative pieces to encourage people to subscribe to your mailing list.

c. Free Trials or Demos

Offering free trials or demos of your product or service can also be a great incentive. It allows people to try out your product or service before committing, which can increase your conversion rates.

If you want to build an effective email listing, offering incentives is a powerful way to do so. So start testing out different incentives today and see what works best for your business.

4. Segment Your List

Segmenting your mailing list means dividing it into smaller groups based on specific criteria like demographics, behaviour, interests, or preferences. This allows you to create more targeted and personalized email campaigns that are more likely to engage your subscribers and drive conversions.

Here are the top reasons why you should segment your mailing list.

a. Targeted Messaging

With segmentation, you can send more relevant content and offers to specific groups of subscribers based on their interests or behaviour. This helps to ensure that your message resonates with your audience and ultimately leads to higher conversion rates.

b. Better Engagement

Segmenting your list can also help to increase engagement levels by sending fewer but more targeted emails. Segmenting your mailing list allows you to tailor your content with increased relevancy, increasing the chances of earning clicks and conversions.

c. Improved ROI

By targeting specific segments with a message that is designed to meet their needs, you increase the likelihood of turning subscribers into paying customers. This means you’ll get increased returns on your email marketing investment.

5. Use Social Media To Promote

Here’s a rundown of how you can use different social media channels to promote it and start building your audience.

a. Facebook

Facebook is the largest social media platform, with over 2 billion monthly active users. Leveraging this massive audience can help drive email sign-ups. Here are a few ways to do that:

– Add a Sign-Up Form

Include a sign-up form on your Facebook page to make it easy for visitors to join your mailing list. You can add a custom tab to your Facebook Business Page or use a third-party app like Mailchimp to embed a form.

– Promote Sign-Up In Posts

Use Facebook posts to promote it and drive sign-ups. For example, highlight exclusive content and promotions that are only available to email subscribers. You can also run Facebook ads to create awareness and drive sign-ups.

– Host a Giveaway

Run a giveaway on Facebook where the entry requirement is to join your mailing list. This is a great way to incentivize sign-ups while also creating buzz on social media.

b. Twitter

Twitter is an excellent platform for promoting it to a broad audience. Here’s how you can use Twitter to drive sign-ups:

– Pin A Tweet

Pin a tweet that promotes it at the top of your Twitter profile. This tweet should include a link to your sign-up page and highlight the value of joining your list.

– Use Hashtags

Use hashtags relevant to your industry to reach a wider audience. Be sure to include a call to action in your tweets, encouraging users to join your mailing list to receive exclusive content and promotions.

– Collaborate with Influencers

Partner with influencers in your industry to promote it. They can share your sign-up link with their followers, giving your list a boost.

c. Instagram

Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users, making it an excellent platform for promoting it. Here’s how you can use Instagram to drive sign-ups.

– Add A Link

Add a link to your email sign-up page in your Instagram bio. This is one of the few areas where you can include a clickable link on Instagram, so make sure to take advantage of it.

– Use Swipe Up

If you have an Instagram business account with over 10,000 followers, you can use the Swipe Up feature in Stories to promote your email sign-up page. Make sure to include a call to action encouraging users to swipe up and join your list.

– Host a Contest

Run a contest on Instagram where the entry requirement is to join your mailing list. This is a great way to incentivize sign-ups and create buzz on social media.

Using social media to promote it is an effective strategy to drive sign-ups and build your audience. Be sure to use a mix of tactics across different platforms to reach a wider audience and generate more subscribers. Remember to provide value to your subscribers through exclusive content and promotions to keep them engaged and loyal.

6. Sending Regular Emails

Consistently reaching out to your subscribers can help you build a strong relationship with them, keep them engaged with your brand, and ultimately boost your sales. However, sending regular emails isn’t just about flooding your subscribers’ inboxes with random messages. There’s an art to it, and in this article, we’ll cover some best practices to help you build an effective mailing list by sending regular emails.

a. Choose a schedule and stick to it

Before you start sending emails, you need to decide on a schedule. When will you send your emails? Once a week? Twice a month? Once a month? Whatever schedule you choose, the most important thing is to stick to it.

Consistency is key when it comes to building a relationship with your subscribers, and if you’re sending emails sporadically, you’ll struggle to keep them engaged.

b. Think about your audience

When deciding on your schedule, think about your audience. What are their needs and preferences? How often do they want to hear from you?

You could try asking them directly through a survey or by monitoring their engagement rates. If you notice that your open and click-through rates drop when you send too many emails, it might be time to cut back on your frequency.

c. Provide value

Sending regular emails is only effective if you’re providing value to your subscribers. Make sure your emails are relevant, informative, and engaging.

Provide useful tips, share industry news, or offer special promotions. When your subscribers feel like they’re getting something out of your emails, they’re more likely to keep opening them.

d. Mix it up

Sending the same type of email every week can get tedious, so mix it up by adding variety to your emails. Send a newsletter, a promotional offer, a survey, or an exclusive sneak peek. Varying the content of your emails can keep things fresh and exciting for your subscribers.

e. Personalize your emails

Personalization is an excellent way to make your subscribers feel seen and valued. Address them by their name, consider their previous purchases or interests, and segment your list based on demographics or behaviour.

Personalizing your emails can help you stand out in a crowded inbox and increase the chances of your subscribers engaging with your content.

Do Not

There are many things you should do when building an effective email list, from creating a compelling opt-in incentive to using personalized messaging. But what about the things you should NOT do?

1. Do Not Purchase Email Addresses

As a business owner, the thought of purchasing email addresses might seem like an easy solution to build a mailing list. However, this approach can do more harm than good. In fact, purchasing email lists is one of the most ineffective and unethical tactics in email marketing.

Email List - Post 1 - 4Here are a few reasons why you should never purchase email addresses.

a. Low-quality leads

The email addresses on purchased lists have usually been obtained through dubious means or harvested from websites, forums, or other sources online. As a result, these leads are often low-quality and uninterested in your brand or services, which will lead to high bounce rates and low engagement.

b. Risk of getting blacklisted

Purchasing email lists also increases your risk of being blacklisted by email service providers like Google or Yahoo. This happens when too many of your emails are marked as spam, and it can severely harm your email deliverability rate, preventing your legitimate emails from reaching your real subscribers.

c. Violation of privacy laws

Different countries have enacted strict laws and regulations regarding purchasing email addresses. These laws protect the individual’s data privacy and prohibit businesses from purchasing or using email lists without explicit consent from the email owners. Failure to comply with these laws can lead to severe legal consequences.

2. Do Not Hide the Unsubscribe Option

Email List - Post 1 - 5When building the mailing list, it’s important to give subscribers the option to opt out if they no longer want to receive your messages. But some marketers might be tempted to make the unsubscribe option hard to find or even hide it altogether.

Here’s why that’s a bad idea.

– Hiding the unsubscribe option can harm your brand reputation. If subscribers can’t easily find a way to stop receiving your emails, they might get frustrated and mark you as spam instead. This can hurt your deliverability and potentially damage your sender reputation.

– Being transparent about unsubscribe options can actually improve your email listing quality. If someone wants to unsubscribe, it’s better for them to do it immediately rather than keeping your emails in a folder marked as spam. By allowing people to unsubscribe easily, you’re ensuring that your list is made up of people who truly want to hear from you.

– Hiding the unsubscribe option might even be against the law. The CAN-SPAM Act requires that email marketers include a clear and visible way for people to opt out of future communications. Failing to comply with this law can lead to fines and legal trouble.

So, make sure your unsubscribe option is visible and easy to find in all your emails. Not only will this protect your brand and keep it healthy, but it’s also required by law.

How to Make the Unsubscribe Option a Positive Thing

While it’s important not to hide the unsubscribe option in your emails, you might be wondering how to make it a positive rather than negative thing. One way to do this is by using the unsubscribe process as an opportunity to engage with your subscribers and get feedback.

When someone clicks the unsubscribe link in your email, you can use a landing page to ask them why they’re leaving and offer them alternatives. For example, you could suggest that they switch to a different email frequency, opt for different types of content, or follow your brand on social media instead.

By listening to why people want to leave your mailing list, you can gain valuable insights into what’s working and what’s not. And by offering alternative options, you might be able to keep some of those subscribers from leaving altogether.

This approach also shows that you care about your audience’s preferences and are willing to adjust to meet their needs. So, take advantage of the unsubscribe process and use it as a chance to improve your email strategy and strengthen your relationship with your subscribers.

The Psychology Behind Unsubscribing and How to Combat It

Even if you don’t hide the unsubscribe option in your emails, some people are still going to leave your mailing list. But why do they do it, and how can you combat those reasons?

One common reason people unsubscribe is because they’re simply overwhelmed by too many emails. To combat this, consider offering different email frequency options or making your emails more targeted and relevant to specific segments of your audience.

Another reason people might unsubscribe is because they don’t see the value in your emails. To combat this, make sure you’re delivering content that’s useful, entertaining, or informative to your audience. You could also consider doing surveys or asking for feedback to learn what your subscribers really want from your emails.

Finally, some people might unsubscribe simply because they’re in a negative mindset or having a bad day. To combat this, consider including a positive message or uplifting content in your emails. You could also offer a humour or inspiration section to make people smile and stay engaged.

Overall, while you can’t always prevent people from unsubscribing, you can take steps to combat the reasons behind it and make your emails more valuable to your audience. So, keep the unsubscribe option visible and use it as an opportunity to learn and improve your email strategy

3. Do Not Send Too Many Emails

If you are keen on building an email list that is effective in nurturing leads and driving conversions, you must understand that sending too many emails is not the right approach. A barrage of emails is likely to overwhelm your subscribers and cause them to unsubscribe from your list.

Here are some reasons why you should consider.

a. You’ll annoy your subscribers

Your subscribers have granted you permission to send them emails because they believe that your content is valuable. However, if you inundate them with too many emails, they will feel like you are constantly hounding them, which will likely result in annoyance and frustration.

b. Your emails may be overlooked

When you send too many emails, recipients are more likely to skim through them or not even bother opening them. This means that even if you have valuable information to offer, it may not be reaching your target audience.

c. You may damage your reputation

Consistently sending too many emails can tarnish your company’s reputation. Your subscribers may tag your emails as spam or report you to the authorities, which can cause irreversible harm to your brand reputation.

So, how can you strike the perfect balance in sending your emails?

The ideal number of emails to send varies depending on your industry, target audience, and type of content. However, a good rule of thumb is to send no more than one email per day, particularly for promotional and sales content. For informational content, you could send one or two emails per week.

Moreover, it is crucial to give your subscribers the option to control the frequency of the emails they receive. You could provide them with the option to choose how often they would like to receive your emails or to opt-out altogether.

Sending too many emails is likely to have an adverse effect on your email addresses growth and conversion rates. Instead, aim to strike a balance and provide valuable content that resonates with your subscribers’ needs and interests.

4. Do Not Use Clickbait Subject Lines

The use of clickbait subject lines in emails has become a popular trend among marketers. They use intriguing and enticing phrases that compel readers to open the email. However, this approach is not only deceptive but also negatively affects email marketing campaigns. Here are some reasons why you should not use clickbait subject lines in your email marketing:

a. It damages your brand reputation

While clickbait subject lines may increase your open rates, they do little to boost conversions. In fact, they may even hurt your brand reputation by misleading your subscribers. When customers realize that the content of the email does not match the subject line, they lose trust in your brand. Over time, this will hurt your email deliverability and the overall effectiveness of your email campaigns.

b. It encourages spam complaints

Clickbait subject lines are often used by spammers, resulting in a negative association with these types of email headlines. When you use them, your subscribers may mistake your legitimate email as spam and report it. This will increase the risk of your email getting flagged as spam, and it may even lead to you being blacklisted by email service providers.

c. It results in low engagement rates

While clickbait subject lines may entice readers to open your email, it does not guarantee that they will engage with your content. If your subscribers feel misled, they are unlikely to read your email beyond the first few lines. This will decrease your click-through rates, which are an important metric for measuring the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

Overall, it’s best to avoid clickbait subject lines and focus on crafting subject lines that accurately reflect the content of your emails. This will help you build trust with your subscribers and increase engagement rates. By providing value in your emails, you will create a loyal audience who looks forward to receiving your emails.

Email List - Post 1 - 65. Do Not Neglect Mobile Optimization

Mobile usage is growing, and it is essential to take into account the shift when building an effective listing. Do not neglect mobile optimization, because if you do, you’re missing out on a significant portion of your audience. As more people worldwide access the internet through mobile devices, it is crucial to optimize your emails for mobile devices.

According to research, 81% of people use their mobile devices to check their emails, compared to 19% who use desktops or laptops. If your emails are not optimized for mobile devices, the majority of your audience will not be able to read them. Mobile optimization refers to the process of ensuring that your emails are easy to read and interact with on a mobile device, regardless of the carrier, size, or type.

The following tips will help you make sure that your mail list is mobile-optimized.

a. Use responsive design

A responsive design will ensure your email adapts to the size of the user’s screen, making it easier to read on a mobile device.

b. Keep emails short and sweet

Mobile users tend to have less time and less patience than desktop users. Keeping your emails short and sweet will help keep them engaged.

c. Use a mobile-friendly template

Make sure that the template you use for your emails is mobile-friendly, and that the text and images are easy to read.

d. Use a large font size

Make sure that the font size is legible on a mobile device, and use a simple font that is easy to read.

e. Optimize images and graphics

Compress your images and graphics to ensure faster loading times. Large images can slow down the email’s loading time, making it frustrating for users.

6. Do Not Send Irrelevant Content

If you’re looking to build an effective mail list, then you already know the importance of delivering high-quality content to your subscribers. However, it can be tempting to send out emails with irrelevant content just to keep your subscribers engaged. But, this tactic is not only ineffective, but it can also harm your brand’s reputation.

Here’s why you should never send out irrelevant content to your email subscribers, and what you can do to ensure that all of your emails are useful and informative.

The Risks and Costs of Sending Irrelevant Content

Sending irrelevant content to your email subscribers can do more harm than good.

– It can result in an increase in unsubscribes; if your subscribers are receiving content that they don’t find useful, they’re likely to opt-out of your list. This can erode your audience base, and you’ll end up with a smaller list that’s less engaged with your brand.

– Irrelevant content can damage your brand’s reputation. This is especially true if you’re sending out promotional emails that don’t provide any clear value to the reader. If your subscribers feel that they’re being spammed with pointless emails, it’s unlikely that they’ll engage with your content in the future.

– Sending out irrelevant content can increase the chances of your emails being marked as spam. If your subscribers are receiving emails that they don’t want, they’re more likely to flag them as spam, which can negatively affect your email deliverability rates.

So, how can you avoid sending out irrelevant content?

Here are a few tips to help you create engaging and informative emails that are relevant to your subscribers.

How to Ensure that Your Emails are Relevant

a. Segment Your Email List

Segmenting your email list is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your subscribers receive content that’s relevant to them. By dividing your list into specific categories based on demographics, behavior, or purchase history, you can tailor your emails to each subgroup. This ensures that every subscriber is receiving content that’s tailored to their interests and needs.

b. Conduct Surveys to Know Your Audience

Another way to ensure that your emails are relevant is by conducting surveys to learn more about your audience. This can help you understand their preferences, pain points, and what kind of content they’d like to receive from you. Armed with this information, you can create emails that are useful, informative, and targeted to your audience.

c. Be Clear About the Purpose of Your Email

When you’re drafting your emails, make sure you’re clear about the purpose of the email. Let your subscribers know what they can expect from the email before they open it. This ensures that your subscribers are only opening emails that interest them, and it increases the chances of them engaging with your content.

Wrap Up

By now, you should have a solid foundation for creating and maintaining an engaged email listing that will help you achieve your business goals. We also shared some best practices for creating effective emails, measuring your results, and avoiding common email marketing mistakes.

But the journey doesn’t stop here. In fact, building and maintaining an effective email listing is an ongoing process that requires constant attention and refinement. Here are a few key takeaways to keep in mind as you continue on this journey:

First and foremost, remember that your email listing is made up of real people. Treat your subscribers with respect and cater to their interests and preferences. By sending relevant and valuable content, you’ll increase engagement and foster a loyal following.

Second, don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Email marketing is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and what works for one business may not work for another. Use A/B testing and other metrics to gauge the effectiveness of different strategies and adjust accordingly.

Finally, prioritize quality over quantity. A smaller, highly engaged email listing is much more valuable than a large list filled with inactive or uninterested subscribers. Focus on building relationships with your audience and providing value, and the numbers will follow.

In conclusion, building an effective listing requires patience, persistence, and a willingness to learn and adapt.

But by following the tips and best practices outlined in this article, you can create a successful email marketing campaign that drives results for your business. We hope you found these insights valuable and that they help you take your email marketing game to the next level.