In this episode of Actionable Marketing In Minutes we give 10 tips for building quality mailing lists.

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Quality contact information is crucial for good email campaigns. Our research shows there is a 65% improvement in revenue generated by focusing on email address quality. Also, quantity matters. In fact, without a substantial email list, it might be challenging to get your campaign off the ground. Yet, for both B2B and B2C companies, email can be one of your top performing online marketing tactics.

So… have you been spinning your wheels trying to figure out how to build your high-quality, high-quantity list?

First, let me say that you really don’t want to buy a list. It’s really important to build a relationship based on trust. That can’t happen unless the recipient opts-in to receive your emails, with a full understanding of who you are. In fact, many email mailing services won’t even allow you to email to a list that has not specifically opted in, per the CAN SPAM act.

Once you’ve crossed the hurdle of opt-in, if your emails are appropriate and valuable, you readers will be sure to stay.


So, you may be wondering, “just how do I build this list”? There are many innovative tactics you can use… this is one of those cases where you are really only limited by your imagination. Here are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

1. Reach out to your regular direct mail contacts: invite them to sign-up on your website or blog. To sweeten the deal, provide something of value in exchange for their sign-up.

2. Collect email addresses in the physical world: whether at your brick-n-mortar store or at events, have a sign-in pad or provide a fishbowl to collect business cards. Also, put a QR code on your offline marketing that links directly to company contact info, including your email opt-in form.

3. Add a website sign-up form: we suggest including forms on multiple pages to track where your visitors are signing up. Consider including a pop-up sign-up box when visitors leave your site, have read a couple blog articles or after they purchase something. Keep it brief – name and email address will suffice. And give them a reason to sign up… Otherwise, your visitors may skip the form.

4. Touch base with friends and colleagues: include a link to an opt-in form in an email to your friends and colleagues asking them to join your email list.

5. Leverage word-of-mouth: Whenever you’re speaking to someone about your product or service, ask if they’d like to be included on your email list, and get their business card.

6. Use social media: add an opt-in/sign-up form to any social media channel that allows it, or include a link to your opt-in form. Every once in a while, post a note asking your fans and followers to join your email list. On Facebook, you can even have a permanent icon linking to your sign up form. Promoting your status will also ensure that the post is seen by more people. Offer incentives like discounts or coupons.

7. Make it part of your email signature: Include a link to your opt-in page in your email signature – and make sure all your employees include it, too.

8. Ask your email subscribers to forward your emails: Add an ‘email to a friend’ button to your emails, and ask directly in the email for readers to forward if they find the content valuable.

9. Offer valuable content in exchange: Either on social media or on other digital platforms such as your website, promote valuable content in exchange for obtaining an email address.

10. Have a contest: Same idea as #9 but instead of valuable content, offer something of value in a contest. In this case, there is no way around them having to give contact info. This one, in my mind, is a real win-win.


Again, with such a huge gain in revenue generated by a high quality list when compared to a poorer list, finding ways to grow a quality email list is definitely worth your time. The results of your effort will not only directly affect your revenues, but will also:

* Positively impact on your delivery rate.

* Lead to higher customer satisfaction.

* Reduce the possibility of data breaches.

* Minimize or eliminate the chance you will be blocked or blacklisted.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful. Please connect with us on Twitter @DirectiveGroup or on LinkedIn. Let us know what you think and what you’d like to hear about next. And if you like our podcasts, please share with your networks using hashtag #actionablemarketing. Join us next time as I interview one of our team members on how to create an ultra-compelling business story.