6 Ways Businesses Can Build An Email Marketing List

We learned something interesting while looking at the 2015 State of Small Business Report: 46% of businesses who responded to an online survey are using email marketing as part of their advertising efforts.

email marketing data collection

Email marketing has one of the highest ROI of any marketing strategy. It’s also one of the best for retaining customers, and nurturing people from leads into customers. In other words, it works for every phase of the customer lifecycle: Prospecting, Lead Nurturing, and Retention.

Interestingly enough, based on another research, email marketing tops the list for ease to execute vs effectiveness. Hands down email marketing is the easiest yet most effective method for small businesses to market themselves directly to their customers.

digital marketing difficulty index

More importantly, email marketing helps build an asset. An email list is worth far more than all social media platforms and followers combined because you own your email list. No one actually owns their Facebook account. Facebook can shut it down at any time (and yes, that does happen.)

Despite how effective and affordable email is, there is one critical requirement for email marketing success. You will need subscribers. There are dozens of ways to get more subscribers, but this list of eight methods is specifically designed for small local businesses. It’s also set up to help you get subscribers quickly. This is a call to action list that will entice subscribers to sign up, fast.

  1. Dump the old paper form.

    Asking people for their email address on an old fashioned form sucks. We have heard many stories where close to 60% of the email addresses written on forms were impossible to read making them useless for the list. Paper requires extra work in getting the data into the list and allows for potential mistakes and you always have to keep a paper copy of the form where the customer authorized you to send emails. It’s 2016, we are sure we can all come up with a better solution than pen and paper to capture customer information.

  2. Offer an incentive.

    The old “signup to receive weekly updates from xyz” copy is old and in the mind of the customers sounds exactly like this “give up your email address so that we can annoy you every time we feel like it”. Offer a signup bonus discount, a monthly “item special”, figure out what moves your ideal customer and find a way to offer it.

  3. Ask more questions.

    A simple email address is not enough. If you came across the email address burb37lo@xyz.com would you be able to tell if the customer is a female or a male? Does that matter to your business? What are the most important information you need to have about your customers to serve them better? Go beyond the email address, ask a couple more questions, the important ones. It’s not just about capturing leads, it’s also about qualifying leads. Ask yourself “how do I qualify leads?” and go to point 4.

  4. Segment that list already aka qualify leads.

    Now you asked a few questions, you qualified your leads. Divide the list based exactly on that. Instead of simply spamming everyone every week, make each newsletter personal, use the data to draft the perfect email. Make your customers feel like “you know exactly what they need” and “when they need it”. Bulk newsletters are the “shouting” of marketing, segmented/targeted lists are the “conversation” of it. Converse.

  5. Capture leads/potential customers everywhere.

    Tools like QuickTapSurvey allow you to use your iPad as a kiosk app and can be deployed virtually in any type of event/gathering. Are you going to a trade show? Conference? Any occasion is good to meet and capture potential customer information.

  6. Run contests.

    Use your in-store kiosk app solution and your social media channels to capture more leads. Organize giveaways. Everyone is willing to give you their email addresses if they can potentially win something they are interested in. Think outside the box.

These are some of the best ways to get more subscribers on your list fast. Maybe you know of a few ideas we’ve missed. If you can contribute, please tell us about your ideas in the comments. We want to know what’s been working for you.


Anthony Neal Macri
Anthony Macri was an Online Marketing Manager at QuickTapSurvey in 2016. Have a story idea? Email us at marketing@quicktapsurvey.com
  • Ruben

    Interesting! Perhaps it’s time to give email marketing a second chance? I’m a bit out of the loop, so I was wondering if you could recommend me an easy to use tool? I keep hearing about software like GetResponse, but I was wondering what’s the best solution for non-coders?

  • Anthony Neal Macri

    Hi Ruben,
    GetResponse and ConstantContact both offer built in templates for most use cases and offer lots of options in regards to customization and pagination styles. I personally prefer ConstantContact even though it is slightly more expensive than GetResponse.