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How to Build a Strong Email List: Dos and Don'ts

Want to build a thriving online community for your brand? In the digital age, email marketing continues to stand out as a powerful tool for connecting with your audience, fostering loyalty, and driving conversions.

At the heart of a successful email marketing strategy lies a strong, engaged email list. With a strategic approach, you can nurture a valuable community eager to connect with your brand. 

Here are some dos and don'ts of building a strong email list to help you create a loyal and engaged subscriber base.

Dos: Building a Strong Email List

1. Opt-in is key 

Building an email list based on permission is important. Respect your audience's privacy and avoid any practices that resemble spam. 

Encourage users to subscribe through clear and easily accessible opt-in forms on your website, social media pages, and even offline materials like business cards.

2. Offer value

Your subscribers should feel like they're gaining something by joining your list. Provide valuable content like industry insights, exclusive deals, downloadable resources, or access to early bird sales. 

Remember, your emails should be informative, engaging, and relevant to your target audience's interests.

3. Double opt-in for confirmation

Implement a double opt-in process where new subscribers receive a confirmation email after submitting their information. 

This extra step verifies their intent to subscribe, helps prevent accidental signups, and keeps your list clean and compliant with anti-spam regulations 

4. Segment your list

Treating your entire subscriber base as one homogenous group is a missed opportunity.

Studies show that segmented and targeted email campaigns can generate up to 58% higher open rates and 24% higher click-through rates than non-segmented campaigns. 

Segment your list based on demographics, interests, purchase history, or any other relevant data points. This allows you to tailor your email content to specific segments, increasing engagement and personalization. 

5. Personalize your emails

Did you know emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened

A generic "Dear subscriber" email doesn't cut it anymore. Use personalized greetings, segment your list as mentioned above, and tailor content based on subscriber interests and preferences. 

6. Craft compelling subject lines 

The subject line is your first impression, often deciding whether an email gets opened. Use clear, concise, and engaging language that accurately reflects the email content. 

Consider A/B testing different subject lines to see what resonates best with your audience.

7. Design for mobile responsiveness 

Nearly 68% of emails are opened on mobile devices. Ensure your emails are optimized for mobile viewing with responsive design and a clean, readable layout. 

8. Include a clear call to action (CTA) 

Every email should have a specific purpose, and you want to guide your subscribers towards taking the desired action. 

This could be visiting your website, making a purchase, downloading a resource, registering for an event, or simply replying to your email. 

Use strong CTAs that are clear, concise, and visually appealing.

9. Maintain a consistent sending schedule 

Most marketers send 2-3 emails per day and 12% send a weekly email.

Don't bombard your subscribers with emails, but maintain a consistent sending schedule so they don't forget about you. Determine a frequency that works for your brand and audience, and stick to it as much as possible. 

10. Track and analyze your results

Data is your friend in email marketing. Monitor key metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates to understand what's working and what needs improvement. Use this data to refine your strategy and optimize your email campaigns for better results.

Don’ts: What to Avoid

1. Buy or rent email lists 

This is a big "no-no." Not only is it a violation of anti-spam regulations, but these purchased lists are unlikely to contain individuals genuinely interested in your brand. You'll end up hurting your sender reputation and potentially facing legal repercussions.

2. Use deceptive or misleading tactics

Avoid exaggerating claims, using misleading subject lines, or employing clickbait tactics to lure subscribers. Building trust with your audience is vital, and such practices will erode it quickly.

3. Make unsubscribing difficult

Don't make it a hassle for people to unsubscribe. Include a clear and easily accessible unsubscribe link in every email. Remember, it's better to have a smaller, engaged list than a larger one filled with uninterested subscribers who never open your emails.

4. Ignore spam filters

Familiarize yourself with common spam trigger words and phrases, and avoid using them in your emails. Additionally, ensure your sender information is accurate and legitimate to improve deliverability rates.

5. Neglect mobile responsiveness

As mentioned earlier, a significant portion of emails are opened on mobile devices. Neglecting mobile responsiveness is a surefire way to lose subscribers and hinder your marketing efforts.

6. Fail to test your emails

Before hitting send, take the time to test your emails and check if all the links are are accurate and working.

7. Send irrelevant or low-quality content

Your subscribers shouldn't feel like they're being bombarded with promotional emails every day. Focus on providing valuable content that resonates with their interests and needs.

Need help creating quality newsletters that resonate with your audience? Schedule a free consultation to learn how Letterhead can help you build a strong email list and grow your business.