15 Easy Ways to Build Email Lists That Get Results

Examples, How To's

+The cost of acquiring new customers can be one of your most daunting challenges. How much do I need to spend? How often do I need to spend?  What’s reasonable? The questions go on and on.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could build a database of people that like your brand and already have a relationship with you? Re-marketing to that group is always going to be cheaper, and more valuable, than trying to attract new people.

We’re here to tell you it can be done, cheaply, efficiently, and with excellent results!

Buy a List or Create my Own?

It’s easy to go online and buy a database.  You can target geographically, demographically, and pick from a whole host of psycho-graphic categories. Trying to reach two-parent households, with kids living at home, and a household income exceeding $100,000 a year? You can do that.

But… welcome to the world of spammers! Maybe you won’t be a spammer per se, but you will be competing with them for attention. You’ll be one of those companies that blindly send out emails – a shotgun approach – hoping to scatter a message wide enough to hit some targets. Without a pre-existing relationship, you’ll be lucky to get past the spam filters, and 269 billion emails sent every day. The average person receives 111 emails daily, according to a Carleton University study, of which 50% are spam. The odds they’ll click on your email (if they even see it) is slim.

“The average person receives 111 emails daily, according to a Carleton University study, of which 50% are spam.”

A better approach is to create your own opt-in email list. A person that voluntarily gives their email address has given consent to you and is more likely to engage with the content you send. You have, in various ways, earned their trust. To get that email though, you’ve got to provide something of value.

Here are 15 online contest and promotion ideas that can net results:

Giveaways, Contests, and Coupons

Everybody loves to win. You win when you collect emails that can help build your database.

A variety of options are available to help incentivize people to give you their email:

  • 1) Sweepstakes – Collect entries and pick winners at random.
  • 2) Coupons – Distribute unique coupon and digital coupon codes.
  • 3) Instant Winners – Automatically award prized based on pre-determined odds and criteria.
  • 4) Pick-A-Winner – Pick a winner from social media likes and/or comments.

To increase reach, you can award bonus entries for referrals. This encourages sharing, engagement and broader (free!) distribution. There’s nothing so sweet as having someone else help your marketing efforts!

Photo, Video, and Hashtag Contests

People love to share pictures or videos. Design a contest with some relationship to your brand or products, and encourage people to upload, share, and vote. Participants provide their email as the price of entry and to vote. By setting up a competition, you’re tapping into that primal instinct to compete and win.

Here are some of the ways you can encourage interaction:

  • 5) Submissions – Collect content through uploads or via #hashtag content from social media.
  • 6) Curate – Automatically, or manually, approve submissions.
  • 7) Galleries – Display curated photos of submissions.
  • 8) Voting – Create engagement and social shares. Who doesn’t want their friends to vote for them to win!

User Generated Content is a great way to get new customers to share and engage with your content, while you are collecting email addresses and building your database.

Polls, Quizzes, Games

The more time people spend with your content, the more likely they are to engage with your company or product. Here are some of the ways you can encourage that increased engagement:

  • 9) Polls – create a popular or product-related poll.
  • 10) Trivia Quiz – Ask seasonal or brand-related questions and post scores.
  • 11) Brackets – A round-by-round contest that promotes repeat engagement.
  • 12) Poll Posts – collect poll results from Facebook contests.

You may want to offer prizes to encourage participation, but people will often take part in polls just for the opportunity to see the results or how they compare to their peers or a broader group. Either way, make sure you collect email signups as a price of participation. These strategies tend to get lots of social shares.

Landing Pages, White Papers, Downloads

It can be tough to get people to navigate to your website and sift through all the information that’s available. Landing pages with a singular purpose can dramatically increase conversion rates. By directing people to those specific landing pages, you can more quickly build that database. Landing pages can also be created to generate leads more efficiently. In fact, the top landing pages tend to increase engagement by as much as five times!

“Landing pages can also be created to generate leads more efficiently. In fact, the top landing pages tend to increase engagement by as much as five times!”

Everybody likes free stuff. Most people are willing to give up their emails in exchange for something of value. Do you have a white paper, e-book, or strategy guide to give away?

  • 13) Landing Pages – From a single page to a micro-site built to drive people to your database collection.
  • 14) Forms – Collect specific leads and emails.
  • 15) Downloads – Distribute downloads, such as white papers or ebooks, and collect the emails of qualified leads.

Getting Started

Building an opt-in email database is the gift that keeps on giving. By re-targeting people that already have a relationship with your brand, you dramatically increase the odds of people seeing your future messages and engaging with your brand.

Getting started is easier than you think. Every one of these strategies can be deployed inexpensively by professionals and amateurs alike.

Log in to Woobox for free and try making your own promotion in minutes. Woobox has enabled over four million brands to build custom promotions! Need some help getting started? Feel free to email Woobox Support.

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