Business Email Lists: 6 Creative Strategies To Build Them

Marketing 16 minute read 22nd April 2024

Many people underestimate the power of a well-crafted email, thinking it’s a thing of the past. But an email strategy isn’t something to underestimate, whether you’re a business owner or a solo entrepreneur. You need clients in both scenarios, and business email lists can help you get there.

After all, people who subscribe to regular updates are more likely to become loyal. Once that happens, you’ll have to spend less time and money searching for other businesses or people to work with.

You’re reading the right article, even if you’re just looking to build business connections without intending to sell anything.

Here, we’ll start by discussing the definitions, moving on to six ways to build these lists. You’ll also learn about purchased lists, so if that sounds good, let’s start!

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What Is a Business Email List?

A business email addresses list is a compilation of email addresses belonging to individuals and businesses within a specific industry.

Anyone can maintain these lists to achieve a specific goal later. For example, businesses use these email lists to send personalized messages and offers to their customers. On the other hand, freelancers use such lists to find and retain clients for projects.

Some argue that these goals are achievable through other means as well. However, having an email marketing strategy is easy and inexpensive if you follow the right approach.

Besides, emails offer the most personalized form of communication. You can make the recipient feel like you crafted the email specifically for them, improving efficiency.

Lastly, assuming you’ve built your own list instead of buying one, people are more likely to read the email. After all, they willingly entered their email when you asked for it! This boosts customer loyalty for small businesses.

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6 Creative Ways To Build Business Email Lists

The first step in email marketing for beginners is building an email list. This isn’t hard if you have your sources in check. In other words, you can’t add just any business email to your list. Unless your contacts are from your industry, your list might as well be empty.

Besides, you have to comply with regulations like GDPR. You might violate the rules if the recipient hasn’t explicitly permitted you. Gaining this permission isn’t possible if you use illegitimate sources to collect business emails. Therefore, here are six creative and legitimate ways to build business email lists.

1. Add a Pop-Up Form to Your Home Page

Adding a pop-up form to a website’s home page is the most popular tactic to build an email list. You might think it will annoy visitors, but the right pop-up form can convert 3.8% of your website visitors.

There are several ways to implement this marketing strategy for small businesses. You can trigger the form by asking visitors to subscribe once they reach a certain point on the page. You can also display it when they want to leave your website.

The former technique poses a slight risk since you don’t know how many customers will reach your intended trigger point. They might click off before they reach there.

The second option might work best, but you must make the offer or message irresistible. Unsurprisingly, businesses love customer engagement that boosts growth. Making the pop-up interactive with a spin-the-wheel game will give you a better chance at conversion.

However, regardless of your chosen technique, your pop-up should always include a few things. The first requirement is a heading and subheading to provide the necessary details. You must clearly tell people what’s in it for them.

Secondly, you need an input field so people can enter their emails. You also need an actionable call-to-action button. Urge your visitors and make them curious about what you have to say.

This next thing might seem negligible, but your visitors’ actions depend on the pop-up’s visual appeal. Add your brand colors and visuals to create awareness.

Lastly, get the customer to permit you to send emails explicitly. For this, add a general checkbox or multiple boxes for the types of emails they want to allow. This will save you from legal complications.

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2. Provide High-Value Gated Content

Another creative way to build an email list is to provide valuable content but gate it behind a signup. Anyone who wants to view your content must provide you with their email address to “unlock the gate.”

You don’t have to be an enterprise business to pull this off. Everyone has something valuable to share.

For example, if you’re learning graphic design, you can share your experiences with your subscribers through a blog. You can also create a club on platforms like Patreon or Discord. This way, you’ll build a network while helping others with a similar passion.

Again, you must offer something irresistible, but make sure you have full command over it. Ebooks, free guides, tutorials, informative articles, and entertaining videos are the best types of content for a high-quality email list.

3. Come Up With Creative Ad Campaigns To Drive Sign-Ups

Ask anyone about the platforms they use daily. The most common answers will be social media platforms and Google. So, why not use that to your advantage to build an email list through ad campaigns?

Of course, you’ll need a budget to implement this. But since you’ll reach a broad audience, the number of subscribers this technique can bring will be worth the investment.

Therefore, develop compelling copy, a headline, and a CTA before considering anything else. You’ll also need something people value, like a guide or an incentive. Next, create a dedicated and functional landing page for people to sign up.

On the other hand, you can add a signup button to your social media channels. If you already have a following there, people already like your offerings or content. Hence, this approach will build you an email list in no time.

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4. Guest Post on Other Relevant Websites

Guest posting might seem irrelevant in a discussion about building business email lists. But if you put in some effort, this method can be effective. Here’s how.

Anyone can write guest posts on relevant websites, whether a business owner, freelancer, or solopreneur. All you have to do is research the types of topics your chosen website posts, its style guide, and rules.

Keeping those in mind, create a guest post and pitch it to the website. Once they accept and publish your post, their audience can view it. Since that audience is different from your own, you get more exposure.

At the end of the post, ask the readers to subscribe to your newsletter for more. They won’t hesitate to entertain that CTA if they like what you wrote.

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5. Offer Free Trials, Discounts, and Demos for a Business to Business Email List

If you run a business that sells to other businesses, you must create a business-to-business email list. For example, you might sell business tools. In this case, you must attract businesses that need your tools.

While you can use the above methods, free trials, discounts, and demos are the clear winners here.

If we were to expand on the above example, business tools aren’t cheap. Businesses will want to do their due diligence before investing.

Offer them help in this process by providing a free trial in exchange for a signup. It is a win-win situation where you get your contact, and they get their peace of mind.

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6. Set Up a Captive Portal for Your Guest WiFi Network

This last technique is the most beneficial for local businesses. If you own a local company offering free WiFi to customers, you can use that to build an email list. But to make this work, you must set up a separate guest network.

Simply providing the password to your main network isn’t a good idea. It can endanger your business data and won’t help with email lists.

So, once you’ve set up a guest network, implement a captive portal on it. What is a captive portal? It’s a web page that authenticates users by asking for their names, email addresses, etc.

Customers cannot access the network without interacting with this page. After they’ve logged in, you can collect their email addresses and other data, like preferences.

Should You Buy a Small Business Email List?

No, you should generally refrain from buying a small business email list or any email list. Many websites would like you to think otherwise, offering lists of places to buy an email database. But don’t make the mistake of using those lists if you don’t want to end up in the spam folder.

The businesses in that list haven’t subscribed to get your content. If they see your email in their inbox, they’ll likely delete it or mark your email address as spam. What’s the use of buying an email list if your receivers won’t even read your emails?

Besides, it won’t look good for your brand, whether it’s your business or a personal brand. You might even face legal problems if the source isn’t trustworthy.

However, there are authentic B2B email marketing and B2B contact database providers that consider your audience before providing the list. These might work in some cases, but the issue of trust still stands because the contacts haven’t subscribed themselves.

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Turn Business Email Listings to Your Advantage

Anyone can benefit from building business email lists. You can nurture relationships with potential customers, build a network, or even find clients for freelance projects.

However, how you build those lists matters for your email deliverability, response, and reputation. So, only use legitimate methods like the ones mentioned in this discussion.

As marketing experts, Beambox can help you in your journey to email marketing success. Our tool makes it easy for physical businesses to collect contacts through the custom captive portal and email campaigns. Start your Beambox free trial today and maximize your email marketing knowledge.

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