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How To Build, Grow, and Maintain Your Contact List

by Hailey Hudson
Read Time: 6 minutes
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If you’re not already using email to market your small business, you should! Just 12.5% of consumers say they would make a purchase on social media — but 60% of consumers have made a purchase as the result of a marketing email they’ve received. Email also has a high ROI, with marketers earning an average of $36 for every $1 spent. 

There’s just one problem: To get started with an email marketing strategy, you need a list of people who want to receive your emails. If you don’t have any email addresses, where can you get them? Here’s how to build, grow, and maintain your email list.

Building Your Email List

Your email list is the collection of emails you’ve received from customers and leads. When you send out your marketing emails, they’ll go to this list. 

If you’re just getting started with email marketing, you might have a whopping zero email addresses on your email list. That’s okay! There are several strategies you can use to start collecting email addresses to add to your list. Here are a few of the most popular tactics.

Create an Email Signup Form

The first step to growing your email list is creating an email signup form. This is a simple form where users can enter their email address to join your email list. 

You can create this form using a tool like DirectLync’s email form builder, embedding the generated code into your website. Then import your new contacts to your DirectLync CRM, or customer relationship manager. This gives you an easy way to organize and segment all of these email addresses.

Once your form is ready, you’ll want to place it anywhere you can throughout your website, embedding the form in various webpages. The more places website visitors come across the form, the more opportunities they’ll have to sign up for your email list. 

There are a variety of ways you can embed your signup form on your site, such as a pop-up; a floating bar across the top of a webpage; or a full-screen splash page.

Offer A Lead Magnet

In addition to your email signup form, you can also try offering a lead magnet — typically a longform piece of content that’s valuable to your target audience. Website visitors will enter their email address in exchange for receiving the piece of content, making this a win-win.

Your lead magnet could take the form of any of the following:

  • Ebook
  • Webinar
  • Template
  • Video
  • Whitepaper
  • Mini-course
  • Evaluation 
  • Case study 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to know what your target audience would benefit from the most. Once your lead magnet is ready, add it to your email signup form to grab your reader’s attention. 

Use Social Media

Social media is a valuable resource to grow your email list. The opportunities are virtually endless! You can add a signup button on your Facebook page. You can link back to your site in the description of YouTube videos. You can use LinkedIn groups, host a Twitter chat, or film strategic Instagram stories. When it comes to ways to generate email leads using social media, the sky is truly the limit. 

Get Creative

Your email list doesn’t have to be limited to your website and social media. Think about all of the touchpoints where you interact with customers or leads, and try to grow your contact list wherever you can. Can you add a link to your email signup form in your personal email signature? What about sharing the form during a webinar or live event? 

What’s more, think beyond the digital realm and collect email addresses anytime you see your audience in person. This might look like a physical sign-up sheet at an event or even simply asking people one-on-one if they’d like to subscribe. 

Maintaining Your Email List

Once you have a good-sized email list, continue using these strategies to help it grow. At this stage, however, you should also be investing time into maintaining your email list — making sure it’s organized and healthy so you can see the best results possible from your email marketing efforts. Use these tips to maintain your contact list over time.

Assess Performance

Use DirectLync’s insights to keep an eye on how your email marketing campaigns are performing. Are your subscribers interacting with your emails? Are they opening the messages? Are they clicking on links in the messages? If these open rates and click rates are up, that’s great! If they aren’t, it may be time to clean up your list. 

Prevent Unsubscribes

There’s no way around it: Along the way, people are going to unsubscribe from your email list. We all get a lot of emails and our brains only have the capacity to handle so much. You’re not going to be able to prevent unsubscribes completely. But there are a few things you can do to reduce them as much as possible.

Let new subscribers choose how often they want to receive emails from you. According to a study by MarketingSherpa, one of the main reasons people unsubscribe from email lists is getting too many emails from that company. So letting subscribers select their ideal frequency up front will give them a better chance of staying the course.

You can also reduce unsubscribes by simply sending good emails! Your emails should be well-designed and easy to read on mobile or desktop. They should also focus on the needs of your target audience — and take breaks from heavy promotion to provide good content.

Re-engage or Delete Inactive Contacts

Before deleting inactive contacts, try to get them engaged again with a targeted email series. Tell subscribers that you miss them and you’d love to have them back as part of your email community. Ask people to confirm they still want to get your emails and let them update their subscription preferences. For the contacts who still don’t respond, go ahead and delete them from your list. 

Rinse and Repeat

Clean up your email list once every quarter. In addition to re-engaging or deleting inactive contacts, you should also look for:

  • Duplicate email address
  • Bounced or invalid emails
  • @support or @info accounts

These should be deleted, too. After all, they aren’t doing your business any good. 

When someone initially signs up for your email list, send an email with a link for them to click, confirming they really want to receive your messages. This is called a double opt-in. Confirming subscriptions up front will save you work later. 

Email Marketing Success

Building and maintaining your email list can take some elbow grease. But it’s all worth it to have a healthy, thriving list of people who look forward to seeing your name in their inbox. 

Need help gathering and organizing email addresses? Use DirectLync’s form builder and CRM to get started. With DirectLync, it’s easy to:

  • Design a form for your website to gather leads
  • Build drag-and-drop email campaigns
  • Clean out inactive subscribers 

Click here to get started today!