Why is Building an Email List Both Relevant and Important?

The answer to this question is obvious. Simply, everyone has an email address. Not only do they have an email address, but they usually check it several times a day. In addition, smart phones make it possible for them to be signed into their email accounts around the clock with the enabling of push notifications. There is no better way to get in touch with customers that is as direct, personal and reliable as email.

According to research, email is nearly 40 times more successful at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter. In other words, building an email list is always the better strategy you can do for your business than all other platforms.

Using an email list is an excellent marketing strategy for many reasons:

  • It is Personal: Your message lands directly into a user’s inbox.
  • You Communicate One-on-One: Users read your email privately and not in a public forum. This allows them to ask you questions privately and directly. This one-on-one communication can build a relationship and confidence in your brand.
  • You can Target Interested Customers: Since consent to receive your emails has already been given, the customers have certainly shown an interest in your products. This also means that they are most likely to click, buy and possibly even spread the word about your products or services.

Big name brands have demonstrated over a long period of time that email is an online marketing tool that works far better than social media or other online marketing tools. Email is a great way to get your message out at a very low cost. However, the real trick is to create an email list offline, but it can be done in several ways.

Six Methods of Creating an Email List Offline

1. Point of Sale: It certainly isn’t a new practice to ask for a customer’s email address at the point of sale. However, it has recently become a popular trend for companies, and many are doing it on a regular basis. Many brick-and-mortar stores routinely ask customers for their email addresses at the cash register when they are making a purchase. They also offer to send the customer an email receipt. Another approach might be to ask the customer to fill out a form, and you might also combine the form with offers and incentives.

2. Snail Mail: One way to get potential customers’ email addresses is to mail postcards to them. The postcard could have a free offer or include your website link to go to. At the website, the customer could sign-up to receive your newsletter. If you make a free offer in exchange for their email addresses, you should be sure to follow through with what you have promised.

A personalised, handwritten postcard or note containing a return address sent to a customer will add a human touch to your marketing. It will also build confidence in the customer due to your transparent marketing.

3. Wise Use of Printed Materials: Your printed materials can be powerful tools to build your email list. These printed materials most likely include product descriptions, handouts at trade shows, newsletters, manuals, and pamphlets. The important thing is that whatever the print material is, it should include your website as well as a sign-up form for your newsletter online and other possible extras.

4. Promote with Merchandise: When you attend a trade show or festival, you should be sure to have lots of giveaway items such as water bottles, pens, keychains and magnets. These should clearly advertise your business’s email list. All you need to do is elicit a sign-up with each merchandise piece and ask visitors to use their smartphones to sign-up.

5. Attend Festivals or Events: You can collect emails offline at festivals or other events. An effective way to get email addresses is to run a raffle for a prize and ask each person to put their email address on the raffle ticket. Besides attending festivals or events, you can also hold your own in-store event. At this event, you can attract people to attend by offering free food and drinks, entertainment and samples of your products. You might also give each person a gift bag that includes these samples as well as a card with your website information.

6. Get Tradeshow Sign-ups: Tradeshows are an excellent opportunity to intermingle with members of your industry and build a B2B email list. In order to eliminate the time needed to enter the emails, you could have a laptop on your table allowing your visitors to enter their email addresses to a database for your company after you speak with them.

Another great way is to run a contest which requires providing email addresses and give prizes to the winners. However, to have a great deal of success, you should advertise the contest before the show. This can be done with your blog, Facebook page or with a tweet.

Offering incentives is another way to collect email addresses at tradeshows. The incentives for people who sign-up for your email could be a free mp3 downloads or discount coupons. Not only will these incentives help you build your email list, they will also help create a positive B2B relationship.


Email is incredibly an effective marketing tool that can reach a viral potential. It will provide more opportunities for you to connect with potential customers than any other types of marketing. However, you must first of all have a valid list of email addresses in order to send your messages. Collecting email addresses doesn’t have to cost a lot and you don’t have to use trickery. Most people will happily offer their addresses if you approach them the right way.