5 Tips To Help Grow Your Local Business Email List

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You may have heard the phrase, “The money is in the list.” It’s really true. The more people you have to connect with, the greater your chances are of encouraging them to do business with you.

Constant Contact offers many tools to help your local business build an opt-in email marketing list and continue to engage with those contacts in a timely manner. Before getting into some of the tools, I want to point out three key channels where you can grow your email list organically. These channels–in-person, print and online–are prime opportunities for your business to collect emails. A marketing plan to grow your business email list should include ways to leverage all three…not just having a sign-up form on your website that never gets seen or used.


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Constant Contact has many tools that can help your business grow its email list, but we’ll focus on a few basic ones in today’s webinar: pop-up forms for your website, landing pages and Facebook lead ads. View the complete webinar above for a step-by-step demonstration of how to use each of these tools using the Constant Contact platform.

Consider how your business can develop a consistent strategy to build your local business email list using the three primary channels. The in-person channel includes all of your in-person interaction with the customer, so you want to personally ask people to sign up at point of service. Ensure your printed materials have something that directs people to sign up for your email list. This might include brochures, packaging, or business cards, depending on the business. Also, solicit email contacts through your business’s online resources–social media, website, and business search listings.

Here are a few best practices to make any email sign up form generate better response.

1. Show Clear Value in the Title

When writing the title of your pop-up form, let people know what they’re signing up for and the value that you can provide. My example title is actually going to say, “Sign up to receive a free adoption guide.” People typically sign up for business email lists for three main reasons: to get discounts and promotions, receive exclusive content, or to support your business or organization. Keep these reasons in mind as you’re creating these sign-up forms, and be specific. Don’t just say, “Sign up for our email newsletter.” People need to find value from being on your business email list; they don’t want more spam.

2. Keep Form Questions to a Minimum

With the initial sign-up form, just get the basic information. Get the email address, get them on board, maybe ask one other thing, but don’t ask too much.

Constant Contact’s sign-up form set up allows you to add multiple fields to your form in order to collect whatever information your heart desires. But, you want to keep your form as short and sweet as possible. The more information you ask, people are going to resist, especially if they’re unfamiliar with your business.

Our recommendation is to just choose one additional field if you feel it’s absolutely necessary. Later on, you can ask people to update their profile with you and ask them additional questions if you wish. By that point, you’ve built a bit of a relationship with them after you’ve sent a couple of emails and demonstrated your value.

3. Consider Pop-Up Timing and Frequency

When setting up a pop-up form on your website, adjust timing and frequency to get the best results.

You’ll have this type of form on a timer. When someone first gets to your website, it will pop up after a certain number of seconds. You can choose within a range of one to 15 seconds. We recommend that people get enough time to at least make sure they’ve landed on the correct website before being shown the pop up. You can also set up the form to appear on exit intent as well. When someone clicks to close out of their browser or the tab on their browser, the sign-up from will pop up.

Also, consider the frequency. When you’re setting up exit intent and timer, make sure to consider how often people actually visit your website. Try once per week or one time only if you have a website that people are frequenting in order to get resources or to log into an account or something like that. Business websites should not put on the pop-up any more than once per day. Otherwise it starts getting overwhelming and annoying to people, and they don’t want to come back to the website. You simply want to catch their attention with the information on the form that shows the value that your local business can provide by getting them to sign up with their email.

4. Welcome Contacts Immediately

Once people use your form and sign up, engage them immediately with a welcome email or some acknowledgement to thank them for signing up. Constant Contact’s automation tools can help with this process and can be customized for your business. People don’t want to sign up to your mailing list and wait a week or longer because they’re interested right when they sign up. Start engaging with them using Constant Contacts’ automated email series options, such as the welcome series.

With these automations, you can have multiple emails sent based off of a certain trigger that someone takes. Whether they open the email, click a link, click a specific link, or if a contact joins a list.

I’m going to show you how to create a welcome series, but you have many other options. You can on-board new customers, entice them to take action, or ask them to sign up for your loyalty or membership program, for example. With a welcome series of emails, we suggest you schedule two brief emails to introduce your business and start getting them to interact with you. You want people to not only read your emails, but also interact with you and connect with you in places outside of your email marketing.

5. Get Creative With Anniversaries

Another type of automation is the birthday and anniversary emails. These actually trigger on or before a specific date each year. They’re based off of those specific dates in each of your contact’s profile. You can use them to celebrate an annual milestone or simply to make them feel special. Get create with the types of anniversaries your business might address. It could be a home buyer anniversary if you’re in real estate or a renewal reminder if you offer some sort of yearly package.

We’ve even seen a plumber do an anniversary reminder of the day that they installed a new water heater. The message was something like, “Hey, your water heater was installed, it’s time for an annual check up on that.” This could obviously work in the medical/dental field too or any service-area business where maintenance is involved.

Sometimes people don’t think out of the box besides the names, birthday and anniversary. But this type of email automation is really flexible to help you to create whatever works best for your local business.

Stephanie French
Stephanie is a Colorado native who loves helping small businesses succeed, one webinar at a time. Whether it’s email marketing or social media, she loves creating educational content that helps small businesses grow. She’s been with Constant Contact for over 8 years and currently spends her days designing and hosting educational webinars.