What is the best way to build an email list for marketing?

There’s actually quite a varied amount of ways that you can capture emails from the Internet to use in campaigns. However, there are a few things that you may want to keep in mind first:

  • Be mindful of laws. I say this referencing GDPR in particular. If your target market (or a considerable percentage of it) resides within the EU, then you’ll have to take GDPR into account when planning an email list building strategy. Email is treated as personal data according to the GDPR, and should be handled as such.
  • Know the difference between marketing and spam. It can be very easy for your intentions for obtaining emails to be misconstrued, especially when you’re doing so of people you don’t know. A tip for this is to not obtain emails at random in the hopes of pitching to the right prospects. This contributes to a more spammy approach, which I’m sure you know, is the last thing that you would want for your email domains. In order to mitigate this, do your due diligence and only mine for emails of leads that you intend to nurture.

With that out of the way, here are some of the ways in which you can obtain emails for marketing purposes:

  • Outsource it. Now, with the world becoming more and more of a digital marketplace for goods and services, it stands to reason that hiring a person or business to conduct email mining and list building is a fairly common process. There are many different platforms from which you can find expert data scrapers and list builders; Upwork, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour and the list goes on. Always shop around and request samples of previous work so that you can exercise your own judgement in choosing a party.
  • Use DIY tools. If you’re don’t feel comfortable outsourcing your list building to a third party, you can always just build the lists yourself; there are many great tools on the Internet that can aid you – Hunter.io is an excellent example. You can perform your own email scraping and verify your own emails there too!
  • Buying email lists. This is one method I will just follow the crowd and say NO on. Why? The issue with the marketing and spam I talked about a moment ago. Let’s face it – no-one wants to receive emails from people they don’t know. That’s low-key, a means by which advertisers can get their content banned, their domains shut down and their overall business completely ruined by being too spammy. Not to mention, email lists are almost ALWAYS unverified, so there’s a good chance that there would be address with high bounce rates if you were to use them.
  • Ask people. This is by far the most straightforward way to obtain emails – ask them! Of course, people treat their emails like they treat their credit cards, so you can’t expect to get them for free. What you can do is offer something of value: it can be in the form of a free eBook, or a discount towards a purchase or even something as simple as more and regular blog content of high quality. Build out a good landing page, include an email opt-in form and watch the addresses roll in.

Hope that helps!

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