Many people say your mailing list (or simply ‘list’) is the most valuable asset to your business. Your list consists of interested individuals who want to follow you, learn from you, and buy from you.

A mailing list provides you with the opportunity to communicate directly with your clients and community, giving you the chance to share news, updates and of course special offers. It is an avenue for you to remain in their minds, build trust and brand yourself without needing to compete with social media algorithms.

Because your mailing list subscribers must give you permission to email them (either verbally, written or automatically), you can not just add random email address to your list. In fact, if you practice this method to grow your list currently – STOP! Not only are you breaching the Spam Act 2003 (yes there is an actual law), I have no doubt you are turning potential clients or referrals away from you.

So how can you legitimately build up your list for maximum effect? If you aren’t using these options, you are missing opportunities to build trust with your community.

1. Use an email campaign service such as mailchimp to collect email addresses for your list. These services comply with the Spam Act allowing subscribers to update or unsubscribe at any time. Use this service to create an opt-in page and use the link to obtain automatic subscribers.

2. Promote your list on social media. Using the link from your customised opt-in page, direct traffic to sign up with Call to Action buttons, as well as posting the invitation link to join your list regularly.

3. Add a hyperlink to sign up within your email signature. Use a statement to attract readers to click – “Join our mailing list”, “Be the first to hear our news” or similar. The catchier the statement, the more likely it is you will receive subscribers via this method.

4. If you write articles or blog posts, be sure to add a link within your bio at the end of your article. (see below)

5. Add the opt in link to your website – either via a pop up, or simply with a link to sign up on your website to capture visitors to your site.

6. If clients visit your office, event or stall, use a paper based sign-up sheet to attract them to provide their email address, then add them manually afterwards. Feel free to use a generic sign up sheet prepared by our team; Download our Sign Up Sheet.

7. Include an acknowledgement to join your list within your service agreement when signing up a new client.

8. Give away something for free. Create an ebook or similar as a hook for potential individuals to trade for their email address.

9. And finally, don’t be afraid to ask people face to face. If you have a discussion about your business or services with an interested party, it might be a natural progression to suggest they might like to receive the occasional update from you. You will find many people will offer to join your list if they can add you to theirs – if that interests you give your permission and obtain their business card to manually add them to your list.

Once you have subscribers, be sure to treat them with respect. By joining your list, they agree to hear from you. Don’t make your communications too frequent or salesy, and always include valuable content. If your communications bore your readers, you will inadvertently encourage them to unsubscribe.

On a final note, ensure you remain loyal to your subscribers by not sharing or selling your list.

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by Sam Spence – Founder & Principal Executive Assistant, Executive Virtual Associate.

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