As organic reach on Facebook for brand pages dip to all-time lows and social media as a whole becomes more and more noisy, business owners and those with personal brands are looking for more effective ways to reach their audiences. When there are so many options out there and already so much to do, what is a time-strapped person to do?

Turn to an old reliable: the mailing list.

Thankfully, we’re not just talking about physical mailing lists that involve printing and sending out fliers but also email mailing lists as well, which have grown in interest over the past few years due to the fact it’s one of the last few elements of an audience that a business owner or brand can own since social media posts don’t always hit their intended audiences.

As a business owner you might be new to the world of email lists. In this blog post, we’ll talk about what email lists are, why they are important, and how you can use them within your WordPress installation to grow your list.

Let’s go!

What is an email list?

An email list is, in short, a list of email contacts that you can keep in touch with if you have a product or want to angle yourself professionally. In the early days of email, lists were used by large brands to keep in touch with their customers and offer deals if they had anything to sell.

In more modern times, email lists have similar uses, but as social media becomes more difficult to use due to limited audiences, have also become a point to get a message across and reach a maximum audience. Additionally, many brands and companies use email lists to build up excitement towards a product launch by placing a form to be filled out and promising a message to be sent later. This is also an effective way to generate leads.

What are some email technologies that can help with this?

For those who are interested in using email lists, there are a variety of technologies available at many different price points. Of course, you can go the traditional route and send emails right from a generic email, but that would not give you the creative templates and analytics available in other platforms that help increase open rate and interaction with your audience.

Three powerful email tools that exist on the market today are MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Infusionsoft. MailChimp and Constant Contact allow for building of lists and integration with social media while Infusionsoft creates a lead generation pipeline which also informs the email administrator about whether recipients are reading emails and recommends appropriate follow-up emails to send based upon audience interactions.

How do you grow an email list using WordPress?

If you’re convinced that building an email list is within your interests, each of the three tools we just mentioned above also has a WordPress plugin. They are all free to install, though any subscription costs will be incurred when you sign up for an actual account on their websites.

To grow an email list using any of these tools requires dedication and consistency. Consider the following sample tactics as ways you could do this:

  1. Blog and include calls to action at the end
  2. Offer a free download of an eBook or a piece of content your audience will find valuable, and require an email address be entered in order for the piece of content to be obtained
  3. Build a community while you are building your website, and offer an email list as a way to stay in touch with you
  4. If you are already selling something, use the emails of your users who are buying things as a way to keep in touch with them regularly
  5. Give something away in your email lists, and ask your audience to forward the message on so that their friends can be a part of the excitement too

With these tips in mind, we encourage you to go forward and build an email list! If you’ve got any tips as well, we’d love to hear how you’ve hacked your own email list in the comments below.