How to Build an Email List for Your Local Business

By Raubi Perilli

      Jun 3, 2022     Solutions    

To get local customers to come back to your business again and again, you need to keep in touch with them. You need to send them reminders and incentives to visit. One way you can do that is through an email list.  

Knowing how to build an email list is an essential skill for local businesses. You need ways to collect contact information from customers so you can continue to reach them and pull them back toward your business.  

If you don’t currently have an email list or you are struggling with adding customers to your database, here’s a lesson on how to build an email list for a local business.  

How to Build an Email List from Scratch

Use these tactics to encourage customers to sign up to join your email list. Every new sign-ups presents an opportunity to create stronger email marketing campaigns that build brand loyalty and drive customers back to your business.

Offer coupons.

Customers will be more likely to share their email address if you offer them something valuable in exchange. Coupons are a great incentive to drive customers to share their email address, especially if the coupons can be used immediately. For example, you can invite website visitors to enter their email address to get 20% off on their next visit to your business.

Run a contest.

Contests are a great way to both encourage followers to join your email list and drive new customers to your business. Run a contest with a desirable grand prize (such as dinner-for-two or two free admissions to your attraction) to drive interest. Also offer a reward for people who sign up and don’t win. Giving a coupon to every entrant can increase sign-ups while encouraging people to visit your business to use their coupon.  

Learn More: The BEST Marketing Contest Ideas for Restaurants

Create a customer loyalty program.

A customer loyalty program is a great way to reward customers while encouraging them to share their email address. Set up profiles for your customers identified by their email address and offer them rewards for their visits. A customer loyalty program not only collects email addresses, but it also encourages customers to visit again as they can gain rewards for visiting more often.

Host an event.

Hosting an event at your location is a great way to gain email addresses when guests register to attend. Branded events offer you a chance to showcase your business and give customers a reason to visit. Consider hosting an event where guests can learn something, engage with your products through demos, or get a free tasting of new menu items.

Request an email address during the check-out process.

When customers are engaged with your business, it is a great time to ask for their email address. Make it a part of your process to request email addresses during the check-out process.  

  • Ask customers to create an account while placing online orders.
  • Prompt customers to provide their email when paying at a kiosk.
  • Train your staff to ask for email addresses when checking out a customer.

Feature an opt-in on your website.

Customers on your website are highly interested in your business. They want to learn more about your business so make it easy for them to stay in touch with your brand. Offer a basic opt-in on your website so it’s easy for customers to join your list. Highlight the benefits of signing up to encourage opt-ins. Let customers know what to expect for being on your list. Tell them what information you will send them and how often you will contact them.

Related: How to Create a Restaurant Email Marketing Strategy

3 Tips for Building Your Email List

When learning how to build an email list, there are a few things to keep in mind. Use these tips when collecting email addresses from your customers.  

Make it easy and valuable for customers to join your list. Remember that your customers are doing you a favor when they give you their email address. Don’t make customers work hard to share their information. Keep the process as simple as possible. And, always reward customers for sharing their email address. Thank them by offering exclusive deals or premium content that thanks them for joining your list and trusting you with their information.  

Related: 45 Email Marketing Ideas to Inspire Your Next Campaign  

Collect other useful data from customers. Email is just one piece of data that can help you better serve customers and stay in touch with them. As you build an email list, consider how you can collect other details in a customer data platform. A customer data platform creates customer profiles so you can collect data on past purchases, stores visited, frequency of visits, and more, so you can segment your list and provide more relevant content to subscribers.  

Always think about list building. Building your email list isn’t a one-time task. You should always be thinking about new ways to build your list and offer incentives to customers to sign up. When you approach new marketing initiatives, consider if there are ways to add email opt-ins to content on:  

  • Landing pages
  • Social media posts
  • Social media or directory profiles
  • Business flyers
  • Digital and print ads

Build an Email List for Your Local Business

If a customer is interested in your business, give them an easy way to stay connected with your brand. Use these tips and learn how to build an email list that creates a bond between your business and your most loyal customers.  

From there, use email marketing to stay top-of-mind with customers. Provide value and offers that keep customers interested and make them eager to return to your business.  

If you need help with setting up systems to build an email list, support for growing your email list, or tips for getting the most out of your email marketing, MyArea Network is here to help. Schedule a call with our team to see how we can help you set up a valuable email marketing program from top to bottom.