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How To Grow an Email List: A Guide for Building Materials Companies

We've compiled the ultimate guide for growing and nurturing your B2B email list so you know what to do every step of the way.

by Beth PopNikolov
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Building materials manufacturers with an effective email marketing strategy are better positioned to move leads through the sales pipeline and convert them into buyers. But before you can do that, you need to build your email list so that you're communicating with the right people at the right time. We've compiled the ultimate guide for growing and nurturing your B2B email list so you know what to do every step of the way.

What is an Email List?

An email list is a mailing list for your customers and leads that is delivered electronically through their inbox instead of through a print direct mail campaign. A quality email list helps to increase sales and brand awareness for your building materials company, making it a crucial part of your B2B sales pipeline.

No matter where your email list stands today, there are several smart strategies you can implement to grow your contacts with the right people, including opt-ins, social media and landing pages.

Why Should Your Business Have An Email List?

Email marketing has a proven track record of delivering great results in the building materials industry. Not only is it a non-invasive way of information delivery and product promotion, it's also an effective way to generate B2B leads.

In addition to retaining current customers, email marketing allows you to nurture new leads into paying customers. Plus, utilizing your email list allows you to position your building materials brand as an industry expert in the eyes of professionals like architects, designers, builders and contractors.

Not only can you advertise new products and services, you can also share valuable insights and resources that solve your audience's problems. B2B buyers are very likely to share useful content via email to their networks, which grows your pipeline.

The value of email marketing also typically outweighs the cost. In fact, one study revealed that B2B email marketing ROI can reach more than $36 for every dollar invested in the strategy.

How to Grow An Email List

Ready for the exact strategy to grow your email list with quality leads? Here's your roadmap to success.

#1: Implement a Permission Marketing Mindset

The key to effective email marketing lies in a notion known as “permission marketing.” It's important to obtain permission from your customers and prospects before adding them to your email marketing mailing list. That way, your email newsletter builds goodwill with your customers rather than annoys them. Make sure you have a clear email signup form on every page of your website to encourage people to join.

Also, any time you speak with a customer or prospect, discuss the value of your email newsletter and ask permission to add them to your list. This strategy ensures that you're adding the highest quality leads to your sales pipeline and fosters a positive relationship as you guide them through the buyer's journey. It also keeps you in compliance with anti-spam laws.

#2: Create Useful Content For Subscribers

Your company builds its products or services based on the value they provide to customers. Content marketing is no different. It's about creating informational value with targeted resources.

Be strategic with the topics you choose and make sure they're relevant to your target market. When brainstorming ideas, focus on content that solves problems for your audience, rather than solely posting about your company.

In order to truly engage your email list, you need to create meaningful content that people want to share. Otherwise, you'll notice a high unsubscribe rate, which typically indicates your newsletter isn't delivering what your audience needs or wants.

#3: Define Your Ideal Customer

In order to deliver meaningful content, you need to define your ideal customer, such as architects, builders or contractors. Create a detailed customer profile (also known as a buyer's persona) to help you target your marketing effort more effectively.

Think about the problems they face and how your brand can help address those issues. All of this information gives you a better understanding of the following:

  • Type of content your target customers want and respond to

  • The best platforms to reach them

  • Products or services that appeal to them the most

As a building material manufacturer, you may have more than one ideal customer. For instance, you may cater to both professionals and DIYers. Create a separate buyer persona for each category to help you deliver relevant content to different groups later on.

#4: Have a Clear Call to Action (CTA)

A call to action (CTA) tells your readers exactly what you want them to do next, whether it's clicking a "buy now" button or following a link to an installation video on YouTube.

CTAs state your intent and instruct subscribers as to what actions they can take to do business with you or learn more. Ultimately, it's a way for people to understand what's in it for them.

How do you craft the best CTA?

  • Provide something of value

  • Include enough information in the text to demonstrate that value

  • Use plain, jargon-free language

Also, situate the CTA either within your content or at the end of the email. People need time to read and understand the value before they're asked to take action. You should also give them an easy way to contact you with questions.

#5: Keep It Simple By Leveraging Email Marketing Tools

Skip the personal email account for email broadcasts and instead set up an email marketing campaign management system to automate the entire process of building your lists, designing and delivering your messages. Plus, these systems help you analyze data so you can effectively measure the success of your campaigns.

There are different types of email campaign management systems that offer varying levels of options and support tools to manage your list.

Popular options include:

  • MailChimp

  • Klaviyo

  • HubSpot

  • Aweber

  • SendinBlue

  • ActiveCampaign

It's well worth the investment of researching and purchasing the right system to ensure consistency and quality in your email list outreach.

#6: Track and Measure Your Email Campaigns

Just like your other marketing strategies, implement plans to measure success so you can compare current campaigns to past performance. Metrics also help you identify actionable strategies to improve your results in the future.

Use an email marketing campaign management system to access data-filled reports that track key metrics of success for your campaigns. This information tells you what does and doesn't work for your audience so you can adjust course and bring maximum ROI on your efforts to grow your subscriber list.

One great way to do this is to identify which landing pages on your website have the most conversions. Try to find the reason behind this success rate by adding surveys to ask visitors what they like the most about the page.

How To Grow an Email List A Guide for Building Materials Companies 22

#7: Filter Your Email List

Email list filtering (also called segmentation) allows you to group your email subscribers into various categories. This process ensures that each group only receives emails relevant to them, boosting the open rate and click-through rate (CTR).

To make the most out of filtered email lists, establish the right grouping criteria to optimize your B2B email marketing efforts, such as content-based or niche-based. For instance, you might send building material trend updates to architect subscribers, then reserve installation guides for contractors.

This step is easy to do by using email automation tools to segment your email lists. Filtering can significantly reduce your unsubscribe rates because content is more tailored to the reader. Remember, content is all about solving your audience's problems, but not every audience has the same problems.

#8: Increase Engagement with Personalized Emails

The more tailored and personalized the email is for the recipient, the better engagement you'll get. There are a few ways you can do this.

  • Use company names as well as individual recipients' names in the subject lines and the body of an email

  • Filter your audiences by demographics

  • Filter based on their stage in the sales funnel (such as new subscribers or abandoned cart)

Most email marketing platforms use personalization tokens that you can add to your emails to customize email copy and subject lines. You can add a contact’s name, sales rep information and even unique coupon codes without needing to know how to code.

Also, remember to include valuable content in all of your emails. Add personalized recommendations and shareable information, such as reports, white papers, images or a new product feature to pique the interest of the right group.

#9: Pick the Best Time to Send Your Emails

The timing of your emails is another factor that affects your open rate and can help you generate more leads. So don't be random about it — you need to know when your intended audience is more likely to spot and read your B2B email.

According to a study, the best time of day to send B2B emails to target recipients is between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m — this is when people usually check their inbox upon coming to work.

But if your audience consists of contractors, builders or other pros who are going from job site to job site, they may not have a mid-morning email routine. It may be more effective to experiment with early morning or evening send times.

Time zones also matter when sending emails. Check your audience's geographic demographics to determine the most common time zone.

#10: Incorporate Email Validation

As you grow your contacts, it's important to keep your email list healthy. Implement an email validation process, which checks if an email address is valid and deliverable.

There are a few benefits you'll experience by validating emails:

  • Reduce decay rate and boost your email deliverability

  • Optimizes your B2B marketing expenses by eliminating invalid or irrelevant contacts

  • Identify sender typos with redirected messages from your automation system

You can use apps like Neverbounce to verify your email list before each send. Remember, email lists are all about quality over quantity. Removing irrelevant or incorrect email addresses is the best way to keep your list clean and your metrics accurate.

#11: Craft Clear and Concise Messaging

When dealing with businesses rather than individual customers, it's essential to respect their time and make sure your email falls right into the recipient's attention span. Here's how to do that.

  • Be concise and bring value to your email subscribers

  • Cut down on unnecessary descriptions, fancy introductions and complex syntax

  • Use a minimalist design with bullet points, short paragraphs and simple sentences

Most people are quickly scrolling through to find the information they want — make it easy for them to do that.

#12: Determine the Right Frequency in Sending Emails

The right frequency can have a large impact on the success of your campaign. Businesses have different goals and customers, so there's no exact formula to calculate how often you should send an email to your list. If you really want to know what works, you’ve got to be willing to experiment at least a little bit.

Test valuable email offers and discover which frequency works best. Also check metrics like click-through rates, open rates and conversion rates to help determine your ideal frequency.

If interest drops, you may want to scale back. But if your open rates are high, your customers may want to hear from you more often.

#13: Leverage LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an effective (and often underutilized) social media platform for B2B marketing in the building materials industry. Post snippets of your email newsletter content to attract new recipients. Let users know that if they sign up, they can access entire pieces of content moving forward.

You can also post links to gated content that requires an email address to receive. If the material resonates with them, they'll consider subscribing to receive more high-quality content.

Also, share links to your sign-up pages in your interactions within LinkedIn. You can send it via InMail messages, comment threads and direct messages to people who express an interest in your brand.

#14: Launch a B2B Blog

A blog can be an incredibly powerful platform for attracting potential customers and incentivizing them to join your email list. Blog posts help increase your visibility through search engine rankings, which can in turn generate email subscribers. Also, consider adding videos on your site to increase engagement.

Consider each blog post as its own landing page. Include a CTA for email sign-ups because the blog is like a sneak preview of what your audience can expect from the newsletter.

In addition to blog content, use your website to leverage social proofs, testimonials and reviews. This simple step gives your brand authority and actually drives people to engage, whether by joining your email list or making purchases.

#15: Write Guest Posts and Appear in Podcasts

Increasing your exposure by guest blogging and appearing in podcasts helps you expand your contact list to a new audience. In addition to identifying opportunities on relevant blogs and podcasts in your industry, you also need to pitch a topic to talk or write about.

Research the media outlet's target audience and create an angle that's particularly relevant for them. In addition, be sure to scroll through old podcasts and blog posts to make sure you're not repeating topics.

Include a CTA for readers to subscribe to your site's blog or email newsletter. You can also advertise the episode or guest blog post in your newsletter for full-circle marketing.

#16: Collect Emails in Your Brick and Mortar Store

Adding in-person customers to your email list is a great way to engage warm leads and build loyalty. Consider launching a store membership that they can sign up for via email at the register. You can also create a separate email campaign designated for walk-in customers, which can help you keep in touch and create a loyalty rewards program.

#17: Use QR Codes

Connect your print marketing campaigns with your digital strategy by incorporating a QR code into your physical assets. Create a specific offer that drives them directly to an email sign-up page to receive discounts or exclusive deals.

Depending on the situation, you can also set your QR code to require email addresses in order to access additional content. Either way, QR codes can be extremely effective in creating a shortcut in the sales funnel.

#18: Conduct an Online Webinar

Webinars are the perfect opportunity to talk about your industry and access the audience of thought leaders that you may want to present with. Webinars are normally registered for via email, so you have audience emails to add to your list for further nurturing upon registration.

Segment this audience before and after the event with an email campaign relevant to your audience. So if you do a webinar targeted toward architects, you want to only send emails that are valuable for that audience in the future.

FAQs

What are the best ways to grow my email list?

It's smart to use a multi-faceted approach to growing your email list. Start off by creating useful content for your target audience, then disseminate it in different places, such as your company's website and social media profiles.

How to grow your email list without spamming people?

Use a permission mindset that only includes people on your email list who have opted in.

How have you started an effective email list?

Create strong CTAs on your most popular landing pages to allow people to sign up for your email list.

What are some effective ways to build an email list for your online business?

Start by identifying where your ideal audience spends their time, whether it's online, in-store or both. Then choose specific areas of focus to grow your online presence, which will simultaneously grow your email list.

How to build and engage an email list?

The best way to build and engage your email list is by creating valuable content. Some of this content can be gated so that people must enter their email addresses in order to access the content.

Are there any list-building techniques I should avoid?

Purchased lists are a surefire way to see an increase in unsubscribes and spam complaints. You should also avoid sending emails to old lists that you haven’t contacted in over a year, especially if they are B2B contacts. “The Great Resignation” has resulted in many email addresses becoming invalid over the last couple of years. Don’t waste time trying to track down contacts that may have resigned or moved to different positions.

Ready to grow your building materials email list? Schedule a call with a Venveo strategist.

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