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How to Create an Email List That Grows on Its Own

Rafael Valdez
February 26, 2020 6 min. read
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Email marketing is a no-brainer if you want to get more clients for your home service business. But if you want to take advantage of it, you need to learn how to create an email list that grows on its own.

What makes email marketing so great? Not only does it offer one of the highest ROIs of any marketing method—$32 for every dollar spent—but it:

  • Is highly targeted, allowing you to reach customers who need your services
  • Is easy to track who opened your emails and booked work
  • Keeps you top-of-mind with potential customers who may need your services later on
  • Lets you automate your marketing so you can book jobs even during the off season

Sounds great, right? Before you can get those kinds of results, you need to build an email list. Here’s how.

What is an email list?

An email list is simply a database of contacts or subscribers you can market to via email. Each contact on the list will have a name and a corresponding email address.

You can use this list to send targeted emails to multiple recipients at once, track who opened them, and set up automated emails throughout the year.

How to create an email list: a 3-step process

Before detailing how to create an email list, let’s address the elephant in the room: Should you buy an email list?

The short answer is no, unless you’re buying them from a trusted resource.

The long answer is that buying an email list can:

  • Lead to a poor quality list with contacts who don’t want your services.
  • Harm your brand, especially when you send emails to customers who aren’t interested. It tells them you haven’t done your research.
  • Increase your chances of being marked as ‘spam.’

There are ways to buy an email list strategically, but the better approach is to grow your list organically so that you’re building a list of high-quality leads who actually need your services.

The upcoming section will show you how to create an organic email list like this.

Step 1: Choose your email marketing software

The first step in email list building is to choose your email marketing software. Email marketing software makes it easy to organize your contacts and send mass emails to them without having to write an individual email and send it one by one.

Email marketing software also helps ensure your carefully written messages don’t end up in spam folders.

When deciding on an email platform, look for one that makes it easy to:

  • Import existing contacts from your CRM platform
  • Create different customer groups and segments
  • Create professional-looking emails in no time thanks to a drag-and-drop interface and ready-to-go templates

One platform that meets these criteria is Mailchimp. The email marketing platform is free for the first 2,000 subscribers, which makes it ideal if you’re just starting to create your email list. Mailchimp also syncs with Jobber’s field service software, so you can import your existing customers and hit the road running with pre-made email marketing templates.

There are other email marketing platforms available, including Aweber and Constant Contact. For more details and a full cost breakdown of these platforms, read our email marketing starter guide.

Step 2: Import existing contacts

A fast way to build a highly targeted list is to reach out to existing customers and ask them if they want to join your email list. Just make sure that they understand what’s in it for them (e.g., they will receive exclusive offers), and that they can unsubscribe at any time.

You can ask them to join your list in-person or via email. Here is an email template you can use to ask prospects if they want to join:

For those who say yes, add their details manually in your email software. Alternatively, you can automatically import your existing client list in a few clicks.

Watch the video below to see how this works using Jobber and Mailchimp:

If you’re just starting your business, you may feel like you have a small email list. But remember: it doesn’t matter if you have 50 contacts or 5,000, email marketing is still an effective marketing channel.

If you’ve created your email list organically using your existing customer base instead of buying random emails, you’ll have a targeted database that you can start using immediately to market your services and remain top-of-mind. The value of a list lies in the quality of contacts, not the quantity.

And don’t forget that building a list is an ongoing process. You can—and should—always ask new customers if they want to join your list.

Step 3: Create a sign-up form for your website

Once you’ve chosen an email software platform and imported existing customers, you can grow your email list.

The larger your email list is, the more people you can sell your services to, upsell, or stay top of mind with.

To grow your list, use your email marketing software to create sign-up forms. These are forms you place on your website, which automatically capture names and emails. Here’s an example of a basic sign-up form on Mailchimp:

basic sign up form in Mailchimp email marketing

You can also create pop-up forms that automatically appear or “pop up” when customers visit certain pages of your site. See how Justin George of Odd Job does it?

email capture pop op form by Odd Job service business

How you create these forms depends on what email software you use. But here’s an overview of how to create a sign-up form using Mailchimp and Jobber:

1. Select the Audience tab in Mailchimp.

2. Choose the audience you created when you connected your Mailchimp and Jobber account.

Selecting an audience in Mailchimp email marketing

3. Navigate to Manage Audience and select Signup forms.

Select sign up forms in Mailchimp email marketing

4. Select Embedded forms.

embedded images in Mailchimp email marketing

5. Select your type of form: Classic, Condensed, Horizontal, and Unstyled. If you want more customization options, avoid the condensed form.

6. Customize your form by including relevant fields (e.g., surname), changing the title, and adjusting the width. You can even add GDPR-friendly form fields.

Custom form fields in Mailchimp email marketing

7. Highlight and copy the form code.

Copy and paste form code for Mailchimp email marketing

8. Paste the code into the HTML of your website.

You’re now ready to collect emails and build your contact list.

For more details on how to create and add a sign-up form to your website, read Mailchimp’s guide ‘add a signup form to your website’.

Now that you’re all ready to collect new contacts on your site, it’s time to encourage visitors to share their email address. To do this, consider giving them something in return, such as a discount code on the next job they book with you.

Also, make sure that visitors fully understand what they’re signing up for and that they can unsubscribe at any time. You can, for example, include the following message at the bottom of every sign-up form:

Build your email list today

With email marketing being highly effective in achieving an ROI, targeting the right customers, and remaining top-of-mind with customers, creating an email list to take advantage of these benefits makes perfect sense.

By now you should have a firm grasp on how to create this email list by following three simple steps: Choosing your email marketing software, importing existing contacts, and building your first sign-up form.

The only thing left to do is to turn all this theory into practice and build your email list today—something Jobber and Mailchimp can help you with.

Simply connect your Jobber and Mailchimp account, watch your existing Jobber contacts automatically sync, and start your email marketing journey today.

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