Five Ways to Build a Great B2B Mailing List

An active mailing list is a must-have for B2B marketers and incredibly valuable for businesses that rely on email campaigns to circulate information, drive sales, and promote new products or services. 

The key is to ensure your email database is high quality rather than a paid-for mailing list that includes a large proportion of irrelevant recipients or those without the decision-making authority to act on the information you choose to send.

Today, we look at some of the tried and tested strategies to build a targeted mailing list that will produce great click-through and open rates and can multiply the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

Five Ways to Build a Great B2B Mailing List

The Issue With Paid-for Mailing Lists

We wouldn't recommend any B2B business pay for a mailing list. Yes, it's quick, and it might be cheap, but there is significant potential to damage your business reputation and invest in email campaigns that won’t generate any response.

Third-party mailing lists can appear to be a simple solution, but they are problematic for several reasons:

Building a B2B mailing list from the ground up takes time and effort.”
  • Most bought mailing lists are low quality, without any knowledge about how email addresses have been collated. In many cases, they are randomised and often not relevant to your business sector or not in an area where you operate.
  • Recipients of unsolicited emails are very likely to unsubscribe, report the message as spam, and in many cases, cause your email host to limit your account.
  • Being associated with spam email campaigns and sending messages to buyers who have not opted in can create negative connotations and mean B2B procurement teams link your company with poor practices.

Building a B2B mailing list from the ground up takes time and effort. Still, every contact on your database will have chosen to participate and has willingly provided their details in the expectation that you will be sending them communications.

Your business then has the opportunity to cultivate relationships and use your mailing list to add value to buyer experiences – meaning they’ll turn to you if they need to purchase something and want to deal with a brand they know.

Five Ways to Build a Great B2B Mailing List

So, how do you go about asking potential buyers (or existing clients) to consent to your mailing list and capture their contact details? We’ll look at five strategies below, all of which you might choose to mix and match.

  1. Produce Valuable Content for Subscribers

B2B companies can publish informative, downloadable content and request an email address to receive a link or download an ebook. There are a few ways to go about this, but a buyer is more inclined to opt in if they regularly rely on your content, for example, to research trends or statistics.

Examples include whitepapers, reports, webinars, document templates, or anything else that is relevant and useful to your target buyer.

You can also produce a range of content, with some gated (requiring a login or email address to proceed) and some not – so you don't withdraw access to all your evergreen content but use the most in-demand downloads to add to your mailing list.

  1. Attract Sign-Ups in High Traffic Spots

Adding a pop-up at the right time or inserting sign-up forms throughout your website can improve mailing list sign-ups since you're not expecting your buyer to actively seek out your newsletter or mailing section to input their details.

For example:

  • You could have a sign-up form on your blog pages that shows after, say, 30 seconds of reading, asking your visitor to provide their email address to receive notifications when new content is available.
  • Exit pop-ups appear when a website visitor moves to leave – they usually provide a reason to stay, such as a discount or introductory offer. By requesting an email address to send a discount code to, for example, you give the buyer a reason to sign-up and reduce the potential for them to leave your site without further action.

Wherever you place sign-up pop-ups, they need to be used occasionally and carefully because continual pop-ups that obstruct the content on your page can have the opposite impact.

  1. Growing a B2B Mailing List Via Social Media

Another option is to improve your email marketing list by leveraging social media accounts and followings on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Cross-posting blogs is one option, where you replicate your website content or post on your social feeds with a link to your blog post – visitors will funnel through to your website, improving visitor traffic.

You could also use social media advertising tools to circulate gated content to a wider readership, with paid advertising features designed for lead generation.

One example is LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, where you add a CTA to a paid advert. This tool populates the sign-up form from the buyer’s LinkedIn profile so they can join your mailing list with one click.

  1. Host Online or Offline Events

Online webinars are an option we mentioned earlier – but you can expand on this idea in different ways to add more buyers to your B2B mailing list.

  • Attend events such as trade shows or conferences to introduce your brand to potential new buyers and collect new sign-ups face-to-face.
  • Look for opportunities to be a speaker or panel member at industry events, using the platform to promote your blogs, news resources or digital content to drive more traffic.
  • Work on a co-marketing project with another brand – you both contribute to the cost and effectiveness of your promotion and can mutually benefit from exposure to new audiences.

Any business event, digital or offline, is a chance to get in front of new prospective buyers, generate new leads, and grow your mailing list.

  1. Paid Sponsorship

Sponsorship can be a great method of introducing your company to potentially vast audiences and growing brand awareness – but the nature of the event or occasion you are sponsoring must be relevant.

Trade fairs and conferences often look for commercial sponsors. You might set up a sponsorship deal that allows you to contact all attendees, add a sign-up form to an event newsletter or report, or attend in person and collect contact details.

It is important to follow up on any of these touch points as soon as possible, solidifying awareness of your B2B company and refreshing your buyer’s knowledge of who you are and what you do!

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This post was written by:

Stuart Coe

Stuart is the Managing Director of Tiga Creative Marketing. He founded the agency over 30 years ago.
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