If you’re running any kind of business, you need a way to stay in touch with your prospects and engage with your customers. And since just about every single person in the world has an email address, building an email list is one of the most cost-effective solution for doing that. If your not building a targeted email list, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.



Email has been around since the beginning of the internet, it is still one of the best ways to generate - and more importantly - cultivate, leads.  (See Why Your Email List Is Still King)

If you're struggling to build an email list or are looking for different ways to increase the size of your high-quality list, then listen up.  We’ve put together a few simple tips that will help take your email list to the next level.

1. Use Your Website
If you're already getting traffic on your website, make it easy for people to sign up for your email list from your website homepage.  If you want to encourage more people to sign up then provide a clear benefit or incentive.  For example, "sign up to receive special offers and promotions," or "sign up to get our weekly email specials in your inbox."  These calls to action give people a reason to sign up, and make it easy for you to grow your list.

2. Start Blogging
A great way to grow your email list is by allowing people to subscribe to your blog.  The people who sign up are people who want to hear what you have to say.  By creating content on your blog, that has value to your audience, you can begin to cultivate a list of potential leads just by making it easy to subscribe to your existing blog. 

3. Use Video
Video can be an extremely powerful tool to capture the attention of your audience.  In addition to simply providing content through your blog, using social channels like YouTube (the #2 search engine in the world), can expand your reach.  You can easily add an email sign up to a video by using Wistia or LeadPlayer.

4. Free Content
Offering free content, such as white papers or ebooks, is a great way to grow your list.  By providing valuable content that your customers can use, you can add value to them, while also cultivating quality leads.  Creating a landing page, and an email form, makes it easy for potential customers to download quality content, while providing you with information and leads for your list.

5. Host a Webinar

In addition to other types of free content, a webinar gives you an opportunity to provide valuable information to those who attend and a way to connect with them later.  By offering information that is relevant to your target customer, you can build a list of qualified leads to nurture through email marketing afterwards.  

Start building your email list now or you may kick yourself later for taking so long to figure out how important an email list actually is.  Need help?  Shoot us a quick email and we'd love to talk.  Or, subscribe to this blog for free tips, delivered right in your inbox (see how easy that was!)


Small business owners have a lot to do.  In fact, running a small business can often be overwhelming when you really think about it.  You've got employees to train, teams to manage, products to sell, customers to please, and new customers to find.  It's no surprise then, that small businesses are resistant to adding to their already overflowing plate of "things to do," especially when it comes to things they don't understand.  I often find that blogging falls into the category of "things-I-just-don't-have-time-for-because-I-don't-see-the-benefit."


If that's you, you're not alone.  In fact, research shows that less than 18% of small businesses have an online blogging presence.   Here's the good news - that means that when you start a blog, you'll be far ahead of most of your competition!  And, companies that blog get 126% more leads (socialmediatoday.com).  If that wasn't enough of a reason, here's 7 more reasons that blogging might be good for your business.

1. Blogging Has a Lower Cost Of Investment

Small businesses are built on the hard work of the people who started them.  In addition to having to invest cash into your business, you're investing your experience - and your life.  Building a brand requires both money and time, and if you run a small business, you know there's no shortcut.  If you're like many small business owners, spending your resources on paid, traditional media advertising means not having that money to hire a team, or purchase inventory, or any of the other things you do everyday.

Blogging, on the other hand, allows you to create a far greater return on investment than many traditional advertising methods by spending your time creating content that attracts the right type of customers.  Blogging is a relatively inexpensive tool that can provide a huge return when used correctly.

2. Blogging Allows You To Share Your Expertise

Your customers aren't just looking for anyone to solve their problem.  Whether you're a lawyer, accountant, or pool repair technician, your customers want to know that they've chosen someone that knows their stuff, and can solve their problem.  Even if you're a boutique retail store, blogging gives you a chance to share your expertise, and position yourself as a resource among your potential customers.  By creating relevant, helpful content - on a regular basis - your readers view you as a subject matter expert, and that increases the chances that those readers will become customers.

3. Blogging Makes Your Site More Findable

Search engines exist for one reason.  Okay, they exist for two (when you include advertising).  Originally, however, they existed to help people find the most relevant information about whatever they were searching.  Blogging helps you build large amounts of searchable content that makes your company much more findable online, especially for the things your target customers are looking for.   More organic search traffic to your blog means more qualified leads to your online presence, which increases the quality of leads that contact you.

4. Blogging Gives Your Company A Voice

People want to do business with people.  Blogging allows your entire company to be a part of the client conversation, exposing your customers - and potential customers - to a much deeper relationship with your company.  Sure, not everyone in your company is a writer - but that's okay.  Everyone in your company has a different area of expertise (or you probably wouldn't have hired them).  By giving them a chance to create content that is relevant to their area, you make your company more approachable, and more relatable to your potential customers.

5. Blogging Helps You Sharpen Your Focus

By creating relevant content on a regular basis, you find yourself having to have a laser focus on who you are, and why you matter to customers.  Blogging makes you think about everything you publish, and make sure it lines up with what you want to say about your company.  

Blogging also requires you to think hard about your ideal customer.  In addition to focusing on what you're saying, you have to focus on who you're talking to.  By thinking about your reader (or ideal customer), you become more focused in all of your marketing efforts when you create blogging content that relates to them.

6. Blogging Results in Much Higher Quality Leads

Creating relevant content on a regular basis gives potential customers (leads) a reason to keep coming back.  The more someone is exposed to your content - and your business - the better they are able to make a decision about you and your company.  When they finally reach out to you, you'll find that you end up with much more qualified leads because a large part of the "qualification" process happens before they ever click "contact."  You'll also find that the leads you generate feel a greater sense of connection with you and your company, even before they ever talk to a person.

7. Blogging Makes You Sharable

Not only does blogging make you more findable, creating content on a regular basis gives your ideal customers an opportunity to share you with their friends.  Creating great content that is relevant to your customers is an invitation for them to spread the word.  Incorporating sharable links makes it easy for your readers to share your content (and therefore your business), with their social sphere of influence - which means your business is exposed to a far greater potential audience.  By the way, many of your best customers would share you with their friends if you made it easy for them.  For some of them, talking about you isn't their thing, but sharing you on Facebook or twitter is as simple as it gets.

What about you?  Does your company have a blog?  How has it helped your business?


Thinking that you should start a blog for your business?  If you read our most recent post, you may be wondering how to get started.  Here's a few simple steps you can take to get a blog started for your business.


1. Make It Someone's Job

If you don't make it someone's responsibility, there's pretty much no chance it'll ever generate any momentum.  That doesn't mean the entire project falls on one person's shoulders, but it does mean that there's at least one person who "owns" the success of the blog, and is accountable for it's execution. 

2. Identify Your Focus

What are you going to blog about?  Remember, the value in a blog is to create content that will help you connect with your ideal customer.  This means you are generating content that is both relevant, and helpful, to the people you want to do business with.  Your company blog isn't the place for random personal expositions, or pictures of cats.  It represents the face of your company, and you want it focused on content that attracts the right type of client

3. Create A Calendar

Before you start simply publishing content whenever you get around to it, start by creating a content calendar.  By mapping out your posts in advance, sometimes weeks or months in advance, you give yourself a plan you can follow.  This also makes it much easier to share the responsibility of creating content by delegating posts based on the calendar.  

I recommend you start by planning out at least 4 weeks.   This gives you time to create content, edit, and publish on a consistent basis.   Start by publishing on a schedule you know is sustainable for your business, beginning by posting 2-3 times a week.  Once you've gotten a good handle on your calendar, you can increase your frequency as you think is appropriate for your audience.

4. Find The Right Platform

Is your company's website already built on an existing content management system (CMS)?  If so, adding a blog is relatively easy.  If not, you'll have to decide which platform you are going to use, and how you plan to integrate it with your existing online presence.  There are a lot of different options available, from free (bloggerwordpress), to our personal favorite - squarespace.  

Which one is best for your business depends on a lot of variables, but the bottom line is that you should choose one that gives you the most flexibility, and that you feel most comfortable actually using.  Many of them (even the paid options) offer free trials so that you can get a feel for how you'll be using it on a regular basis.  

5. Be Prepared To Measure

If you're going to invest an effort in blogging, be sure to know in advance how you will measure it's success.  I've talked before about measuring your marketing, and it's especially important with blogging.  Free tools, like Google Analytics, can help you measure traffic, referral sources, the best content, and even conversions (to some extent).  At the same time, some CMS tools include robust analytics built in, and software like Hubspot gives you not only a tool for managing your content, but directly tracking what happens when customers interact with both your blog, and your website.



Do you blog for your business?  What tips would you share with other small businesses just getting started?   Leave a comment below!