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The non-expert guide to list building

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Posted by , 3rd September 2020

I don’t claim to be an “expert” on list building but I do get asked about this subject a lot. Here's what’s worked for me and some of my clients.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

I don’t claim to be an “expert” on list building but I do get asked about this subject a lot. 

By the way, if you have an established and well-oiled machine for list building you can stop reading now. You probably know more about this subject than I do.  

If on the other hand, your business is like many others that seek better ways to build lists, perhaps I can help by sharing what’s worked for my business and those of some of my clients. 

  1. Building a list of the right people within the type of companies you want to do business with takes time 
  2. Having a list building process in place, however modest, is better than sporadic efforts 
  3. Simple is often effective 

Having a process for list building works 

Mapping out a simple strategy and process for list building could look a bit like this example. It deals specifically with using a website to drive sign-ups.   

Website: Much of your company’s marketing probably encourages people to visit your website. 

At the very least, it will usually include your web address. 

What can you do to encourage sign-ups to your list when potential buyers visit? 

Add a Sign-Up Box; If you publish a newsletter or updates of any kind, encourage visitors to register their details so that they can receive your latest information. 

Ensure the box is prominent and easy to spot on a webpage (they are most effective when placed top-right of the page). 

Many businesses also use pop-up and exit boxes to encourage sign-ups. 

Personally, I don’t like pop-up boxes because they appear before the content is read. Exit boxes I feel work better because if I like what I’ve read, I’ll be inclined to sign-up.    

Landing Page: A website landing page is allied to the Sign-Up Box. It’s a page where you present the benefits of signing-up for your updates. This is “the what’s in it for you” message.  

The copy can be long or short and you can test which version works most successfully. 

Blog posts with links: Within blog posts, insert links to your sign-up page. If someone finds your posts useful and informative there’s a strong chance they will want to hear more from your business. 

Lead Magnets

Lead Magnets: A lead magnet as the name suggests, is something that draws buyers towards your business. 

Examples of magnets include; reports, whitepapers; downloadable books, videos and podcasts to name just a few. 

Successful lead magnets provide deep value to their readers or viewers. They provide an opportunity for your company to highlight in-depth expertise in a subject. In this way, lead magnets build buyer confidence in the company that has produced the content. 

The mechanics of making a magnet accessible are not complicated; you just need to make it clear that in order to get the magnet, a sign-up to your email list is required. 

This is the bargain you strike. You provide something worthwhile in exchange for each sign-up. 

Trade shows are of course an excellent tool for list building and list development but that’s a subject for another post.

Meantime, if you want to start producing lead magnets or other forms of content to attract prospective clients write to david@exhibitorsonly.biz and we can set-up a call to discuss what you need.   

Very best, 


Posted in B2B Marketing  /  Copywriting  /  Trade show marketing

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