Email is one of the most resilient channels of communication that came about in the digital revolution. Instant messaging still hasn’t replaced it, no matter how popular messaging platforms become in the business setting. It’s the same with marketing — social media and video are the booming marketing channels, but none of them was able to dent the effectiveness of good-old email marketing.

Still, it takes some finesse to make the most out of email, just as with any other channel. There are certain things you can do to make your emails easier to read, for example. If you’re thinking about using email for marketing purposes, however, it’s even more complicated. Not only do you need to be able to craft the right message with the right content, but you also need to grow a high-quality email database. And because doing that is not easy, here are a couple of ways you can get started.

  1. Use Your Website

No matter how many digital assets your business uses, the website will probably always hold the chief position. If you’re an Internet-savvy businessperson, you have probably set up all your online marketing activities so that they lead prospects straight to your website. Once they get there, you can ask them to buy your products or sign up for your services. But you can also ask them to give you their email.

There are a couple of ways you can do this. The obvious one would be to simply ask visitors if they’d like to give you their emails, so you can contact them in the future. However, this probably wouldn’t be the best approach. Instead, try to offer them something in return. If you create a great piece of content for them to download, or have a very useful and trendy newsletter they would want to read, your visitors will be much more likely to give you their email address. You must give something to get something in return.

  1. Use Your Emails

Chances are that you’re already using email for business and personal purposes, other than marketing. You might communicate with other businesses, industry leaders, prospects, or any other person that might not be privy to your need to grow an email list.

You shouldn’t badger these people into signing up every chance you get to communicate with them. But you can still use your emails to discreetly promote your budding email list. Simply add a line in your signature that mentions whatever you’re offering in return for a signup, and include a small link. And that’s it.

  1. Use Offline Materials

We’re not heading to an omnichannel marketing world. We’re already there. A business is just as likely today to use Facebook ads as it’s likely to use brochures or radio and TV spots. The best thing about this is that you can use one channel, or a group of them, to promote your activities on another group of channels.

So if you’re already making printed or other offline marketing materials, why not include a mention of your email list? You shouldn’t do it bluntly, of course. Asking people to go to your website and sign up to receive something nice you’ve prepared for them would be the best way to approach this.

  1. Get Other Businesses to Help Out

No business exists in a vacuum. You probably have tons of competitors nipping at your heels. There are probably more than a few whose heels you’re eyeing. But there are also other businesses that are in the same or similar industry as you but are not your competitors. If you’re a person who likes to network, and you should be if you want success, you probably have communication with a couple of those businesses.

You can team up with friendly businesses that aim at similar audiences as you and agree to a cross-promotion. You mention something they need in your marketing communications, and they mention your awesome sign-up page and the things visitors get for signing up.

  1. Spread the Word in Person

If your business has a physical location, like a shop or an office, you can use every time you meet a new customer or client to spread the word about your email list. You can craft a pitch for your employees to deliver, or you can create printed materials like posters that will spread the message.

If you really want to grow your email list, you will make it your mission to do so. When going to industry events, for example, you should be able to find a way to drop your email list into every conversation you have. It would be best if you opened with the great thing you offer in return, or by mentioning the benefits of being on the receiving end of emails your business sends. Just like many other things in business, growing an email list will require you to work at it for a while before you see the results. But if you do everything right, the results will be worth it.