Small and medium size businesses (SMBs) don’t always have the flexibility to spend as much as they’d like on emailmarketing. This fiscal reality makes less expensive forms of marketing more important for SMBs. One particularly effective format for SMBs, email, remains a top channel for increasing sales, as long as these enterprises are diligent about building their email lists.

A recent Constant Contact survey of 700 for-profit and nonprofit SMBs finds that for 60% of these operators, email list building is a continuous process.

A good email subscriber list helps SMBs:

  • Build repeat business or donations 44%
  • Improve customer relations 39%
  • Obtain referrals from existing clients 12%

In the B2B sector, 29% of surveyed operators count on email marketing to nurture leads and help them acquire customers. List building for B2B operators is critical as they can use this information to personalize campaigns and deliver quality content.

Effective email list building requires a concerted effort through multiple contact points. Constant Contact executives say that 64% of SMBs  train their staff members to collect contact information at every opportunity. But SMBS are falling short in some areas. For example, only 35% are gathering this information at the point of sale and only 46% make use of Facebook as a way to collect contact information. SMBs are getting better at gathering this information at events (60%). One popular way to so do involves collecting business cards (42%).

Contests have long been another popular way to capture contact information. Have you used any unique ways to collect email information for your subscriber list?

[Sources: Email Marketing Survey. 28 May 2013. Web. 6 Jun. 2013; Email Marketing Matures. btobonline.com. 13 May 2013. Web. 6 Jun. 2013] ]