How To Build An Email List For A Non-Digital Business

How To Build An Email List For A Non-Digital Business

How To Build An Email List For A Non-Digital Business 1244 700 Chris Wilkie

Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies; in fact, 59% of B2B marketers claim that this is the best channel for generating revenue.

To add to this, 80% of retailers say it leads to the highest customer retention – even surpassing social media efforts.

In short, this means that even businesses that are non-digital, such as restaurants, pubs, bars, etc. can also benefit from email marketing; a study even found that emails have a click through rate that is six times higher than tweets.

But to be effective, you need to first build an email list so you can get the best possible ROI from your marketing efforts.

An email list is just a list of collected emails that businesses gather over time from customers. Customers sign up for the list to receive updates on products, discounts, seasonal sales, and other details about the business – directly into their inbox.

Let’s first go through the benefits of building a list, and running email marketing campaigns designed to engage and retain consumers:

Benefits Of Email Marketing

Email marketing has a lot of benefits, especially if you are not an online business, and don’t have other means of connecting with your customers once they walk out from your establishment. These include:

  • Direct communication with your customers
  • A broader audience base that includes the people who aren’t active on social media
  • Low marketing costs
  • Emails also acquire new customers around 40 times better than Twitter or Facebook.
  • Surveying the market to determine customer demands
  • Word of mouth (QuickSprout found that email subscribers are three times more likely to share content on social media than leads coming from any other channel).


Every email you send to the customers should contain to something valuable. Non-digital businesses can utilise email lists to raise awareness regarding new campaigns, product release, promotions, and even reward loyal customers. This will lead to increased consumer engagement, and eagerness to open the emails as they expect to gain something of value.
For example, restaurant owners can send email alerts about a revamped menu, while boutiques can promote their summer sales to returning customers who have subscribed to the list.

Remember, consumers who purchase through email tend to spend around 138% more than people who do not subscribe to your list.

Building An Email List From Scratch

Before you start building a solid email list for your business, make sure you have the following supporting resources:

Detailed Knowledge About Your Target Audience
Prior to building an email list, it’s always better to know exactly who these people are. By creating a basic marketing persona, you can determine how well different kinds of emails would be received.

To gain valuable information like the customer’s demographics (including age, gender, and even salary), as well as their buying goals, use tools like BLACKBX – a Wi-Fi marketing platform that makes capturing information like this easy, and fully compliant with regulations like GDPR. This is the ideal way of gaining a large number of email addresses, especially since most customers want to connect to free Wi-Fi.

A good way to encourage more people to connect – and thus, sign up for your newsletter – is by announcing the fact that you offer free Wi-Fi on your menu, on the concierge’s desk, on your waiting staff’s aprons, tables, etc.

An Updated Website With Attractive Landing Pages
You also need a solid base to direct your email list members to; the business website is the best location for this purpose.

If you’re a small business with a minimalistic website, don’t worry. All you really need is a basic landing page that contains your email/subscriber form.

Now that you’re ready with the above-mentioned resources, it’s time to get to the actual job at hand – building your email list.

Here is a step-by-step guide that is guaranteed to help you build an effective list:

1. Sign Up For An Email Marketing Service
To reap the benefits of your mailing list, you first need to choose the right email marketing service for your business.

These marketing services generally tend to offer different pricing models that you can choose from. To test the waters, try a basic package and see how well it works.

Popular examples include MailChimp and Hubspot – or you can use any provider that you’re comfortable with, and simply export all the customer data through a software like Zapier.

2. Integrate Email Into All Marketing Strategies
With the help of your email provider, integrate your mailing lists with any other platform that your business is active on. This will allow you to collect email addresses from different platforms, and even alert the consumer whenever you send an email.

3. Optimise Your Website
Campaigns and attractive landing pages are the top ways through which you can collect emails. You could include the following into your website:

  • Personalised CTA For Each Landing Page Or Blog – In a study conducted by HubSpot, personalised CTAs have led to 42% higher view-to-submission rates than uniform CTAs all over the website.
  • Slide-Ins – Slide in advertisements, or website retargeting can help you engage the consumer better. They can convince a visitor to stay, and even attract them towards a particular product or service.
  • Opt-In Forms – Good opt-in forms can make or break your mailing lists. Be sure to only ask relevant questions. Don’t be too intrusive, but also, don’t hesitate to ask for the information that you need.
  • Timed Pop-Up Surveys – To increase the probability of your viewers signing up to the mailing list, first make sure they are well-invested. Pepper different pages with specific surveys related to that content, after the visitor has spent some time on the page.


4. Use BLACKBX
This service provides you with a branded login portal that greets your customers when they connect to your Wi-Fi. It further enhances your marketing campaigns by collecting valuable data to increase customer loyalty, sales, and even return visits.

Customers gain lifetime access to the business’s Wi-Fi, while you capture a ton of customer insights.

5. Set Up Auto-Responders
Now that you have an optimised website or landing page (through the Wi-Fi sign up portal); it’s time to ensure that you send the right content, at the right time, to subscribers.

A simple way to do this is by setting up auto responders. These are automated emails, scheduled in advance to send upon specific triggers or actions by your visitors.

BLACKBX can help you send action-triggered, highly targeted, and personalised messages automatically to your customers.

For example, you can set up an auto responder for when customers sign up to your list. This ‘welcome email’ can contain short message, followed by a coupon for 5% discount or complimentary dessert on their current dine-in order, or any other purchase.

This can be incredibly effective to increase sales, providing average of 320% more revenue per email than other promotional material.

As a non-digital business, it’s important to incorporate various mediums into your marketing efforts, such as email marketing. While excellent service is one aspect of retaining customers, targeted emails can keep them engaged – even when they’re not physically present in your store or restaurant.

And the most important factor to consider when building your mailing list is valued content. As long as you send good deals to your customer, they will remain engaged with your brand.

To take things a step further, carry out A/B testing to determine what kind of emails have higher opening, and click-through rates. This will offer you insights into what drives your customers – which can be further used to drive engagement, and ultimately, sales.

Want more information on how email can be used to boost your business? Read our eBook to understand how our platform makes it easier to reach your customers through their phones instantly!
Are you ready to start working on your email marketing efforts? Give us a try – we offer a free, no-obligation trial, and simple integration with your existing Wi-Fi equipment. Contact us today!