MarketingSherpa recently published a chart, identifying the main list building tactics B2B marketers use. In its B2B marketing benchmark 2011, the company found email is the third most important lead generation channel for B2B marketers.

A closer look at effective B2B email list building tactics that work according to correspondents.

Registration during purchase is one of the list building tactics that is considered very effective. Prior to the purchase of an item or a subscription of any service, the customer is typically asked to register his information for quicker access to his account in the future.

However, part of the process is also to continue sending product updates and to generate more sales through email marketing.

Bonus tip: never force customers to register when they are buying to improve conversion.

The list building effect of webinars and contests

Online events such as webinars, contests and competitions are the second most effective way in building an email list. When people show interest for these online events, they are required to register and sign up on the website before being allowed to participate. Although this process is just part of the registration, companies are able to obtain the contact information of these potential customers and use the information for marketing purposes.

Bonus tip: don’t ask too much information, unless the value offered in return is very high. It’s best to use progressive profiling in other cases.

Proven list building tactics still work: what about social?

The good old website registration page is the third most effective way in building an email list. In the survey, 37% out of the respondents indicated it is very effective while 51% of the same pool of people indicate that it is somewhat effective.

According to the same report, paid search is the fourth most effective way to build an email list. 30% of the participants indicate that it is a very effective method while 55% of the subjects indicate it is somewhat effective. In order to gather leads, companies use paid search with registration purposes.

Effectiveness of B2B email list building tactics – source MarketingSherpa
Effectiveness of B2B email list building tactics – source: MarketingSherpa

The Facebook registration page is another way to build an email list. Although it is not considered to be a very effective method by most participants of the survey, 47% of respondents indicate that it is somewhat effective. Social media is an alternative in gaining attention and building the company’s email list. However, Facebook is not considered as a list building source in B2B.

So, is social media of any use for B2B list building tactics? It certainly is and the chart is somewhat misleading in that regard. An integrated social and email approach can lead to better results for list building purposes. Include email registration possibilities on your corporate blog (considered a somewhat effective tactic by 69% of respondents) and for B2B marketing certainly also look at LinkedIn and online communities. But most of all: don’t overlook content marketing and use relevant content for B2B list building.

The latest edition of the European Buyersphere found B2B marketers increasingly look for content so make sure you offer possibilities to sign up for your email lists where they find the information they seek.