Building an email list is important to any company. Having a way to connect with your customers, promote special offers and maintain brand awareness is crucial, and email is a great tool to make it happen.

That said, there are many different ways to build your list, so how do you know which ones are going to be most effective, particularly if you are a B2B company? Luckily, Marketing Sherpa recently released a study mapping out the most effective list building tactics.

Interestingly, the study demonstrates that what works when trying to build an email list to attract consumers doesn’t work as well for the B2B marketplace, and vice versa. By far the most effective way for a B2B organization to build up their list is to require registration during downloads – this had a 64 percent effectiveness rate. Compare that to webinars, which only had a 47 percent effectiveness rate, and you get a fairly decent idea of where to put your list building efforts. Email newsletter subscriptions seem to be not as successful as you would think – showing a fairly small 27 percent effectiveness rate. Social media sharing had the worst overall results, with a zero percent effectiveness rating.

Having up-to-date metrics like this is important, because it allows you to figure out how to allocate your resources most effectively. It’s also good news for B2B companies, since requiring registration for downloads is not only the best way to build your list, it’s one of the least costly of all available options.

Channel marketing organizations – whether the vendor or the distribution partner – can benefit from this knowledge.   Vendors should syndicate their marketing content in the form of white papers, eBooks, etc out to their channel partners; who in turn, can make them available for download (with a simple, short registration form of course) and voila, they have a growing email distribution list.