Building an optimal email marketing list is one of the most valuable investments that a business can make. The more relevant users someone has on their email list, the better the chance they have of increasing conversions. Therefore, creating and growing such a list is of the utmost importance. These 9 simple steps can help businesses to achieve this important and profitable goal.
1) Get Started with an Email Marketing Platform
Businesses or individuals looking to start an email list from scratch don’t have to go it alone. There are a number of affordable email marketing services that help businesses grow their lists and get the most out of them afterward. These services provide guidance and technical support for those who are just starting out, as well as email marketing tips for seasoned professionals.
Read up on the various services that are available to understand the pros and cons of each, and determine which platform is the right one for your particular business.
2) Have a Signup Form Throughout Your Website or Blog
Anyone visiting a company’s website or blog is a potential customer, and an easy email list signup form should be placed on every website or blog in a prominent position on the homepage, as well as within the various article pages and back pages.
The more information a business can glean about a consumer, the more effectively they can personalize their email campaigns. However, the form should be unobtrusive and quick to fill out. A balance must be struck between collecting valuable information, and getting as many people as possible to sign up by making it quick and easy.
3) Use Popup Windows to Get People’s Attention
No matter how prominent an email signup sheet may be, some visitors may subconsciously relegate it to the “advertisement zone” and gloss over without actually seeing it. Another way to grab people’s attention is through popup ads that give them the option of joining an email list.
The popup can either come up automatically after the visitor has scrolled down to a certain point of the site, or it can come up when they try to navigate away from the site: something in the vein of, “Before you go, sign up to stay updated on our weekly deals.” It is no secret that popups can be annoying, but they have also been proven to be highly effective.
4) Offer Consumers Email-Only Specials
In addition to a general signup list, businesses can offer consumers something of value in exchange for their email address, such as a sale offer or discount, or some sort of free informational product, such as an eBook or a webinar.
In this way, the search for new email subscribers can go beyond visitors to the company’s website or blog, as such offers tend to be very shareable on social media. Many people will see giving their email address and other basic subscription information as a reasonable price to pay for something that truly offers them value.
5) Hold a Contest or Giveaway
Another method of offering consumers value in order to get them to sign up for an email list is to hold a contest or giveaway in which they have the opportunity to win a free prize. An email signup campaign of this nature is also well suited to targeting new consumers through social media.
An interesting contest with a valuable prize has the potential to go viral and net the business a slew of new subscribers who have previously been unfamiliar with the company.
6) Throw In-Person Events
Simply because email is an online vehicle doesn't mean that offline events can’t be used to grow a subscriber list. Having a physical email signup sheet or a bowl to drop business cards into can be a good way of keeping up a relationship with potential customers who attend an in-store event.
7) Include Social Share
If a business believes the emails they are sending to their subscribers offer true value—as they should—then the next logical step is making it easy for people to share these valuable emails. Including share buttons for multiple social platforms is a proven method of increasing conversions and gaining new email subscribers.
Many email marketing platforms, such as Vertical Response and Constant Contact, offer help in integrating email and social media campaigns in this fashion.
8) Reward Customers for Getting a Friend to Sign Up
A company’s current email subscribers might not naturally think of signing up a friend for a newsletter or email blast that they receive, but they will be much more inclined to do so if the action is incentivized.
Word of mouth has always been essential for the success of businesses, and this is no different in the modern age. Offering subscribers a significant discount or free gift for getting friends to sign up for an email list is an effective way to use the tools of today to spread the word about a business.
9) Include an Email List Opt-in on Your Bill or Invoice
One of any business's main goals is to turn one-time customers into return customers. Prompting them to join an email list on a bill or invoice that has been mailed to them is an effective way of doing this.
Offering customers a discount on a future purchase or free shipping in exchange for signing up to the email list can help ensure that these customers make purchases again. In fact, email subscribers of this variety, whose purchasing history is known to the company, can lead to some of the highest conversion rates.
Growing an email marketing list can be time consuming and requires the allocation of valuable resources. However, the payoff of a well cultivated list of potential customers that can be reached directly is well worth the effort. Email marketing services make this important avenue of reaching customers much easier, starting with providing businesses tools to build subscriber lists from scratch.