Use List Building to Drastically Increase Your Warm Leads

Let’s face it, leads are the starting point of every project. You can’t have new business without reaching out to new contacts. You know as well as I do that cold calling just doesn’t work. Trying to force a relationship is tough, and that’s where you meet the most resistance. You have to ease people into trusting you enough to work with you. As designers, a lot is riding on us in terms of their business and its success. One of the best ways to get past the cold calling stage is to use list building to increase your warm leads. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can do that.

Provide Useful Information

When someone signs up for your email list, the 1st email they receive shouldn’t be one where you’re trying to get them to sign up for your services. They know about your services, because they’ve been on your website already. That’s how you got their email address in the 1st place.

Instead, in exchange for their email address, provide useful information that will help them and their business. Any type of value you can provide to them will help to establish trust and build your authority.

target businesses

Target Businesses

If you want businesses to contact you for work, it doesn’t make sense to target a general audience. Your posts and giveaways should target business owners and the problems they have. This helps in two ways.

  1. It targets people who are looking for this information in order to solver their own business problems.
  1. It shows them that you know what you’re doing, and that you’re available for hire if they need help.

Just like we create campaigns for a target audience for our clients, we should be thinking of our target audience when we create content and when we build our list. Bob’s retired uncle isn’t likely to hire you to build a new website, but the struggling local business owner will.

They’re Red Hot and Ripe (Ready to be Picked)

What I mean by that is, when someone signs up for your email list, they are after more information. They are there to see what else you have to offer. It only makes sense for you to give them as much value as you can, while not giving away all of your trade secrets.

Use Your List to Promote Business Events and Workshops

These workshops are a great way to turn interested parties into clients. When it comes down to it, business owners shouldn’t be building their own websites, designing their own logos, or coming up with their own package designs or branding materials. Workshops are a great way to help advanced business owners, but it can also be an eye-opening experience to the work that goes into developing these assets. Many times, they realize they are better off hiring you to take care of their email marketing, branding, website design work, and anything else their business needs.

Everyone feels like they can do it all, until they really sit down and try to do it. The truth is, they should be focused on running their business, not on the technical or digital side of the process.

You Have a Chance to Nurture and Grow a Relationship

When you sell high end products or services, list building is a great way to reach out to your potential clients frequently. If you call someone, and your pitch is off, that door is usually slammed shut. However, if they opt in to your email list, they have already expressed their interest. Until they unsubscribe, you still have an open door and a possibility of working with them.

how-to-grow-your-email-list

So How Do You Build Your List?

First, you’ll want to use an email-marketing platform to store your email addresses. There are a lot of different services out there with different price ranges. You’ll have to choose the one that is right for you. Which one do I recommend?

Mailchimp has a good free starter account. You get up to 2000 email contacts for free. After that, you’ll have to start paying. However, a list of 2000 prospects and leads is a great start, and by then you should be making enough to easily pay for the service. Plus, when you do you’ll open up their premium services like auto-responders, which will set your email marketing efforts on autopilot.

Getting Started: Building Your List

Once you’ve chosen a service, create a list. Here’s the beauty of email marketing platforms. You can create multiple lists, or you can create multiple segments within lists. This makes it easy to organize your email lists into different interests. Here’s an example:

You could have a list for prospects. Then, you could segment that list into different interests, based on your services. You could have one segment for web design, one for graphic design, one for logos, one for social media marketing, and the list goes on and on.

Why segment? The answer is simple. When it comes time to email your list, you can send to the people who are most interested in a particular service. You can finely tune and craft your email to people who need a website or people who need a logo.

Collecting Emails

Now that you’ve set up your lists, it’s time for the fun part. In your WordPress site, download SumoMe, which is a free WordPress Plug-in suite. It’s the one-stop shop for all of your email marketing needs. Create an account, install it and login in. This process is quick and intuitive.

I do this for every website I own. It is free, and I get the best results out of any email list building plug-ins or software out there. Trust me, I have tried them all, free and paid. Before finding SumoMe, the best opt-in rate I could get was a sad, sorry 5-10 emails per week. Yikes, I know that’s pretty low. However, when I installed SumoMe, my opt-in rates shot up to an astonishing 40-50 per week on average. Believe me, I was turning flips! That is a 500% increase in email opt-ins.

The 3 Top Ways to Collect Emails With SumoMe

list-builder

List Builder

No matter what anyone says, pop-ups work. They just do. Numbers don’t lie. You can put a form in the side bar. You can put it at the bottom of your articles. Neither of these will ever be as effective as a well-optimized pop-up. List builder is made to come up when the user has either been sitting too long, or they are close to leaving the site. You have to set it to “smart” and List Builder will do the hard work.

smart-bar

Smart Bar

I like smart bar for 3 reasons. The 1st one is that you can have the bar at the top of every page, so if someone exits the popup, they can still opt in via the top bar. Sometimes people just want to finish reading your content before opting into your email address. I have it set not to show again for a day before they see it again. This is a nice fall back.

Reason number two is that it gets a lot of attention. It is tough to miss. I can use it to promote a special page or event and drive a lot of targeted opt-ins for an event, a product, or a giveaway.

You can set it to be a call-to-action for visitors to do something specific. Maybe I am offering a new service, and I want businesses to take advantage of it. If they are regular visitors, they will come and opt in, where I can close the sale.

welcome-mat

Welcome Mat

I like this highly aggressive full-screen overlay. If I want to aggressively build my list, I will use Welcome Mat to make sure I get every visitors’ attention. It is a great way to promote a helpful e-book with tips, or introduce yourself to potential clients. When people want to hire you, they don’t like faceless entities. They like to see and meet who they are going to work with.

Watch the email opt-ins pour in

Nothing is as satisfying as seeing your list virtually explode right before your eyes. I know that if I create a handful or freebies, a few quality articles and I install SumoMe on a website, I can quickly grow an email list from nothing. I have a sister website, called Web Design Fanatic that exploded to 1000 email subscribers with very little effort in 6-8 weeks, with no money spent on advertising.

The Great Thing About Your Email List

The greatest thing about your email list is that they are your raving fans. They’ve opted in to receive your freebies, or they are curious about what you do. It is 100 times easier to sell your services to them over cold calls any day. What’s especially nice about your email list is that as long as they are subscribed and as long as they are opening your emails, you have an opportunity to sell. You can sell your logo services, a website, flyer designs, specials and package deals. The doors are wide open. SumoMe tools help you greatly increase your warm leads, making it easier than ever to close sales and generate revenue.

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I am a professional graphic designer and web designer with years of experience. I am also an illustrator and Wordpress theme creator and author of this design blog. I write tutorials and build custom websites. I do what I love, and I love what I do! You can: Follow Me on Twitter, Join Me on Facebook, & Or Follow James George on Google+

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