Did you know a research showed companies making $40 back on an average for every dollar they spent on email marketing? In today’s age of social media where anyone and everyone is focusing on traffic, the smarter ones of the lot are leveraging traffic to build an email list. After all, email is still the most powerful tool to connect with your readers on a personal level. Several studies have found that email subscribers have a stronger association with your brand, are more receptive and buy more from you as compared to several other channels. But getting people on your subscriber list is a job easier said than done. So, how do you notch up the numbers? Here are nine tips that will let you build a powerful email list to supercharge your marketing campaigns.
- Use a Good Email List Software
An effective email marketing software is the first step to build a robust email list. Since there are many such software available in the market, it pays to choose the right one for it would make the job easy for you. You should be careful to steer clear of those services that complicate things and make the entire process a difficult one to manage. You may take your pick from the popular services like MailChimp, AWeber and MadMimi – to name a few. Most of these email list services offer free services when you are starting up, which would help you to test what suits your requirements the best. Then, as your subscriber list grows, you can switch to their premium, paid versions that offer several value-added features. With a good email list service, you will get opt-in form generators, which you can use to place your opt-in forms strategically around your site to drive more sign ups. Since you just need to drag and drop the code these opt-in form generators provide you with, it’s easy to start building your email list even when you aren’t good with codes and other tech aspects of adding opt-in forms to your website.
- Use a Popup Plugin
Popups help bring traffic to your site and whether you love or hate them, you just can’t ignore them. So, use a popup plugin to put popups strategically on your web page (which could be spread across your entire page or appear just in the middle of the page) and use smart, enticing text to grab eyeballs and attention. Use words that pitch the advantages of signing up for your newsletter. You may even use a feature box instead of popups that offer the visitors a brief idea of what your site is about and why subscribing to it via email would be a good idea (by highlighting the benefits). Using best popup plugins, you can generate and use popups with different positions, buttons and text. You can select the best converting one after running A/B tests. Just make sure your popups don’t annoy your readers by interfering with their ability to read. They work the best when they are eye catching and put your desired message across fast and efficiently. So, use an enticing headline together with a catchy description and CTA (call to action) that would surely encourage people to subscribe.
- Leverage the power of social media
Social media offers your business a great platform to reach out to new audiences as well as engage with them by participating in online conversations and discussions, which would help you to build new connections. When these people start knowing you and your offerings, they can be encouraged to subscribe to your email list. To make the sign up easy, you can include an enticing call to action in your social bio – from Twitter and Instagram to Pinterest and more. On Twitter, you can pin a Tweet on top of your profile with a call to action to encourage your followers to join your email list. On Instagram, you can use a pictorial representation of your opt-in offer with a CTA in your post’s caption to drive your email list sign ups. On your Facebook Page, change the cover image to have your opt-in offer and sign up URL. You may even set your Facebook Page’s CTA button to call visitors to “join” or “sign up”. If you are a valuable contributor to Facebook or LinkedIn Groups, Google+ communities, you may share or post about your newsletter sign up or opt-in offer to build your list. Several email service providers integrate with leading social media platforms to help you collect emails directly from these platforms.
- Create a strong landing page
To accelerate your mail list building effort, you should have strong landing pages that are created to drive conversions. Since your landing page is where you send your traffic for a specific or prompt action/result, it should be focused on giving the readers a clear idea of what it’s all about and why or how sharing their contact information would benefit them. It’s always a good idea to examine different variations of your landing page to decide what works and what doesn’t. To get some data early on for your analysis, you can try paid social ads that will help bring seed traffic. Landing page funnel technique is another method worth trying where you spot the landing pages that convert well and then funnel people to visit those pages. So, if you have two product pages for A and B which are your best performing landing pages, you can add links to those two pages around your site. Then, as your visitors land on those two pages, make sure you have interesting and smart opt-in forms to grab their emails.
- Host a giveaway
As your level of engagement with people increases, they are more likely to sign up for your list. Hosting a giveaway is a great way to offer a reward to those sharing their email addresses. For a successful giveaway, your award should be a compelling one that your audience would actually desire. You may even add the provision of bonus entries for every referral made and make all non-winners happy by offering them guaranteed incentives (which could be a product/service/e-book or anything else that can be given for free). People often shun giveaways thinking they will only bring low-quality emails that mainly include freebie junkies who will have no intention of buying from them in the future. If you too belong to this league, you can get rid of this problem by simply making your reward something that only prospective customers would like or be interested in. If you have no idea what a tantalizing giveaway could include, you could host a survey to know what your audience loves or wants. You can then design your giveaway accordingly and have your opt-in form showcase it with a benefit-oriented crisp headline, an image, and eye-grabbing bullet points.
- Organize a contest
Contests are great to boost engagement, create an interest about your business in your potential customers and improve brand awareness. But you have to create your contest carefully or you will end up having the wrong people in your subscriber’s list. For example, if you run a pet supply store, make your prize something relevant to potential buyers (like a pet grooming kit). If your prize is an iPhone instead, you may have loads of people signing up though a majority will hit “unsubscribe” the moment they receive your first pet newsletter (either because they don’t have a pet or aren’t just interested in pets since their only reason to subscribe was to win that coveted iPhone). So, decide on your contest theme and prize carefully. The next step would be to choose the platform where you want to run the contest (your website, social media etc), create the contest and make it go live, check on it periodically to see the progress and finally, choose the winner after a specific date or a select number of entries. You may request your winners to share their experience and about the prize across their social media accounts, which you can then leverage to get more people interested in joining your email list.
- Create remarkable content
In the age of social media, people are hungry for quality content. By being creative and developing content that appeals to people interested in your niche, you will increase the chances of your content being liked and shared. As you go on creating new content, don’t forget your older stuff that did well and attracted a lot of traffic. You can create hubs to bundle them under specific categories like Top 5 most viewed posts, Top 3 posts with most comments etc. to continue getting traffic via those posts. Even when you are writing your opt-in text or contest popup copies, your aim should be to use clear and simple albeit interesting words that create excitement and interest in readers and make them want to hit the “join” or “subscribe” button. Make sure to revisit your content from time to time to add relevant updates or edit to make them suitable for changing market/industry trends to ensure you deliver value to your readers. Building credibility with quality and outstanding content will make people want to read more, which in turn would drive more sign ups.
- Host a webinar
Unlike a content upgrade, webinars are perceived to have a high value, which makes them drive more signups. You will need just 15 minutes to have an effective webinar recorded. You may either decide to have a single webinar or plan a series to drive sign ups. Unlike regular videos, webinars with a restricted duration appear more compelling to people. Since you can’t watch them anytime at your convenience and have to be there at the precise time, they create a sense of urgency and encourage micro-commitment. To heighten the sense of urgency and scarcity, you may include taglines like “last 10 spots available” or “registration closes in the next 8 hours” to coax people into signing up. Since attending webinars need users to submit their email addresses, you can get a huge number of subscribers if you pick the right topic for your webinar, or better still, plan a series of webinars on a topic that a majority of your visitors have expressed interest in. Webinars are considered versatile forms of content that are found to be extremely efficient in growing your email list provided you craft them carefully to appeal to a broader base of readers.
- Leverage Testimonials
Testimonials from a celebrity, trusted authority, or even the common people can drive a majority of your prospective customers to take action. So, if you have feedbacks from your past customers, or someone famous has endorsed your product or service, make sure to share such testimonials prominently across your site. When people coming to your site see someone in their position has given you glorious reviews or someone popular has nice things to say, they will be encouraged to sign up and try it for themselves in the future. You should also showcase such testimonials on your social media pages with a link that takes those interested to a page to sign up right away. Big numbers surely impress and grab attention fast. So, when you say something like join 10,000 Facebook fans or be a part of our 5,000+ strong Twitter community, people will surely want to know what has compelled so many before them to sign up. But even if you don’t have such huge numbers to boast of, don’t worry. A few solid testimonials are enough to pique interest in people and encourage them to join your email list. Just pick the best ones of the lot and place them on your web pages strategically and share on social media too to open the sign up floodgates.
Building a strong email list takes effort and time but with these nine tips, you are sure to set the ball rolling and see effective results soon.