The money is in the list. This is the advice of most marketers, and the statistics support it. Email marketing has had the highest ROI of any digital marketing platform for the past decade and with limited costs, endless design options and being easy to monitor – email is perfect.
There is a challenge, however – growing your email list, and this is where people can often feel compelled to cheat, either by spamming their way to longer lists or by purchasing them from third parties.
Both are less than desirable. Buying an email list is illegal, and you can be fined if someone receives a marketing message from you that they didn’t give you permission for.
Spamming, while not technically illegal, annoys your potential customers and makes it harder for you to build trust with them.
So, what options do you have for growing your email list without spamming? Here are eight for consideration:
1. Smartphone Apps
Smartphone usage has now reached over one billion, so not utilising Smartphones within your list building is a wasted opportunity.
One option is to allow people to use an app you’ve created simply by entering their email address.
2. QR Codes
While QR codes aren’t new and adoption is slow, they are still useful and can help you grow your marketing list without issue.
Simply create your QR code and attach it to your marketing materials (leaflets, business cards, posters, etc.).
All potential clients need to do is scan the code with their phone and they’re sent through to a signup form. Simple, easy and far-reaching.
3. SMS Marketing
If you’ve got the mobile number of a prospect, then you can send them an SMS message. In this, ask them to respond with an email address if they want to receive marketing messages from you.
This is a fantastic way to cross-market platforms and gain more interactions with already engaged prospects.
4. Run A Competition
A competition is hard to resist, especially if the prize is something of value.
Having the prospects signup to your newsletter to enter the competition is not just easy, it’s also a great way to grow your list. Remember a good competition has several components:
- A clear deadline for entries.
- A prize that is related to your business and valuable to your potential customers.
- Easy ways to enter.
You can make your competition more valuable by offering prospects further chances to win by following you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
5. Give Them A Gift
Free gifts are just as hard to resist as competitions. They also offer you a chance to demonstrate the quality of your product or expertise of your service.
You should give away something that will be valuable to your customer such as an ebook to solve common challenges, case studies, whitepapers on the latest trends or to-do lists for your potential clients.
6. Be Subtle
Don’t plaster your mailing list everywhere on the web. Some companies make every social media update and blog post about their mailing list.
Instead, be subtler and attract people with offers, competitions and good writing rather than demands and heavy promotion.
It’s Not Just About Adding Names To Your List
By following the tips below, you can reduce your churn rate.
7. Don’t Email Too Frequently
Emailing too frequently means that people will get bored of seeing your emails in their mail box. At the very least they will delete your emails without opening them or just unsubscribe.
Try to minimise email marketing messages to one or two per week at most.
8. Don’t Always Promote
Sometimes the best marketing message can be about the client. Giving them some information that can help them solve a challenge or improve their life/business. If you prove you aren’t just going to talk about yourself, then people will remain subscribers.
Email marketing is great. It has a substantial ROI and can be tailored to your business. However, sustainably growing your email marketing list can be a challenge. It doesn’t just mean attracting subscribers to your list; it also means keeping them on it. Use the tips above to increase subscriptions and reduce list churn.
What is your subscriber churn rate? How do you attract prospects to your mailing list?
Let us know in the comments below.
Your email marketing list should not look the same after a year. Old contacts will unsubscribe, others will become dead, and some will need to be removed to keep your list clean. The problem is, if you constantly have people exit your list, there will be a time when it will become very sparse.
To combat diminishing list numbers, you need to consider how to attract more subscribers to your list. Your task would be smoother if you made it easier for your potential subscribers as this will decrease abandonment. So how can you make it easier to subscribe to your mailing list?
1. Place A Sign Up Box On Your Facebook Page
Facebook Fan pages can be used as a portal to your list subscription. Many apps can be installed or used on Facebook that directly link to email marketing software. All a new subscriber has to do, is click on the button and enter in their details.
By placing the subscription link on social media, you have the opportunity to really entice audiences by building trust through social media content, making it easier to fully convert them in the long run.
2. Pop-up Subscription Boxes On The Website
Who wants to have the trouble of finding the signup box on your website? After reading your blog, whitepaper or about us page, a visitor will want to sign up for your mailing list or leave – whichever is easier for them and often, just leaving is easier.
So why not place a popup on your website that displays when the visitor is about to leave the site? This popup will prompt the visitor to subscribe to your email list and fill in the required fields there and then. This can then populate your list.
Ensure you are tailoring your popup box to match your brand image, so it integrates seamlessly with your website.
3. Run A Giveaway
This is one of the most widely used tactics for collecting email addresses. A giveaway is fairly useful. Not only does it provide the prospect with something tangible for their details, but it can also help you segment the incoming emails into what interests them. For instance, if they’ve downloaded the children’s toys catalogue, you know that you should be sending them emails about children toys and not living room furniture.
Giveaways can also be an excellent way to gain more exposure for your brand. You could have a raffle and offer a limited number of prizes. By using gamification techniques, you can attract subscribers to your mailing list by asking them to share details about the raffle in exchange for an extra ticket for themselves.
4. Top Or Side Bar
Don’t hide your signup box. Make it stand out on your homepage so that visitors are drawn to it. The best location for the signup box would be in the top left corner as this is where the eye is naturally drawn to and has the greater reader engagement. However, this is a prime location, and therefore, you might need that for another piece of content.
If that is the case, place the signup element in the menu bar at the top or in the sidebar, close to the top of the page. If it is above the fold, then more people will see the subscription tool and use it.
Your email list will lose some subscribers over time, so it is important to replenish them with new subscribers. It should be easy for the target audience to see the signup for your mailing list and take action. Otherwise, list growth will be slow or even negative.
Where do you have your signup forms? Do you use social media sign up forms?
Let us know in the comments below.
Building a quality email list is an essential task if you are looking to generate significant income from this marketing channel. A quality list will provide a better return on your investment than one that is just bought or produced by securing the details of random visitors to your website.
So how can you build a quality email marketing list for your small business? Here are seven, very simple ways to do just that.
1. Use Downloadable Content
It is highly effective to use downloadable content to produce a quality email marketing list. You could provide a free download (like an ebook or whitepaper) in exchange for an email, which works particularly well as you can then determine what the prospect wants to know about (the subject of the downloadable content) and you can tailor your campaigns accordingly.
This strategy does take considerable effort. You need to create the downloadable content, the landing page (and sales text) and then market it.
2. Ask For More Information
By collecting more information, you can better segment your list or see if a subscriber is unsuitable for your products (and thus needs removing).
However, if the information they input is incorrect, the prospect could be sent the wrong content, or they could be rejected when they are a perfect candidate.
3. PPC Keywords
If you want to target a particular group, then by thinking of their search behaviours you can target them on search engines. Using paid ads, you can target certain key terms that you know they will search for and direct them to an email sign up page.
This can be a very expensive way to attract subscribers to your email list, but it does mean that you have a list made from prospects that you’ve qualified based on their interests.
4. Run / Attend An Event
Running or attending an event can be a good way to collect email addresses. You can collect the email addresses on a simple signup sheet or give small gifts out to those who provide you with their email address, an excellent tactic, as you can qualify prospects instantly by asking them a series of questions before passing them the signup sheet.
However, you may find that some of those who sign up to your email list forget about you by the time it takes you to send out your first email.
5. Run A Competition
Gamification can be a very powerful tool when it comes to generating interest in your brand. By running a competition, you can attract numerous signatories to your email list. Your competition could be anything from a sweepstake to a trivia quiz. What is important is that their entry must include an email address.
It is important to think about what you offer as a prize, if it is not related to your business activities, then you will attract people who aren’t suitable for your business.
6. Ask For Referrals
Another possible strategy is to ask current customers to recommend you to a friend through a referral system. This works by having your customer enter their friends’ details into a box, and you send them an email saying that a friend has passed on their contact details. In that email, you give them a chance to sign up for your email marketing list.
It can work wonders because friends of your customers are likely to be a good fit for your business. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive permission to contact the person again.
7. Discount Codes
Another staple of the email marketing world are discount codes provided when a customer signs up to your mailing list. Either you send them the code after they have signed up, or using a pop-up application on your website, you provide the code once they’ve entered their details.
The trouble with this strategy is that they might just sign up, with a fake email address, to get the discount code and it doesn’t encourage any long term stickiness with the customer.
There are many ways to grow your email marketing list. What you’ve got to ensure is that the names being added are good quality prospects. Therefore, you need to qualify them as they sign up so you can decide who should and shouldn’t be on your list.
How do you build an email marketing list? Are you confident they are all relevant subscribers?
Let us know in the comments below.
Most businesses concentrate their entire email list building activities online. These, for example, can include using ebook downloads, pop-ups or sign up forms. However, you don’t just have to concentrate your efforts on the internet. Most people in the world have an email address, but not everyone actively read blogs or use social media.
You need to consider other ways to sign up potential customers to your email marketing list. Here are some of the ways to subscribe potential customers to your email marketing list without the need to be online.
1. Business Cards
Business cards are still very popular, especially with small business owners. They are a great way to pass on contact details and provide information to the receiver as well as a medium for collecting email addresses for your list. There are two ways you could get people to sign up to your small business email list with their cards.
The first option is to include a URL on the card where they can directly sign up to the email list. This might have a very small uptake as your potential list members will have to manually enter the URL and look at your site. This creates a second barrier for your potential customers, something which facilitates abandonment.
However, if you do use this option, you can find that you can increase your list quickly, as long as you hand out a significant number of cards. Leave your business card with new people you meet and even when you use services like restaurants, health clubs, etc.
The other option is collect business cards and ask those giving you their card is if they are willing for you to add them to your mailing list. Some people will refuse, but often people don’t want to seem negative so will accept. To remember who has said yes or no, place a simple tick or cross in the corner of the card.
2. At Networking Meetings
Another way to grow your list is to attend business networking events. These events are held locally and nationally and can be a great help for you to discover new suppliers and potential clients. They are also good for increasing your small business email marketing list.
There are several chances for you to collect email addresses at these events. The first option is for you to hand out and collect business cards as described above.
The second option is to take a sign-up sheet and ask people to fill it out. These can be good as you can collect further information which can then support your segregation of the email marketing list.
This can have a high uptake, but your new contacts might not be very active. That is why your sign-up sheet should have additional questions so you can ascertain if the contact is worth your attention.
3. Offline Competitions
Hold a competition offline and ask your entrants to include an email contact address. Make sure you are informing your audience you are going to include their mailing address to your database, otherwise you could be breaking CAN SPAM and other regional laws.
4. At Conferences
If you attend several conferences or trade shows a year then you can use those to gain new members for your small business email marketing list. To sign up people at your next conference take several of your business cards with the email sign up page URL printed on it and / or a sign-up sheet.
You might also want to run a competition or raffle, for example: win some free products or online shopping vouchers. These can attract people to your stand or to converse with you. The more you talk to your audience, the more knowledge you gain. You could potentially make a sale immediately as well.
Signing up new contacts to your email marketing list is often done online. However, you can grow your list quicker by using offline events and strategies. The biggest piece of advice, no matter how you go about signing up offline members of your community to your email marketing list is to ensure you have a thick skin. Some people will reject you, but those that don’t are highly interested in your products and will be easy to market to.
- Design some business cards that include your email sign-up form.
- Take some email contacts from your next networking meeting.
- Organise a raffle or competition and ask for the contents’ email addresses when they enter.