Thinking Outside The Square To Build Your List

Be creative with how you sign subscribers to your list

Be creative with how you sign subscribers to your list

Email marketing is proven to be able to sell your products and services to customers. It has the highest return on investment of any online marketing pathway, and it can deliver relevant messages to your audiences for little cost.

However, one activity that must be done to succeed at email marketing is to build your email marketing list. It is illegal in many nations to buy a marketing list or send marketing content without the permission of the receiver. While some believe, this isn’t applicable to business contact details, laws usually cover any address with personal details in them (i.e. name).

Other ways to build up your mailing list are well known. Downloadable documents such as guides, whitepapers or tip sheets are now widely offered, and differentiating between your brand and others can be tough for audiences. Pop-ups used to be popular as well, but Google is now penalising brands who use them on a website for list building in their search algorithms.

Therefore, you need to think carefully about how you are going to build a list and differentiate yourself in a crowded market.

1. Network Meetings

This is a simple way to collect email addresses and learn more about a prospect before you add them to a list. When you attend business network meetings, and you should, collect business cards from others attending. When you take a card, ask if they would like to be placed on your mailing list.

If they don’t want to, put a cross in the corner of the card, so you don’t accidently add them, but keep their details just in case they change their mind in the future.

To get more people to sign up, don’t talk about the services you offer customers. This is often self-explanatory. Instead, you need to speak about what you can help them with for free. Mention your blog with tips and advice, free consultations, etc. and explain how you use your email address to support these.

2. Letterbox Drop

While direct mail might be costly, it can have a significant return in some aspects of the sales process. If you sell products to consumers or businesses in a local area, consider designing and delivering leaflets to the doors of your prospective clients.

On the leaflet, include the beginning of a story that will entice your audience to want to read more. Then using a link or a QR code, direct the reader to a sign up page. Once you’ve collected their email address, continue the story in a series of auto-responder emails.

This tactic is not only unusual but also highly engaging.

3. Use Your Mailing List

Another excellent way to collect new emails is to ask your current mailing list to recommend your emails to their friends, families, or contacts. This can be done via social media, blogs, or email. Help your subscribers by including a link for new subscribers to sign up, then monitor your results.

Use gamification to engage your current subscribers by having an award for those that can subscribe 10, 20 or the most contacts to your list. Your reward could be a voucher, free product, or discount. Be creative with your reward, but make it relevant to your brand and appealing to your audience. Just make sure you confirm that the new subscriber would like to receive your mailings.

4. Treasure Hunt

Use your website to host a treasure hunt. Hide something on a page in the background and use social media to attract audiences to find the ‘treasure’. Those that do can win a special reward.

To help those participating, you can get them to sign up to your mailing list to receive clues and instructions. They might also need to be signed up to the mailing list so they can receive instructions for entering (i.e. a screen shot of the treasure that includes the time they found the icon).

Conclusion

Building your email marketing list is an important activity you must be doing all the time. However, you can’t just buy contacts, and other methods are becoming overused by brands. Instead, you need to think outside of the square to entice audiences to sign up and receive your marketing content.

How do you sign up contacts to your mailing list? What is the most successful tactic you use?

Let us know in the comments below.

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3 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Growing Your List

How you can't grow your mailing list

How you can’t grow your mailing list

Your email marketing list is important to help you grow your business but you need to be managing it the right way.

Did you know that the average unsubscribe rate for a mailing list is approximately 0.53% or one out of every 200 subscribers?

Losing subscribers is not always bad; especially if they no longer have an interest in your brand’s message. Losing old subscribers means you can spend more of your time and money focusing on those who could potentially be converted into customers.

In fact, every so often, you should be removing subscribers from your mailing list who aren’t interacting with campaigns. Go through your list at least once a month. Send a re-engagement email to accounts that have been inactive for six months, if they don’t respond to the re-engagement email within two weeks at most, remove them from your mailing list.

Despite your best efforts to re-engage disinterested subscribers, the bottom line is that you will lose some and without the right action, you might even end up with a diminishing list. What you need to do is grow your mailing list.

Not All Growth Is Equal

Most businesses with email marketing campaigns understand the need to grow their lists, for example with whitepapers, online seminars, trade shows etc.

However, there are some methods to grow a mailing list, known as black-hat techniques that you should avoid. While they may get some results, their true value and legality are often questionable.

So here are three things you should never do when you are growing your mailing list.

1. Buy A Mailing List

This is a quick way to gain loads of new contacts and start promoting your business, yet it is also a quick way to get your mail server blacklisted and your reputation ruined. Some of the other reasons why you shouldn’t buy a mailing list include:

  • Poor results – a bought list has very low returns compared to an organically grown list.
  • Loss of reputation – your company is seen as a spammer, and this can damage your long-term prospects.
  • Fines – Most countries have laws stating that you must have permission from the receiver when sending an email. Without it, you could face a fine.

Don’t be caught out by sellers who state that their lists are clean, carefully selected for your business or any other promise. A bought list breaks laws and terms of service with most email marketing software providers.

While it takes longer to grow a mailing list without buying one, it is worth the effort.

2. Neglect To Fulfil On Promises

If you’ve promised all new subscribers get 20% off their first order with you, don’t go back on that promise. It’s unprofessional, and your audience will abandon you very quickly. They might also post negative reviews about your business practices on third party websites which can damage your long-term prospects.

If you want to offer a deal for those subscribing to your mailing list, then thoroughly consider what you can afford and are willing to offer. Don’t price yourself out of business, but it does still need to be enticing to the customer. One option might be free delivery or a free gift with their first purchase – something that adds value to the order rather than takes it away.

3. Don’t Be Too Generic With Your Targeting

You might think that numbers matter on a mailing list, but in truth, they don’t matter as much as you think. You could have thousands of contacts, but if none of them has the resources, need or authorization to buy your products then those contacts are useless.

Instead, look to attract valuable contacts who are more likely to convert. Everyone else is just a distraction.

Are You Growing Your Mailing List Right?

Your mailing list is valuable. It is part of your sales process, and it can earn you a fortune if you create the right campaign and attract the right contacts to your list. If you don’t, it can be a waste of time and money. Therefore, don’t fall into bad habits and ensure you have a priceless mailing list.

How do you grow your mailing list? Do you ever audit your approaches?

Let us know in the comments below.

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