Thinking Outside The Square To Build 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).
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.