For example, Crew, a company who matches companies with hand-picked freelancers, offers a number of different side projects to their customers, including things like a calculator to help people figure out the cost of an app they want develop, a collection of free stock photos, and a list of what they call ‘unicorn’ coffee shops to work from that have the ultimate combination of working perfection: good coffee, good wifi, and plenty of outlet plugs.
Unfortunately, there’s a bit too much depth to the topic for me to cram everything in to a single blog post. Therefore, I’m going to begin creating a multi-part blog series on list building. Over the next couple days, I’m going to purely focus on teaching some tricks of the trade to build a list quickly (these have now all been merged into this single post).
The subscription widget is a no-brainer when it comes to maximizing your website for lead generation. Visitors are already interested or engaging with your brand, and email is a great next touchpoint for sharing non-promotional, value-adding content. It’s a free resource and a low commitment way for your prospective clients to get to know your brand.
The best part of the platform is it has a free version which one can use to run your own ads with credits from reading and rating ads. The free way to start is to use the ads surfing as a way to learn how to write good ad copy (headline less than 25 characters plus a message less than 60 characters) and good landing pages. Just follow what the 5 star ad writers do and build that into your free credit ads – keep doing this over and over until you are ready to go Pro. I use the paid Pro version at $19.95 a month which gives me 10 Pro ads which I can deploy without needing credits. Any credits I collect are applied to Credit ads that I run as well.
Keep your content short and straightforward. Introductions to longer articles are fine, but emails should be just a few short paragraphs with a main call to action. And if you’re adding images, try to stay between a text to image ratio of 60:40 or 70:30 and remember to use alt tags for all images in case they don’t properly render for your recipient.
For the initial launch of our blog, we mainly leveraged our network to get the word out about our new site. Most of the traffic for our initial first post came from posting on our personal Facebook pages as well as some Facebook groups that were focused around marketing and entrepreneurship such as From Wantrapreneur to Entrepreneur (a private group for people who’ve taken the SumoMe Building $1,000 monthly business course). We also tweeted from our personal accounts to get the word out. Finally, Benji emailed an old list of his that had 164 people on it, and got a 13.5% click rate, so that also drove some traffic.
Just because your email list is an online marketing tool, it doesn't mean that you only have to solicit emails online! If you have a retail location, you can collect emails when customers purchase or visit the store or other location. If you market by attending festivals or concerts, you can collect emails at those locations. Offering to raffle off a prize but requiring an email on the raffle ticket can also be an effective way to grow your email list. Of course, you'll have to dedicate the time to retyping all of the emails that you collect into your system, but it's often worth it. Don't overlook offline opportunities to grow your email list.
To incentivize the prospect to sign up, it’s important to offer them some sort of free bonus, like an ebook, access to a webinar, or whatever attractive freebie you can give them that is related to your business. But you shouldn't have to bust your butt to put this bonus together. You could collect together past blog posts into one PDF, for example.