The key to building an engaged email marketing list lies in optimizing your opt-in pages, creating multiple opportunities for sign-up, and providing content that will empower your users. Once you acquire a new customer, make sure that you deliver on your promise by providing the tools and information that will keep them engaged with your brand for years to come.
The most obvious reason to build your email list is to maximize the value of your customers and your company revenue. However, it's also important to remember that your email list is a company asset. In the event that you want to sell your company, a high-quality email list can increase your company's overall valuation. Additionally, a high-performing email list can give your company additional revenue opportunities by giving you the chance to sell advertising space in your email products or send sponsored emails on behalf of partners or advertisers. You're not just building your marketing channel when you build email list. You're also building your company's total value. That's why it's worth your time to build a quality email list over time.
As Social Media has evolved, social media has become the free traffic home for the content one creates. What is really neat about Social Media is it is not that hard to profile the people you want to reach and to reach them. The platforms provide tools to make that easier and one can get away by just following what other people in a niche do. Follow them and craft better messages and better content than they do and you can grab (or leverage) their prospects.
One often overlooked strategy for list building is to step outside of your immediate market, and get known in new verticals. Take for example, my list building advice: it works for bloggers, but it can also work for photographers, dentists, and jewelry designers. I’ve been able to repurpose my content and do short focused bursts of list building in these different markets.
Many marketers are afraid of screwing up, and they let “send fear” take over. It’s important to try personalization beyond just using first names in the body or subject line of the message and have the confidence to test personalization for your brand. If you’re skeptical, use A/B tests to figure out if personalization resonates with your lists. Make sure all fields are mapped to the right things, so that when your campaign goes out, everything appears correctly.
In this scenario, a subscription check box is pre-selected for users to receive promotional emails where they would be including their email address (during a purchase process, for example). By leaving the checked box intact, users consent to receive email from you. This option is not flawless, as some users may not realize they’ve given their permission to receive marketing email and could be much more likely to report your email as spam, resulting in damage to your sending reputation and your company.
One of the first dilemmas that you'll need to deal with when you begin to build email list is the quality versus quantity debate. Obviously, the larger your email list is, the more potential you have to generate revenue from it. However, as with most marketing activities, the quality of your leads is equally important. If you create a large email list by porting over old contacts or by buying or renting a large list, you may have a great number of email addresses. However, you may have very few email addresses that are actually leads who are interested in interacting with your product, company, or brand. That's why it's often a better idea to start slowly and build email list over time. Focus on getting the best quality leads on your email list and then let the numbers grow as your business grows. While you ultimately do need to grow the largest email marketing list possible, you also need to grow a quality list that will respond to your offers and increase your company revenue.
Your best bet will be to give away something that’s valuable to your target market; for instance, a high-value digital asset on a niche topic. You can give away products (we’ve all seen contests where the prize is a free iPad or gift certificates), however this strategy often leads to entrants who are more interested in the money than in what you have to offer.
The more you guest post, the easier it will be to get your content in front of other people.  That’s because you will be able to build relationships with the editors, but you’ll also be able to use your past work as evidence that you’re a good writer. Though you don’t have to set it as a goal, getting published on a major industry blog can make it easier to get your content published on other sites.
Do you have an older list that you suspect has mostly decayed? Create an engaging opt-in message and send it to your old list encouraging contacts who wish to re-opt-in -- promising to remove all contacts who don't respond. Though it might seem counterintuitive to remove folks from your email lists in order to grow them, emailing only engaged contacts could improve your deliverability and increase the odds of your email getting shared with those outside your current contacts database.
You probably have subscribers on your list that haven’t opened your emails for six months, one year, or even more. Whether their email address has become invalid, or they’re simply not interested in your messaging, consider removing them from your email list. Removing these subscribers will negatively affect your subscriber count, but it will positively impact your list quality, which is more important. If you get rid of these disengaged subscribers, you should see engagement rates rise. You can send a re-engagement campaign asking these subscribers if they’d like to remain on your list or be removed. If you don’t get a response, you can feel confident removing them.
Social media is becoming an increasingly prominent form of customer retention and brand awareness. With the right motivation and a properly designed email sign-up box, social media leads can often be solicited to become higher converting email marketing leads. When we discuss the best practices for designing an email capture box, we'll discuss specific practices to use when encouraging users to sign-up for your email marketing program via social media outlets.
Matt Ackerson founded AutoGrow (Petovera Inc.) in 2010 as a conversion-focused web design agency. The company has since worked one-on-one with over 500 customers and clients to create their sales funnels. Matt is a graduate of Cornell University. He and AutoGrow have been featured in Techcrunch, Forbes, Inc, Venture Beat, Mashable, and Popular Science among others. He and the team write in-depth articles on digital marketing, sales funnel design, and also offer an advanced funnel training course here on AutoGrow.co
Some ad platforms will ask more of your landing pages than others, when running ads. For example, AdWords is much stricter, when compared to Facebook. AdWords typically requires that you do not have a ‘thin,’ site that is designed solely to collect leads.  Because of this it might be a good idea to focus on using Facebook or Twitter, to begin with.
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