Once you’ve got that ability to shoot traffic to wherever you want, the skies the limit. You can promote affiliate products, you can always make sure your newest blog posts gets the attention it deserves, you can sell your own products to people, you can do favors for people by spreading the word of their cause or website… The list goes on and on. Having traffic at your fingertips is an awesome asset.
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.
When I think about the brands I like best, like J. Crew, Spotify, and SoulCycle, I know I’m not a loyal brand advocate because of their products alone. I can get cheaper clothes, music, and groceries from plenty of other places. Ultimately, I’m a brand advocate because I believe in what they promote and I feel invested in their stories, like SoulCycle’s: “We aspire to inspire. We inhale intention and exhale expectation.” I relate to their brand messaging.
All I know is that I have been pulled in every direction by shiny object syndrome chasing a lot of these ideas. Now is the time to step back and see what is in place and focus on things that are working. Or I can just do what Dean Holland suggested and start from list building basics until I can see a way to leverage the things that I have already done and tools I have bought.
Offer a reward for customers who buy something from you and show that they checked in at your business on Foursquare using their mobile device. When they do this, they’re telling everyone in their network that they’ve done business with you. Each month, reward the person who gave you the greatest exposure by offering a discount, and asking for their email address.
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.
Get creative. Since every business is different, some of the strategies in this guide might not work for your business if you implement them exactly as described. However, most of what’s described can work for a large majority of businesses with just a few tweaks. In some cases, you might even get greater results than the people who wrote these posts.
Advertising your email list on websites other than your own site can be a great way to grow your email list. In fact, it can often be more profitable than simply advertising your website. If you can give users a compelling reason to sign up for your email (such as free offers or discount codes), it is a much lower barrier to entry for most people to sign up for an email list than to make an initial purchase. Just be sure that you understand how much you can afford to spend per email address and that you have a plan in place to identify which emails came from which advertising sources.
Mailchimp – This is the most affordable option on the market today and their email template design editor is quite feature rich. It also has a drag and drop interface. Their major downsides to Mailchimp is (a) they’re terrible, robotic customer support and (b) it feels like a lot more steps than are necessary to send a newsletter or to setup an autoresponder.
You might be doing all the right things to generate leads -- landing pages, gated content, contests, and more. The problem might be that the design or copy itself isn't driving the engagement you need. A/B test (also known as "split test") different aspects of your list-building campaigns with different versions of the same content. This includes the call-to-action text, the color of the gated offer, the time of day you're posting to social media, and even where on your website these signup forms are placed. Sometimes a small change can drive hundreds more conversions.
Once you have a topic for content creation, you then need to think about producing it. What you want to do, is create something that’s better than what’s available. As I mentioned before, this can mean that you make the existing content more actionable. It can also relate to creating content that has a better design. It may even be just that you add more images, because content with more images tends to get 94% more views than content without images. Creating something with a lot of words also helps, because if a post is longer than 1,500 words it tends to rank higher in the search engines.
Also important for the growth of your business is that you’re always adding new customers. That’s what’s going to grow your revenues and make your business profitable. You can never stop generating new leads, because old leads will fall off the list or start ignoring your emails… and many will never buy. So it’s key to not let your list stagnate: Keep it fresh with an infusion of new names, all of whom are potential buyers.
Include an opt-in field (i.e. checkbox) within your landing page forms to opt users into your list. This gives visibility to your email offerings and provides a value add to customers who have already engaged with your product. It’s important not to pre-check the box (see pre-selected opt-in below)–instead allow potential subscribers to choose whether or not to opt in.
We recently personalized an email campaign based on subscriber’s individual location. We created different images for people in the UK, USA, and Australia and tested them against a generic version (with just one location-agnostic image) to see if personalized images worked better. By making the images in our email campaigns personalized to the subscriber’s location, we were able to increase our email click-through rate by 29%.
Before people hand over their email address, you’re going to have to offer them something enticing in exchange. This could be a free eBook, access to a Webinar, or the promise of discounts or deals exclusively for your subscribers. You could even repurpose some of your existing blog content and turn it into a guide or resource list. Whatever you decide to offer, just make sure it’s something people will recognize as holding true value!
If you take the time to build your email list the right way, you’ll encounter fewer obstacles with your deliverability and you’ll cultivate a strong group of brand advocates who will champion your email program. So when your boss tells you to send an “email blast” to as many people as possible, remind them that the numbers you want to concentrate on are your email engagement numbers, not your list size.
As marketers, we all know the importance of building, harvesting and growing our own list of email subscribers. Let's face it, having your own list is one of the best ways to guarantee your business a stable and recurring source of income. Instead of capturing clients all over again, you can create a cycle and monetize those subscribers over and over again.
Many marketers have “send fear” when it comes to emai marketing. They know that screwing up recipient’s names or preferences can lead to turned off subscribers and list decay. And it’s true– if you don’t do personalization correctly, you can wind up sending irrelevant messages to subscribers. However, this fear is getting in the way of marketers’ success, and the best way to move forward is to experiment with personalization. Start small, testing a few changes, and grow your strategy as you get more comfortable.
Saber Blast – This is the simple and intuitive email marketing software I created after I got tired of using Aweber and Mailchimp. Most people don’t know about it since it’s still new but if you’re on the market for an email marketing solution, this offers a lot of valuable features that the competition doesn’t. For instance, Saber Blast helps you increase the number of email subscribers you capture, provides automated follow-up (easy to manage autoresponder) and recommendations on who is and isn’t a lead from your email list based on their engagement levels. At it’s core, it’s designed to grow your business. It has minimal features when it comes to the design of your newsletter since we believe that’s actually a distraction from taking the revenue-growing action of creating great content to quickly and painlessly send to subscribers.
It’s extremely affordable (starting at $15/month), while incredibly powerful and easy to use. I also find that GetResponse have some of the best newsletter template designs around. Aweber is another good call, but I find their user interface a bit outdated and clunky (plus, their pricing starts at $19/month – not a big deal, but considering they’re not quite as good as GetResponse IMO this pushes the needle in favour of GetResponse even more).
To put these numbers into context: a myriad of data compiled on Twitter shows that the average click-through rate rarely tops 1.64 percent. Without paying for promotion, the average Facebook post is even worse. This is compared to email open rates, which hover around ~20% for many industries and can go up to as high as 40, 50, and 60 percent (and beyond!).
This is considered the best form of consent a user can provide a sender, since it requires a secondary action from the email address owner to confirm subscription to an email list. This typically comes in the form of a confirmation link call to action, a URL to post in a browser, etc. For senders, this is the ideal method of collecting addresses because you demonstrate a genuine desire to make sure your subscriber absolutely wants your content, and it sets an effective foundation for your sender/recipient relationship moving forward.
For effective and actionable results, you should do A/B tests, which test two (or more) different approaches. For example, you could send half of your list one subject line, and an alternate subject line to the other half. You could also A/B test the two approaches with a small subset of your list, then send the winning headline to the rest of the list.
Some services have referral programs for growing lists, but you won’t always get the right audience’s attention. So often, those programs for getting 100 subscribers in a day are abused and cheated, and you’ll end up with 100 robots who don’t actually read your emails. There is the chance that your service’s referral program is legit and will get you genuinely interested subscribers, but just make sure to do your research.
To get started, find the top 5 -10 content pages on your website and create a custom Content Upgrade for each post. Once that’s done you can continue on down the list until you have a Content Upgrade for every page on your site that receives a good amount of traffic each month (note: ‘good’ is in context of your website, your traffic and your business – for some businesses it’s 100 visits per month on a content page, for others it’s 1,000).
You can use this strategy to your advantage and increase your email list by giving people an incentive in return for their email. The giveaway could be free access to an e-book, a report, a gift hamper, or perhaps a lucky draw where people enter their emails and get a chance to win. A tantalizing offer is all you need for people to comply. For example: