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
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.
You might be a little bit worried that popup email sign-ups are going to hurt the user experience of your site. But, many bloggers have found that it isn’t bad at all. For example, Dan Zarella, found bounce rates only increased by a very small amount, while email sign-ups were 1.56% higher – which, in the long term, can be a lot of new subscribers.
Calls to Action Should you tell people to click right away or save the CTA for further along in the email? Should the button/link say “Click Here” or “Find Out More”? When it comes down to getting people to take action (the most important part of marketing), you simply must test a variety of elements to improve conversions, as this is one of the worst elements to leave to guesswork!
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!).
A gauntlet could be three emails, five, 10… Whatever works or your niche and business. Figure out what’s best for you through testing. Once they’ve gone through the gauntlet, your leads are added to your regular email list. You should have a consistent schedule, sending around the same time, usually daily (though you may opt for a less frequent schedule).
Solo ads is essentially a method of paying someone to mail to their list for you. I don’t do this very often anymore but it is a very very effective way to jumpstart a list. If you followed along to a previous 30 day challenge I did on my old blog, Business & Blogs, you would have seen me go in to great depth about how I gained almost 1,000 new subscribers through solo ads alone.
Growing your email list can be quite similar to advertising your business as a whole. Websites that have similar content or user demographics to your website can be great places to prospect for potential email list leads. You can do this in a number of ways. Ideally, you can cut a deal with the website on which you want to collect emails to promise them advertising space in any email that you send. This will save you from having to pay to advertise for your email list. You can also pay to advertise for sign-ups to your email list on other websites. You can do this by purchasing an impression-based or click-based advertising campaign, or you can offer to pay per valid email sign-up. Both are acceptable industry standard ways to pay for email advertising. However, if you are going to pay to advertise your email list and recruit email sign-ups on another website, you'll need to ensure that you have a firm understanding of what you can afford to spend per email sign-up is. To do this, you'll have to assign a value to an email name. The best way to do this is to keep it simple. Take a look at your last email send. If you had an email list of one hundred people and your email generated $100 in revenue, then you can spend $1 per email sign-up.
This exit-intent technology works by monitoring the movement of the mouse. When the system detects that a visitor is about to leave your site (by the movement of their mouse towards exiting the page or clicking bookmark links) a secondary message pops up to appeal to your visitors and engage with them further. Let’s see specifically how you can use this to maximise the number of visitors signing up for your newsletter.
Customer reviews are the "social proof" that encourages people to join in on something. It's one thing for you to tell people to sign up for a campaign, but it's another thing for your happiest customers to say it too. Publish your best reviews from communities like Yelp right to your website. This adds genuine value to your landing pages when people are on the fence about submitting their contact information.
This can be a controversial topic, as many would consider this an interstitial. And some might not prefer this method as it might not be seen as the most user-friendly. However, if done correctly, they can have some serious sign-up power. Online learning management system Fedora, now rebranded as Teachable, deployed this strategy on their homepage to increase sign-ups for a promotional webinar.
Traffic for list building is a topic that has really frustrated me at the hands of the so-called Internet Marketing gurus. I have heard so many ideas and implemented a mishmash of them. Maybe I should go back to all my notebooks and try to condense everything that has been said and try to distill my own strategic framework out of it all. These are some of the things that stick in my mind:
Getting your messages to your customers’ inboxes should be your main goal for any email marketing campaign. According to ReturnPath’s 2016 Deliverability Benchmark Report, 21% of email routinely goes undelivered, so you can’t afford for email acquisition practices to negatively affect your deliverability. To help you achieve your goal, there are a few best practices you should follow to keep a clean subscriber list.
Offline events like trade shows are highly anticipated growth opportunities for professionals in your industry. Demo your latest product at an appropriate conference and collect signups in-person. Once you're back at the office, import these signups into your contact database. Be sure to send these contacts a welcome email that confirms their opt-in to your list. (See #8 in this blog post for tips on sending welcome emails.)