Similar to the process of advertising to build your email list on other websites, using search marketing to build email list can be equally effective. Build email landing pages specific to your email list and then optimize for organic search engine placement or paid, click-based search engine advertising. Again, however, if you do this, be sure that you have a handle on how much you can afford to pay per email sign-up as well as a way to track where email sign-ups came from. If you're not well versed in the marketing areas of search engine optimization or search engine marketing, you may want to consider hiring a professional to help you since both of those areas can be complicated to learn. However, many successful email lists have been built using search engines as the primary method for recruiting subscribers.
When I was first starting out online, the slow and steady way is how I built my list. It’s the default way to build up an audience, and it’s not bad but it does take time. This is a perfect strategy to help you build your traffic and list over time, because it’s consistent: you create content, blog, guest post, apply SEO techniques, get word of mouth, and repeat on a regular basis.
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.
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.
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.
If you need to grow your email list quickly, there are a number of services that will allow you to rent or purchase email names. However, doing so comes with several risks. Most list purchases or rentals are somewhat expensive, and you may not make your money back as quickly or as regularly. Additionally, a rented or purchased list means that you are buying email addresses of individuals who have not been exposed to or shown and interest in your brand or product. This may mean that they are less likely to respond to your email, and may even mark your email as spam. This could create domain reputation problems for you with future email sends. Finally, if you do choose to rent or purchase a list, be sure to use a credible agency. If you rent or purchase a list that includes a high number of bad email addresses that will bounce or be undeliverable, you will incur sender reputation penalties that will impact your ability to email market moving forward. While buying or renting an email list can help to quickly grow your email list and show returns, proceed with caution when soliciting and buying lists.
Include social sharing buttons and an "Email to a Friend" button in your marketing emails. That way, you'll gain access to their friends, colleagues, and networks and expand your contact list. At the bottom of your emails, include a "Subscribe" CTA as a simple text-based link so that the people receiving the forwarded emails can easily opt-in, too.
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.
Your email list, on the other hand, is yours, free and clear. Using your website and social media to attract visitors and followers, and then encouraging them to sign up for your email list gives you the opportunity to contact your prospects at any point in the future, with any kind of messaging you want; and you’re not bound by search engine rankings or social media algorithms.
How your email looks is just as important as what it says. Some may argue it’s even more important. A well-designed email will ultimately be more appealing to your subscribers, so make sure your email is responsive to accommodate all devices and don’t forget to have a text version in addition to HTML. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, take advantage of 5 free, responsive email templates that we’ve created here.
Your tip about CTA’s really hit the spot. I’ve been noticing that some of our competitors are using wordy yet highly specific buttons like ‘Get My Free Consultation Now!’ or ‘See Other Works From ____’. I was skeptic at first, but reading your logic behind it, it makes sense. I’m looking forward to implementing this on my own sites. Thank you, Brian.