Sponsor a video contest in which customers create a one-minute video about why they like your business, products or services. Ask them to send the videos to you and post them to your Facebook page. Invite visitors to vote on which video should win a cash or merchandise prize. Include an email opt-in on your Facebook page. Be sure to follow Facebook’s rules regarding contests.
Save any new documentation as a PDF for download, and require that individuals enter their names and email addresses in order to access it. The value of the information you are offering is directly proportional to the amount of personal data your customers are willing to provide, so make sure the tradeoff is fair. A highly anticipated white paper or report can garner a high number of new email subscribers who are openly expressing interest in your brand, so don’t leave this opportunity unaddressed.
Groups are specialized list fields that correspond to fields on your signup forms. They let you ask your contacts to self-categorize with preset responses that you provide. For example, a garden shop might ask their contacts what best describes them: a gardener, landscaper, or indoor plant enthusiast. After contacts self-select their interests, you can create internal tags based on group data, or send email campaigns to a segment containing one group, a few groups, or all of them.
Now that you’re all set up to starting collecting emails, the fun part begins (when I say ‘fun’, I actually mean ‘hard’). If your site receives a good amount of traffic and you have a truly compelling offer, this shouldn’t be too difficult. However, if you’re like most business owners, you’ll need to look outside your own audience to start building your 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.
OK, now that we’ve eliminated even a shadow of the doubt, let’s look at what makes a giveaway worth the trouble — for both your new subscribers and your budget. The most important element of a giveaway is making sure you’re offering something useful for your users and not excluding any of your demographics, whether your contest is on social media or directly on your website.
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 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).
“Developing the right relationships with the right people is the long game. This is how legacies are made and preserved. The new album that is suddenly everywhere and being talked about by everyone? This doesn’t just happen—it’s the result of assiduously courting the right influencers, and maybe having brought on a producer who already had those relationships.”