I’ve tested the Welcome Mat and Smart Bar apps as well but they didn’t produce anywhere near the conversion rate of the List Builder and Scrollbox apps (note: that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t test them on your site… it’s just that they didn’t perform that well on our site with the setup we used so we removed them so not to distract the visitor too much while we figure out new ways to test them).
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.
To get people to sign-up in the first place, you need to grab their attention and make it worth their while to sign up. Many website offer "FREE" information or products to people who sign-up with their mailing lists. This technique will work if you offer the website visitors something that is of "value" to them. Value has to go hand-in-hand with promotional materials within your emails. No one wants to be bombarded with sales pitches every time they open an email from you, so don't bother even sending out such emails. The best way to promote your product is to provide information that relates to your product, then add a few sentences that make reference to your product and how it can help with the reader achieve something.
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.
It used to be that marketers were set on building the largest email list possible, and many companies continue to boast about their “thousands” of subscribers. In order to stay competitive, marketers have tried tons of tactics to grow their lists, from pop-ups, to coaxing emails from lead gen assets, to running contests on social media that require an email address to sign up.
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.
Solo ads and Banner ads. One of the platforms I have been using for 3 years now, called LeadsLeap, combines solo ads and banner ads into a single platform. It is essentially an ads platform that includes a mailing element. They email a digest of ads to all members and progressively rotate ads through the mailing. They also provide tools for placing a LeadsLeap ads widget on websites. They present ads on their own website. Each one of my ads generates 10 or so clicks a day, day in and day out. Actively managed by testing new copy regularly will increase this rate. The platform also includes a 10 level deep downline for referrals from which one can earn commissions and ad credits. I have referred fewer than 20 people yet I have over 500 people in my downline.
People like more choices, so consider creating subscription levels that let people sign up to receive content that’s relevant to them. For example, if you sell widgets and tax advice, provide three options on your opt-in form that allow users to sign up to receive info about widgets, info about tax advice or both. Further customize by allowing them to designate how frequently they’d like to hear from you — weekly, monthly or only when something really special is going on. People may be more likely to sign up for your email list if they have some control over the content they’ll receive.
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.
The Offer Finally, if/when you send out those “money” emails (especially for re-marketing purposes, which we will discuss later on), you need to test out offers. An extra 15-days to try the product, or a $10 discount for being on the newsletter? Should you offer an incentive to those who have signed up but haven’t gotten started with your product, or just send a reminder? Find out the answers with split-testing!
The easiest place to start is with the people you already have on your list. Even though they may not be interested in purchasing your services and products, they were interested enough in your business to sign up and show some type of support. You can use your list of current subscribers to generate more subscribers who are more interested in actually purchasing your products or services.
By being on my newsletter or autoresponder, it’s an investment of time on the part of my subscribers. It’s my job to provide valuable content to give them an ROI on that time invested. When I’m confident I’ve done that, it makes sense to say “You’ve put in time and gotten value from what I’ve given you. If you now put in time and money I’ll give you even more value.”
There are tons of websites and publishers out there that cater to your audience -- and larger portions of it. Guest blogging for these websites helps you expand your contact list to this audience. When creating content as a guest blogger for another website, include a call-to-action, as well as a link in you author byline, for readers to subscribe to your site's blog or email newsletter.
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!