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).
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.
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.
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.)
One often overlooked strategy for list building is to step outside of your immediate market, and get known in new verticals. Take for example, my list building advice: it works for bloggers, but it can also work for photographers, dentists, and jewelry designers. I’ve been able to repurpose my content and do short focused bursts of list building in these different markets.
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.
If you choose a product everybody wants - like an iPad or an Amazon gift card - then you’re risking driving unqualified leads to your list. You don’t want to end up having to pay to have a bunch of unengaged people on your email list who aren’t interested in your topic and who will just unsubscribe the second you send them the next email and they haven’t won the giveaway.
Subscribers get on your lists through sign up forms, but are you collecting info that can help you improve engagement? Create a new sign up form and ask for information that you can use later. For example, Topshop asks for birthday information, which can allow them to send relevant birthday offers, horoscopes, and age-related messaging. The brand also asks whether the subscriber is a student, which will allow them to send related campaigns.
“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.”