If you are reading this, you most likely already know the value of having a strong email list. It’s a mighty depressing fact, but your email marketing database degrades by about 25% every year. Your contacts’ email addresses change as they move from one company to another, they opt-out of your list, or they abandon that AOL address of yesteryear that they only use to fill out forms on websites.
Getting permission to send someone an email or even call them is probably the toughest, yet one of the most important, things you can do. Why is it so tough? Because you have to gain your potential recipient’s trust, that’s why. They need to feel comfortable that you won’t abuse their valuable and personal information by sending them irrelevant email or worse yet calling them at 7 PM just when they are sitting down with a beer in their hand and the Bruins game on the tube.
As a marketer, it’s your job to make sure you are constantly adding fresh contacts to your list. However, as many of us know developing a list that is worth more than just the letters and numbers that make up the person’s contact information can be a bit of a challenge. Here are a few ideas to either get you started or kick start your efforts again:
Form it up now!
The first thing you should do, now, right now, immediately… is to place a registration form (lead capture) prominently on your website and promote it heavily. Start steering visitors to your site directly to the registration form and you’ll be amazed at how many people actually give you their information.
If you are driving traffic to:
- your blog: try using pop-up form in conjunction with a static form in the sidebar. See examples here.
- your sales funnel: landing page (lead capture page) with the form placed just to the right of any content and under the headline
How it works – Most Email Service Providers (such as MailChimp, Aweber, or iContact) provide an easy-to-use form building tool. This tool will most likely walk you through a series of steps that allow you to create your own form that you can then customize to fit the look and feel of your site/pages. The forms themselves only take a few minutes to create. At the end of the process you will be supplied an HTML code to put on your site.
Don’t go to far
Collect only the information you need for the specific lead and leave it at that until you’ve developed more of a trusting relationship with them. Requesting too much or sensitive information such as age and phone numbers can deter people from completing the registration process. If you will be sending the registrar something via direct mail, then of course you will need their address. But if you simply would like to know demographics of where they live, then only ask for their zip code. Remember you can easily make each of the fields optional, as not scare away potential registrars.
Also beware of the laws. If you collect information make sure you know exactly what you can do with it. There are not only laws for anti spam, but also telemarketing and fax laws as well.
Offer an Incentive
Offer special discounts and offers available exclusively to email list subscribers. You can further leverage your list building by giving away a whitepaper or free report as an added incentive to sign up for your list.
Add an email signup call-to-action as a custom tab on your Facebook page. Then feature that tab in the Views and Apps section of your new Facebook page design.
Go one step farther and use your Facebook business page to promote an offer that requires an email address submission. In addition to creating a tab dedicated to email sign up, promote offers in your timeline and encourage your leads to share and like your offers on Facebook by adding a social sharing button on your landing pages and thank-you pages.
Friends of mine just used Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to push the launch of their new diet product on Amazon.com. They offered a coupon incentive (Free with shipping) to the first 100 customers to purchase the product. Only thing they suggested from us in return was to spread the word and write an Amazon review. Genius!
Main thing to remember is to tell people what they are missing out on. Share or tweet on all social media platforms (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) to encourage your followers to join your list. Share your incentive, share some feedback, or share teasers of emails to come.
Subscribe via Comment Box
Increasing conversions is all about reducing the number of steps between the visitor and your desired action. If your visitor is already entering their email address somewhere like in a comment box, it only makes sense that adding a check mark to also subscribe to your newsletter would increase conversions.
Try this nifty plug-in for WordPress.
Run a Contest
I’m positive you have heard this suggestion thrown about a time or a hundred, just keep in mind the number one rule – make the contest relevant! Don’t run a contest for a 4K TV if you are selling a diet product. Although the dieter may very well be interested in the 4K TV (who wouldn’t be?), use your contest to only attract your ideal client. One that is relevant to your particular product, which will in the long-run increase your monetary conversions.
If you are running a diet product offer, why not give away a sample of your product? Just like my friends with the new diet product, you could run a contest to give away a full month’s supply of the product. You might see lower contest entries than the 4K TV, but you will know for certain that each entry is an ideal client prospect. Also make sure you let them know that they will also be subscribed to your newsletter as a part of the entry process.
Encourage your current email subscribers to share and forward your emails by including social sharing buttons and an “Email to a Friend” button so their networks, friends, and colleagues can sign up for your list. Include a “Subscribe” link at the bottom of your emails so those receiving the forwarded emails can easily opt-in, too.
Guest blogging is a great way to get in front of a bigger sampling of your ideal audience. Make good use of your About the Author bio box. When creating content for guest blogging opportunities, include a call-to-action and link for readers to subscribe to your site’s blog or email database in your author byline.
Partner with the Owner of a Bigger List
Run a promotion on a partner or affiliate website to collect email addresses from a fresh source. Or create something just for their audience as a “special treat.” Many times these offers are so good it wouldn’t need to be a paid advertisement.
Ask your Subscribers for a Helping Hand
“Did this help you? Do you think this is GREAT? Do me a favor- share it with someone you think would benefit from this!” You could send this to your whole list, or just segmented sections (highest open rate / longest subscriber / highest click through rate / etc.) Of course make it super easy for those forwards to join your list.
Do you have any other ideas for growing your email list with quality relative subscribers? We would love to hear all about them in the comments below.