You’ve got mail!
Sometimes old-school marketing methods just can’t be beat, even as newer, more technologically advanced methods sweep through.
Mailing lists, which have since evolved into email marketing, continue to be among the leading marketing strategies that exist today, outperforming newer strategies such as social media more often than not.
Now, what is an e-mail list? It is relatively self-explanatory, but an e-mail list is a list of readers who have agreed to regularly receive a newsletter about a company, their new products, discounts, etc.
E-mail provides more traffic to your latest content (within minutes!) than social media and display advertising combined. It also offers the best response rates and high levels of engagement due to its prolonged visibility over social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
For example, with an audience of 5,000 people on Facebook, 75% of people will not see your post at all. Less than 10 percent of your Twitter followers will actually read your tweet.
While a Facebook post survives in public view for only four and a half hours on average, an e-mail survives for 12 days before its open rates begin to dwindle.
All of this means that e-mail marketing is the superhighway to conversions, loyal customers and business growth.
As if you needed more evidence of its superiority, email marketing also has one of the highest ROIs. Indeed, e-mail marketing is one of the least expensive forms of marketing out there while also being easy to implement.
In fact, many of the items on this list will show you how to build an email list for free.
If you have yet to grow your email list or you have neglected it (your e-mail database dwindles by 22.5% every year, which is why it is necessary to stay on top of it), your marketing efforts will receive a supercharge with these list building strategies on how to grow your email subscriber list.
How to Create an Engaging Newsletter
When it comes to e-mail marketing, it is important to do more than simply provide updates about your company or news of holiday sales in order to keep engagement levels high. Your newsletters should be diverse.
Here are some examples of that – e-mails that your audience will look forward to getting without having to invest too much time.
Sharing exclusive content with your e-mail list – content that you haven’t published in any other capacity – creates a sense of intimacy between you and the reader. You can also use this “exclusive offer” as a great value proposition in your call to action on your website or blog.
Here are some more ideas on how to engage your readers with some more exclusive content ideas.
Share Your Latest Content & Special Access
The reason why people have subscribed to your e-mail list is because they want to hear updates about you and your business. Therefore, use this as a means to ensure that they haven’t missed any of your content.
If you have a blog, videos or you have published content elsewhere, update them in your e-mail. You can either send out single updates or write one email that contains all recent content that they may have missed.
You can also use email as a means to offer special early access to your content, like your blog posts or videos by allowing them to view it an hour or two before it’s officially published.
Share Updates About Your Products and Services
It is important to keep your customers updated about any changes you have made to your products or services. For example, you could tell them about things you have improved, etc. This is a great way to keep them engaged with your business.
Keep in mind that if you are in the midst of developing a product or service, your email is a great channel to tell them about your potential idea and receive your readers’ feedback as a means to not only create interest but to test the waters.
This is truly a great way to get your audience invested in your product or service. Framing it as “we want to create a product/offer a service that you want” is effective in getting the kind of results you want.
You can also take this a step further by actually selling the product to them if you see the product through. Your audience has expressed an interest in it already, so it makes sense to use your subscriber list as a means to sell.
Get Their Input!
Not only can you use your e-mail as a means to get potential product or service ideas, you can also use it as a means to get future content ideas as well, whether that means content for your blog, YouTube channel or podcast. Your audience will appreciate the involvement. What do they want to see in your next newsletter? Start a conversion.
An obvious secondary benefit is that your audience will surely tune in if it’s content that they want.
Promotions, Special Offers, Giveaways & Events
Your readers will want to hear about any promotions you have or any other marketing campaigns. Drive even more sales by offering special offers and coupons around holidays, for example.
You can also partner with another company and do a joint-promotion to get access to a new clientele base.
You can send out personalized emails to people telling them about specific products related to the ones they purchased in the past. For example, if one product would compliment another product they bought previously, tell them so. Giveaways are particularly popular.
If you have any upcoming events, this is a great time to meet your customers in person and to gain valuable insight from them and build your connection.
How To Grow Your Email Subscriber List
If you are serious about growing your email subscriber list, use a variety of the methods listed below in order to make your results as effective as possible.
1. Offer Them Something If They Sign Up
Give your audience a reason to give you their contact information by offering something valuable in return. In fact, for those who have yet to grow an email list, this tip is the number one thing to do when it comes to how to build an email list from scratch.
Many of these methods can also be used by those looking for how to grow an email list for free.
Some examples include:
- An E-mail Course
- Video Access
- PDFs & Spreadsheets
- Coupon Codes
Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com grew his e-mail list by 200,000 people with as little as a $60 giveaway. Ensure that as many people see the giveaway as possible, either via your current email list or by your social media platforms.
Secondly, ensure that you’re offering something that your audience wants. Another tip is to use your most popular posts as sources of content inspiration.
Additionally, if you can combine a lead magnet with a pop-up sign up form and put it directly on your homepage, you will see results.
While it is smarter to include a pop-up after the user has had a chance to read your content, the exception to this is if you can provide a powerful lead magnet in your call to action right on the first page of your website.
For example, Noah Kagan of OKDork includes details about how he started 2 multi-million dollar businesses and grew a 700,000+ e-mail list. In doing so, his email list grew by 14%.
Kagan also doubled his conversions by using this WordPress plugin.
Remind your readers that they can unsubscribe any time they want.
2. Add More Signup Forms (Don’t Forget the Pop-Up Signup Form)
This one may seem obvious, but it is often overlooked, especially when it comes to social media icons. Add more sign-up forms in order to grow your email list.
Here are a few places you can add them: the end of each blog post, page footers, sidebars, your ‘about’ page, your ‘contact us’ page, and your feature box.
Take it one step further by installing a pop-up signup form, which has been proven to increase your subscriber list. SocialMedia.com, for example, grew their email list by 375% in a period of two years with the pop-up signup button.
You can do this with SumoMe, which gives you several different pop-up options, one of the many great list building services.
3. Place Signup Buttons Strategically
Not only is it important to add more signup buttons, but the placement of them is also very important.
It is a smarter idea to have the pop-up make an appearance just as the person is getting ready to leave your site as opposed to the beginning when they have yet to read your actual content to determine its value.
Exit Monitor will track your users’ movement with the mouse, adding a pop-up signup form just as they are about to leave.
Since pop-ups can be controversial (and yet effective), ensure that they only appear on your site once per visit.
4. Back It Up With Social Proof
Back up your call to action with social proof. For example, if 20,000 people have already signed up for your e-mail list, say so.
Alternatively, if your email list is still on the smaller side, you can do a long-form version of the form with a list of all of the reasons why they should subscribe to your email list. For example, what specific things will your newsletter list – tips, free templates, checklists?
Take this up a level by including small snippets of testimonials throughout. When KissMetric tested this, their signups increased by 321%.
5. Host A Contest
Hosting a contest is engaging and also a great way to see your email list grow in the process. Whether you do a trivia contest or a contest submission, the most important part is getting people to signup with their email address.
Just as your call to action needs to offer something of value alongside it, so too does your content. In other words, you need to provide some sort of incentive in order for your audience to want to sign up. Here, you have a couple of different options. Generally, this is best done with a prize.
You will be even more effective if you offer multiple prizes (for example, a prize for the first place winner, second place, etc.).
The key to choosing a prize that will motivate your audience to sign up is to consider what kind of prize would be relevant to your particular audience. Also, ensure that you promote the contest so that a lot of eyeballs are on it.
6. Use Social Media
There are also opportunities to grow your email list outside of your actual website. Twitter is one such place. For example, if someone has shared your content, follow up with them by suggesting that they sign up to your e-mail list.
The personal touch is what makes this method particularly effective.
You can also add a call to action button at the top of your Facebook Business Page. Then direct them to your landing page and require that they type in their e-mail address.
If you have a YouTube channel, you can also add call-to-actions there, too, ensuring that you include all applicable links in the description part of your video.
There are a number of other ways to grow your email list via social media as well.
7. Provide Consistent, Quality Content
If you have shown your readers that you deliver quality content via blogs (or YouTube videos), you will create not only trust between yourself and your audience but also more incentive for them to subscribe to your e-mail list. Sending out newsletters once per week is an ideal rate to aim for.
8. Capitalize On Your Events
Not only are your company events a great way to build relationships, but they are also an effective way to add people to your e-mail list.
9. Include Sharing Buttons & E-mail To A Friend Buttons
Once someone signs up for your email list, increase your prospects by getting them to refer your email list to a friend. Include social sharing buttons and “email to a friend” buttons to make it easy for them. They are more likely to sign up when someone they trust has recommended it.
Ensure that you include a “Subscribe” CTA at the end of these e-mails so that new contacts who receive your forwarded email can sign up easily, too.
Another effective way to build your email subscriber list is by adding a call to action in your email signature. While this is a more subtle option on this list, it still deliver results.
5. Create Targeted Content
You can increase the chances that more readers will subscribe to your e-mail list by creating content that is tailored to your target audience. An added benefit is that this will also increase the click-through rates of your emails as well.
Tips & Tricks
Provide Valuable Information In Your Newsletter
The most important takeaway when it comes to how to increase your email list is that valuable, high-quality content is key, whether in the form of blog posts, videos or even podcasts.
In doing so, you will build a foundation of trust and build your brand in the process, making it more likely that your audience will actually seek out more of your content.
Here is how to start a podcast that rocks.
As always, keep your audience in mind when thinking about the specific content to include in your newsletter – what information would they find useful?
At the same time, include three or four stories across relevant topics, but also a wide variety of industry topics so that your newsletter appeals to as many people as possible.
For example, if you own a salon, you might write about topics like the best products for curly hair, how to find the right haircut for your face shape, hair care tips for men and women, etc.
Monitor Your Metrics And Test Things Out
As with any marketing strategy, it is very important to actually test how it’s working. Here are some things to keep your eyes on: open rates, click-to open rates, shares/forwards, complaints of spam, and unsubscribe rates.
Just as important as monitoring your metrics is trying different things out, whether that involves different subject lines, article ideas, etc.
Never Purchase An E-mail List
There are many reasons why this is a bad idea, but one is the fact that people you receive from this list don’t actually know who you are and more likely than not to mark you as spam. Eventually, you will almost certainly get blacklisted.
For more reasons on why you should avoid purchasing an e-mail list, check out KissMetrics post on the topic here.
As you can see, email list building is extremely important to the success of your business. If you want to be seen and heard, begin implementing some of these list building strategies today.
Subscribe to our newsletter at Yocale here.