Email marketing is a great way to deliver high impact marketing messages to current customers as well as their prospects. It’s a low-cost solution to start with and most of the email marketing platforms like Mailchimp and SendGrid give their customers a trial account and they come with up to 1000 free contacts and help businesses send out their initial emails. Some already have an email list built up and many do not. This article is a great place for you to learn how to build great email lists.
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Questions to ask yourself before getting started on your new email marketing list?
· Is your email list short?
· Did you buy this email list?
· Does your email list have relevant information like customer demographics and firmographics?
· Does the email list have your target audience?
· Does your email contacts database decay more than 22.5%? (Email marketing databases degrade organically by about 22.5% per year). In other words, how fresh is your email list?
· Do you update your email list bi-weekly or monthly?
· How many contacts do you lose every month? Believe it or not, loss of contacts impacts your marketing activities.
· What is your current unsubscribe rate?
· Is your email list inbound marketing focused?
· Do you have a separate email list for outbound marketing?
· How frequently do you refine your email list?
· Does your email list generate a consistent flow of inbound leads?
· Does your email list help meet targeted conversion rates?
· How many methods do you apply to generate your email list? Like email, via your website, Social media etc.
Convert more visitors into leads and subscribers. Email me to schedule a demo and learn more about how our click plans can help your company get more newsletter subscribers.
Ongoing competitions force businesses to keep growing in order to survive. Email lists help them with distribution of their marketing messages, prospect conversion, updates delivery, upcoming campaigns, exciting news, polls and surveys, positioning and finally increase in revenue.
11 simple, creative and proven techniques to build your email list.
1) Create great and engaging email content
Content plays the biggest role in driving more subscribers and adding more contacts to your email list. Make you content entertaining and engaging. Write content that encourages people to share within their network and keep subscribed for more content from your side. Make it a habit and ensure the standards are similar if not better than your best performing content.
No one wants to freely give their email addresses to companies. Companies who write spammy contents have only made it difficult for people to believe that you are not going to bomb their inbox with spam and unwanted promotional emails. Create content that people care about, helps them with their lives, entertains, engages, provides insights and solutions and helps them grow.
Focus on these to write great content for current customers and prospects:
· Who you are writing for? (Like college students, businesses, C Level executives etc)
· Do these people want your solutions or do you feel they need one?
· Do they live in the areas you focus?
· Do they fit in the income bracket you have decided?
· Do they fit in one of your buyer personas?
· Are these your immediate target customers?
· Does your content cater to either lifestyle, interest or problems of your target customer?
It takes just one bad content piece for people to unsubscribe. Maintaining highest standards of remarkable content is mandatory for every business to continue growing their email lists.
2) Encourage Subscribers
Another better way to start increasing your email list strength is asking and encouraging existing subscribers to share and forward your emails. You have already built a level of trust with your existing subscribers and there is no harm in asking them to share and forward certain emails within their network.
Do not forget to add these in marketing emails where you are going to ask your existing subscribers to forward and share:
· Include a “Subscribe” CTA in sharing focused marketing emails
· Add Social Sharing buttons
· Add “Email to a Friend” button
· Run referral contests
Use Text based links so that people receiving these forwarded emails can subscribe from within the email too. You can choose to add whichever CTA suits you from the list mentioned in the above paragraph.
3) Run target audience focused contests
Ask yourself why people should subscribe to your newsletters etc? Is great content the only value being provided to them? How else are you going to provide values and incentives to your prospective subscribers?
Running contests can help you build your email list further. People love winning and there are many examples where companies have successfully ran contests to gather email addresses of their target customers.
A classic example would be of Blackberry. Even though they failed in the last few years, they were great campaigners and one of the companies to have massive email lists. Blackberry ran a social media contest in the year 2012 when they were about to launch their first Android based smartphone. Millions of Facebook users converted their DP to a Blackberry watermarked image which was generated via their Facebook app. Such was the magnanimous effect of that campaign. Blackberry was still better as a brand then. They were gifting Blackberry Polo T-shirts. What did Blackberry do next? Those who participated in that contest were re-targeted when their android smartphone was launched. This was a real business example.
As a business you can run contests focusing your target audience for them to leave their email addresses while participating. We have always suggested companies to address prizes and contest giveaways in a way it directly related to your line of business. Consider using these examples to run a contest to grow your email list:
· Let’s say you are a B2B SaaS company. You can consider running a contest where the winners get a discounted pricing on your paid plans.
· Let’s say you are an e-commerce company. You can consider awarding your winners an advanced entry in your flash sales campaigns.
· Let’s say you are a clothing brand. Consider sending a pair of discounted bestsellers as per your winners choice.
· Let’s say you are a company that sells camera lenses. Consider giving the winner royalties on their best pictures.
This can go so on and forth. Prize your winners in a way you can further position your brand. Design your contests around areas of interests your target audience bucket cares about.
4) Capitalize on lead magnets
Lead Magnets go a long way in letting users share their email address in exchange for various marketing related insights. In other words, these are the offers that companies give their prospective customers in exchange for sharing certain information like name, company name, phone, website etc. This works better for small businesses as it is a perfect way of letting users know about your brand too. Not everybody possibly has heard of your brand and lead magnets help achieve awareness too apart from collecting better quality leads and building your email lists.
Here are a few examples of lead magnets that you can offer your customers:
· Cheat Sheets
· Specific Checklists
· Free Templates
· Product Samples
· Extended trials
· Discount coupons
· Exclusive and paid content
· Case Studies
· Research findings
· Insights from polls and surveys
· Domain specific reports
· Premium podcasts
Keep these points in mind while running lead magnet campaigns:
· Be very careful when setting up the form fields for these campaigns. Try to ask for required and relevant information for you to follow up further and close the sale.
· People sign up for these offers because they believe your offers can help solve certain problems they are facing. Be prompt and send them the content they signed up for almost immediately.
· Be specific in sharing the high value when people land on your lead magnet page. This increases your conversion rates as people do not hesitate in sharing the information you are asking for.
5) Segment your email lists by buyer persona
It’s important to send specific content as per buyer persona. Use different types of email lists to send more targeted content. Email recipients are more likely to click on emails that cater to their specific interests. Creating multiple subscription types with specific content as per buyer persona will increase your chances and visitors are more likely to leave their information and subscribe.
Let’s take an example here. Assume you are a company that sells wooden cases for iPhones, Samsung Galaxy and Huawei. Now we suggest creating three different types of email subscription lists. One for each specific brand. iPhone owners are more likely to leave their information and subscribe if your campaign landing pages focuses entirely on iPhones. Same goes for Galaxy and Huawei phone owners.
6) Use Pop-up forms
Use this mostly on your website. Motivates users to leave their email address for an offered value. Pop-ups have off-late garnered negativity and are being associated with intrusion. Various companies try not to run them. So intrusive that app developers are raking money on pop-up blockers.
They still work and that is why successful companies continue using pop-ups. They have one of the highest conversion rates. Design your pop-ups intuitively, use automated timers, show them in only specific sections of your website. Use these forms to offer visitors to sign up for your newsletters, product reviews, contest, extended trials, freebies, discount coupons etc. Design your pop-ups to catch your visitors attention and not to annoy them.
7) Re-work on your old email databases
Have you ever wondered why you received an email from a company after many months promising to remove you from their subscriber database if there was no response? This usually happens when companies are working on their old databases. Contacts decay and the best way to find out which ones are still active is to create an opt-in campaign for your old contacts. Best aspect is, it helps you clean your database and saves money as well. Email marketing platforms charge by the number of contacts you have in their database. So it’s better to clean out those contacts which have either decayed or contacts which have not clicked on any of the links in your email newsletters in the last few months.
8) Create Facebook lead ads
Facebook lead ads is a great way of generating further leads and building your email lists. More than 2 billion users happen to be on Facebook and around 16% of them happen to be a decision maker in one or the other capacity. Facebook lead ads is a great way to kickstart your email list building campaigns. The platform allows you to add as many required fields as possible, create your own questions and run everything without having to leave the social media platform.
Offer anything of value to potential customers such as product samples, e-books, specific checklists, extended trial etc in return for subscribing or sharing their contact information. Target the right audience bucket for a better engagement.
9) Set up alternate and specific landing pages
Landing pages form an essential part of every marketing campaign these days. These are specific call-to-action pages delivering the expected value to customers in lieu of their information. If your campaign is limited to just collecting email address, please use either the contests or lead magnets as essential elements to your landing page for higher conversion rates.
In a sales scenario, landing pages are often the final stage of the transaction. Use a single CTA in landing page campaigns. Do not insert other links in landing page campaigns. Your focus should be on completion of the targeted transaction so group elements in a way it enhances your expected conversion rates.
Having a customer centric content with social credibility helps further. Try inserting social proof credibility in sales scenarios.
10) Utilize social media channels and leverage them
Choose the social media platform that best suits the kind of content you are trying to highlight for your campaign. Assuming that you know your potential customers in the best way, choose platform where most of your target audience bucket hangs out.
For example, Hubspot uses Pinterest to generate a lot of their leads. B2B Advertising companies used LinkedIn to distribute their content. E-commerce companies use Instagram to spread awareness and close sales for their consumer products. Snapchat is best of targeting teens and so forth.
As you can see, companies have a specific focus on which social media channels to target the most. Consider doing the same. Use your current social media community to leverage engagement.
11) Add social sharing links to emails and employees signatures
Social sharing boosts email CTR by up to 158%. Average email CTR happens to be just 2.4% without social sharing buttons. With social sharing, email CTR increases to as high as 6.2%. Helps improve performance and further SEO rankings tool.