Don’t miss an opportunity!
Here are a few ways to build an email list the right way!
If you have an active online business and you are not gathering the names and email addresses of your readers, then you are missing an important trick. Some will say that you are being very naive and foolish as one of the golden rules of online marketing is to have an email list.
If traffic is coming your way – capitalize on it, and seek a revenue conversion.
Having an effective email list will allow you to communicate and target your subscribers efficiently. This will enable you to build and nurture a marketing relationship with them.
By providing subscribers with offers and information, your aim is eventually to turn those subscribers into paying customers. With a list, it can be done, without one, it certainly can’t!
There are several ways to build an effective email marketing list. So, if you have never done one before, here are some tips on how to get one up and running immediately.
Use Quality Content to Attract and Interact with your Readers.
Everything revolves around writing useful and unique content that your visitors will engage and be interested in. Therefore, before trying to build your list, it’s imperative that you already have high quality content on your website.
Why should anyone subscribe to a site full of poor or badly written content? Exactly, they shouldn’t! Articles written with a sense of style and panache, which encourage readers to engage in them, are what it takes to get visitors to opt-in to any email list.
There are three main ways to encourage your readership:
- Have engaging website content
- Through social media content
- Using giveaways as an incentive to signing up
All websites should have a dedicated blog which is easily accessible from all the pages of the website. Placing an item entitled ‘Blog’ onto your main menu is the most effective way forward. Doing this will ensure visibility and accessibility to all of your posts.
Tip – Set the Blog page to load up as the Home page for the site, so all your readers will land on your most recent content rather than on a dedicated landing page.
When your readers see regular fresh content, they will be more likely to return to your website. You are now building a relationship with them, so each time they arrive you have an opportunity to get them subscribing to your email marketing list.
Don’t be tempted to include detrimental or overly promotional material. You can lose the trust of your readership in a second; it just takes any one of these negatives:
- Bad spelling
- Poor grammar
- Bad punctuation
- Boring content
- Non relevant content
- Poorly designed site
- Out-dated content
- Duplicate content
To deal with all grammar issues, you may be interested in taking a look at this review on Grammarly, an excellent online grammar and plagiarism checker – I use it for every article I write!
Social Media Content
Avail of the power of social media. I’m sure that a large number of your target audience are active on at least some of the more popular social networks. You can share blog posts on social media or even write social specific copy. Don’t forget, the aim of your content on social media is to drive extra traffic to your website.
Linking to posts on social sites, such as Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook is an excellent way to get new visitors to your own site. This extra traffic is like a bonus to you, as they most certainly wouldn’t have otherwise discovered your brand.
Creating an incentive for anyone to opt-in is a good method. We all like freebies sometimes, especially if they may be useful to us!
Offering a guide, report or how-to booklet will usually do the trick. But, again keep it relevant to your niche or to marketing in general. Don’t just fob off your customers with some cheap, badly written ebook – they will vote with their feet!
A high quality giveaway is much more likely to get your visitors to provide their information in exchange for your gift.
Offer Content to Visitors then Start to Build your List
Position your opt-in form into the sidebar of your page or post. It can also be positioned at the end of any post to encourage the reader to join after reading that particular article.
It may well be worthwhile to split test various locations for the placement of your form as different audiences are sure to behave differently. Likewise, when it comes to colors, fonts and styles of the opt-in form, test those too. Also, make sure the call-to-action button is eye catching.
Readers tend to fill in opt-in forms if they have found the content useful or valuable, and why would they do so otherwise? Got it. Quality content means more sign ups.
Another way to catch the reader’s information is to offer them some good content that they are unable to access until they have left their name and email address. The emphasis here is on ‘good’ content; it must be perceived as invaluable, so that your visitors are willing to exchange their information for your offer.
Manage your List Using a Professional Solution
Using a professional email company, like AWeber, GetResponse, iContact, Mailchimp and others, you will get a good autoresponder service. They will enable you to build lists, opt-in forms and manage your subscribers (while complying with the CAN-SPAM Act), and deploy emails automatically as well as tracking performance.
Some offer more for their money, so take a good look at each of them to see which suits you best. If you are on a limited budget, Mailchimp is a good place to start as it’s free while you have under 2,000 subscribers.
Each business is going to want its own type of data from their target audience so that they can market to them effectively. Remember, the less you ask for from them, the better. People are more likely to fill in just one field (email) than they are if asked to complete one with several fields.
Requesting their email address is the basic essential requirement, and if you are able to utilize just that data effectively without a name, then do so. Asking for more personal information will greatly reduce opt-in rates.
Most email marketing services allow you to create multiple lists and manage them separately. This is ideal for businesses that want to develop bespoke targeted email lists. Say, for example, an electronic store may wish to separate their list into different categories and, therefore, have unique opt-in forms for each category, like televisions, computers, cameras, etc.
By undertaking this type of targeted marketing, the company will have a better understanding of who is searching for what. If a visitor fills in the opt-in form on a page that features cameras, then there is a likelihood that they are interested in buying a new camera, so sending them targeted emails about camera offers and promotions will be more effective than sending them a general email.
It is important that you build your email list according to the CAN-SPAM Act standards. Ensure that you use an email marketing platform that has a compliant built in subscriber management system for your email marketing.
When a visitor fills in your opt-in form, they will automatically receive a verification email asking them to click a link to acknowledge their request to be added onto your list. Each email sent out will also have an ‘unsubscribe’ option at the end of the communication. This method is a great time saver, as it not only keeps your campaigns compliant with the regulations, but also saves you from having to remove contacts from your list manually.
Once you have your email marketing platform set up you will be able to compose emails from within and send them to certain subscriber lists or to all your contacts.
Being able to target your subscribers specifically will lead to a better relationship between the two of you. They will accept what you are offering rather than being sent stuff they had not asked for. If a group of people have a specific interest, you can bulk them all together into one list and then send them offers related to only that particular interest.
Being able to track the performance of every message sent out is one of the most beneficial features of an email marketing system. This is why…
- It helps to generate the direction of future campaigns
- It enables you to view open rates (the percentage of successfully delivered campaigns that were opened by your subscribers).
- It enables you to view click through rates (CTR) – (the number of subscribers who actually clicked through).
Ways to Improve Your Open Rates
If the open rate is seen to be low then, then it could be because of one of these reasons:
- Your subject line is probably not interesting enough or perhaps is not relevant.
- Your list is made up of too wide a variety of subscribers.
- You may not be sending out enough campaigns.
- You are sending too many campaigns.
By having access to all this data will allow you constantly to improve the performance and, therefore, improve the effectiveness of your email marketing in general.
Get into the habit of analyzing each mailing and try to fine tune the information ready to implement any changes for future mailings to make them better.
Armed with this knowledge, you now know the best ways to build an email list of subscribers for your business. You can communicate and engage with them effectively.
You have an ultimate goal of promoting your brand while hopefully converting leads into sales. It’s all about a trusting relationship, so once they trust you they may feel like buying from you.
If you have any experiences about email marketing lists you wish to share with us, please comment below. I’ll respond as soon as I can…
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