In the world of digital marketing, email addresses of potential (or current) customers are an invaluable commodity.
Research has shown that email marketing remains one of the most effective forms of advertising. Of course, the downside is that businesses must compile lists of interested users. Luckily there are plenty of viable options that provide significant value to both your audience and your bottom line.
In this post, I’ll lay 7 of the best strategies for building an email list.
1. Make an Offer
This just in: people love saving money! By putting an offer on your website in exchange for an email address, you give customers the opportunity to feel like they’re getting something for their information.
Whether it’s a free appetizer at a restaurant or a discount on your company’s services, you can often make up the difference if you’re able to turn a first-time customer into repeated business in the future.
Most users know that once they give their email address to a business that they’re likely going to receive emails. Make sure there’s something in it for them and they won’t get the feeling you’re spamming them in hopes of gaining their loyalty.
2. Promote Your Newsletter
A monthly newsletter is a great way to stay top-of-mind. Make it as easy as possible for your website visitors to sign up by promoting it throughout your website.
Most web platforms allow for a sign-up widget on each page. Additionally, if you have a section of your site that hosts blogs, make sure that users have the option to subscribe. This way they can get your content sent straight to their inbox if they find the information valuable.
3. Host Contests and Promote them on Social Media
One of the most effective ways to collect email addresses is by hosting a sweepstakes or giveaway. Even if the prize isn’t a high-dollar item, people will still be willing to give away their email address (which costs them nothing) if it puts them in the running to win.
Think of it this way: if you give away a $50 gift certificate or something of comparable value and can collect 100 email addresses (a very conservative estimate), it’s a bargain for advertisers. The lifetime value of obtaining a large pool of email addresses is significantly higher than what you’re giving away.
Use social media, especially Facebook, to promote your contest and watch the entries come rolling in. Put a modest amount of money into promoting your sweepstakes or giveaway and there’s a good chance you’ll see a nice return on your investment in the long run.
4. Restrict Certain Content
Aside from news sites, content paywalls are probably something to stay away from. However, if accessing highly-valuable content only requires an email address, people will be more inclined to oblige.
As the saying goes – “everyone is in an expert at something,” and as it turns out, people want to get information from those who know what they’re talking about. Use your free content to give users a glimpse into your expertise, and then require a small token of good faith, in this case, an email address, to access your best stuff.
5. Run Ad Campaigns for Specific Groups
If you have a wide and diverse customer base, it can be challenging to put together one-size-fits-all campaigns. This can make it difficult to get conversions even after obtaining email addresses.
One way to develop more specific groups to use for email marketing is by utilizing social media ads that target more narrow groups of people. For example, you might run a campaign that only shows ads to parents, with your call-to-action linking to an email signup form. Next, you can craft email campaigns that feel more personalized by including parent-friendly messaging and only send them to the “parent” pool of email addresses.
Email marketing is inherently more personal than just about any other type of digital marketing available today. Do your part to make customers feel like they’re being recognized as an actual person and not simply an address on a list.
6. Website Pop-Ups
Let’s be honest – pop-ups are probably not high on the list of things internet users are looking for when they visit your site…or so they say. The data suggests that users actually engage with website pop-ups at a much higher rate than they do the content that lives on your site. If this sounds far-fetched, check out the results of this study.
You don’t necessarily need to have one asking for an email address appear on every page, but utilizing one or two strategically placed pop-ups can yield surprisingly good results. Just be sure that the feature isn’t slowing down your site’s speed or performance, or you risk alienating your audience.
Use wording that is a bit more dynamic than “Yes or No” to inspire users to act. For example, use “I want to be in on the latest news, offers, etc.” and you’ll instantly show the value that signing up for your email list can provide.
7. Create Good Email Content
Once you’ve built a sizeable list of email addresses your work is just beginning. The only way to turn those addresses into actual sales is by sending out valuable content.
Try using messaging that feels personal, and remember that it never hurts to stick a discount code or coupon in the email as well. Perhaps the best advice is simply to think about what you’d like to receive in your own inbox. Keep it short, provide some value, and bonus points if you can incorporate humor or something entertaining.
Short of making a sale, obtaining an email address is about as good as it gets for digital marketers.
Try utilizing a few of the strategies above and continue to refine your strategy until you find what gets results. Growing your email list is an ongoing process that can always be improved upon.
If your business needs help putting together an effective email strategy, get in touch with us today for more information.