For any company, their list of subscribers and clients along who engage well with the product is a prized possession and having a list of their email ids is an asset that is priceless and guarded very closely. As a marketer, the onus falls on you to build that email list, keep it up to date and relevant to ensure there is none or minimal reduction in database decay (most often it is unavoidable, so reducing it more helpful in such situations).
HubSpot reports that every year, a company’s email list is susceptible to deteriorate by about 22.5% approximately; you’ll need to keep this in mind and schedule for a regular data cleansing program which will sweep through your existing list, brush off the undeliverable addresses, people who’ve unsubscribed etc and clean it up. A healthy email list should be your top priority; sure it takes time to build and maintaining is equally difficult, but with the investment of time and energy you can do it because without an email list there is no way of communicating or keeping in touch with your prospects, customers, and fans. And whether you’re running an online business or retail store for high-end fashion, you will need to communicate with the users often to stay afloat and entice them to buy.
Now having said all that, building your email list with relevant contacts is no mean feat! For starters, no one is foolhardy enough to hand over their email address to anyone who asks, users these days are more tech-savvy and aware, so they’re sceptical about giving their email address to unfamiliar sites; they could be spammed with junk mail or scammed with their email addresses sold and privacy destroyed…these are just some of the thoughts running through the average user’s mind and this makes your job building that email marketing list doubly difficult.
One valuable asset here is opt-in email lists; this will help you in nurturing your leads and also encourage and entice your existing customers to buy again. With this, you’ll be able to put together a list of people who are interested in your communications and look forward to your emails and will subscribe to your site. So along with building a list, you’ll also need to keep your subscribers hooked and the trick for that one is valuable content.
So to help you in your endeavor of building an email list of engaged subscribers we’ve put together a few tips and tricks that have been tried and tested. Use these actionable tips and get building your own list quickly and efficiently and you won’t have to resort to buying or renting email addresses.
1. Let them know why they should subscribe.
No one is going to subscribe to your feed or emails unless you tell or show them why they should be subscribing. You’ll need to have quality content that the reader can identify with and engage with, once you’ve got them hooked it won’t take long before they subscribe. Another thing to remember is not to inundate their inboxes with a deluge of emails; sure it happens to all us and in our enthusiasm practicality is overcome, but this can prove disastrous to your email list. People will perceive this flood of emails as spam and join the list of unsubscribers in a hurry and the only person losing out will be you. You need to get the customer to believe in your content and you won’t get multiple chances for this, so make it count. Next thing, you need to have a clear picture of the kind of customer you’re attracting to buy your products, so make your email interactive, the more conversational it sounds better and personalization goes a long way in helping your cause. If you feel your emails are boring, imagine how the reader will feel? So make it an enjoyable experience and a customer who enjoys reading your correspondence will look forward to your emails.
2. Signup forms and popup boxes.
A pop-up subscription box or sign up forms with the option to subscribe to the email feed is a sure-fire way to increase your email list significantly. Installing a plug-in or a script for a pop-up subscription box will always work in your favor, don’t believe us? Why don’t you try it first? Pop-ups help in increasing the lead conversion rates. But again keep that enthusiasm in check, let the reader have a chance to at least skim through your blog or catalog for a few minutes and then you can have the subscription box or sign up forms pop up for them. If in your haste you end up asking them to subscribe first before reading the material, you might chase them away. Also, ensure the offer doesn’t pop-up more than once during each visit, nothing is more irritating to a user than to close a dialog box or pop-up window every few minutes. Instead of a pop-up, you can even opt for a slider which will slide out unobtrusively as the visitor scrolls down the page. You could also try integrating the pop-ups or sign up forms with social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can put them on all pages of your website, but make sure it doesn’t interfere with the user’s reading or browsing experience. Another trick is to include a link in the email signatures of all your employees, this lets the users subscribe there and then.
3. A strong social media presence.
Let’s face it, anyone and everyone is on some sort of social media platform today. And there is no better platform to fish for potential customers like a social media platform; they’re teeming with prospective clients and businesses advertising their wares. As a businessperson in digital marketing it’s high time you jumped on the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram bandwagon and start hanging out with your customers and keep their interest piqued with relevant posts which can be quotes, images, videos, or anything related to the service or product which your audience is bound to like and comment on. Again being enthusiastic is good but don’t let it overcome you, relevancy is key here. Just because it is a social media profile doesn’t mean you post content that is completely unrelated to your product. For example, if your business happens to be baked goods you must post content like pictures of what’s fresh on the menu or keep them on tenterhooks for a few days before revealing a new addition to the menu or even post a few tutorials or recipes; but don’t deviate and post a meme on Game of Thrones’ latest season or episode, save that for your personal profile! Or if you really want to combine your love for Game of Thrones with your profession and appeal to a whole new crowd out there, you can release a limited edition Game of Thrones inspired menu with pictures, but nothing more! This way you can combine both your loves and benefit from it, but of course, that’s just one example.
Mainly any content you post on your business’ profile should be about helping out your users and dish out useful information for potential clients. Do not troll or post anything that is derogatory or discriminatory; and even if someone comments in such a fashion it is always best to ignore and delete such posts, remember users are always checking your profile. You can even follow an account that relevant to your industry, post regularly and comment on relevant posts too’ this helps build your social profile. Finally, once your profile is up and running, add a link to your landing page or blog which will lead to them to signing up and providing their email address.
4. Valuable Content, No spam
We’ve already said “valuable content” enough times in this article for it to become a litany. Well if you haven’t figured it out by this point, we’re going to put it plainly; the reason we’re being litanic is that we can’t stress enough on the importance of those two words! You need to come up with regular, informative blogs on your website for the customer to understand that you’re an authority on the subject. Offer information on the industry and educational materials freely and this helps them trust you and will prove your expertise on the subject to them. This is how blogging can build an email list; your aim should be to make the content interesting for the customers and entice to sign up for more. Also don’t forget to include sign up forms or a subscription button on each blog page, making it easier for the customer. A neat trick here would be to build a microsite with landing pages where lead data is captured and so you’ll know the performance of each of those blog posts and you can recycle and reuse the same content to prop up the growth of your list.
5. Giveaways, freebies, and incentives
Everyone loves freebies, incentives, and giveaways. And what’s not love about it, not having to pay for something makes it irresistible! A free downloadable eBook with appropriate content, a tool, or a template, free access to webinars, exclusive discounts, or incentives via a loyalty program in your company, all of these and more will lure the customer to the subscription button. Of course, you need to put some thought into it, you can’t just give stuff that they can’t use; think of something unique that your target audience would be overjoyed to get. For example, if you’re running an exclusive children’s boutique; you could announce free redeemable vouchers to the store for your subscribers or a book on parenting or even bonus points which can be redeemed for cash added to their account in your loyalty program.
And remember while you source for new customers online, there’s a whole demographic waiting to be exploited to your benefit – incentivize advocacy! When you offer benefits or freebies or other incentives to existing customers to lure in more customers you can generate more leads and it also enhances the customer’s loyalty.
6. Sign-Up or Log in Options
You can let them choose or opt for what they want to sign up for or subscribe to. This only works if you have multiple sections on your website, like entertainment, news, knowledge etc. users can have the choice of signing up for or subscribing to a specific service or page of your website. If a person is interested in cooking he or she won’t want to be bombarded with emails on general knowledge or breaking news or the latest GOT memes! On the other hand, if they’re given the choice to subscribe to the recipes page or food and drink section of our page, they will not unsubscribe from the email list and will look forward to and read those emails.
7. Opt-In Boxes
It completely depends on you to decide how many opt-in boxes you want on your website. But you do want to give more than one chance for the visitor to subscribe, so it will help if you have an opt-in box for every page and every new blog post to wrangle more email subscribers and do remember to keep the email sign up box above the fold where it’s easily visible rather than in the footer where it might be ignored.
8. An Exclusive Saving Club
Retailers both offline and online usually create a savings club where subscribers receive a coupon upon signing up. People love it when they’re made to feel part of an exclusive club. As part of the exclusivity you can offer them incentives like free or subsidized shipping rates, discounts on other related products, this keeps them interested enough to stay subscribed. For example, if you’re an online fashion merchandising company that rents out couture clothes to your customers, you could send your customers an email stating that exclusive members get to view the newest range in store before it is put up for the general public and offer them a 15% discount on that new range. The implication is that the person as a member of an exclusive group with select few members will get exclusive savings rather than a regular customer. You could also include a call-to-action button where they can refer friends to the program and earn more points or discounts, which way they benefit from exclusive incentives while you benefit from a growth in your email list.
One thing to remember here is not to imply that only people who subscribe to the club or your email list can view the articles, blogs, videos or any other content that you’ve posted. If you did, you’re in danger of losing a large chunk of prospective clients who while they might be one-time buyers but are still clients who will lead to sales. Leave it free for everyone to read or view with an opt-in box close by if they want to subscribe.
Some email marketing software offer function called text-to-subscribe, this permits individuals to sign up for emails without having to visit your website. Take advantage of this and include the code on packing slips, business cards and any other printed material generated by your business. Signing up through text in display advertisements and messages on register receipts instead of filling up forms is an easy way to get email addresses if you run a business locally.
10. YouTube Channel
A YouTube channel should be treated as your ticket to quick email sign-ups. Host all your video content like advertisements, tutorials and other relevant content on that YouTube channel and include a CTA button asking people to subscribe for more of such exciting stuff along with email updates on any new content that will be posted. To ensure that the videos are short and relevant and most importantly engaging.
11. Trade fairs and events
A great way to get in touch with your target audience is by attending offline events such as trade fairs and expos. People who are highly focused on a particular product are the ones who attend such trade fairs and expos and it’s quite possible that they’re part of your target audience. Get yourself a booth and make it trendy and eye-catching, host a few games with some exciting prizes for the winners, give attractive incentives for those who sign up and advertise that to the others to entice them to sign up. You could even have a brilliant presentation targeted to get people to sign up. Keep in mind though that these offline events will dent your wallet in a big way but it’s an expenditure that is well worth the cost.
Finally, after all the hard work is done and you have a wonderful list of email addresses for people looking forward to our communication, start off with an email welcoming them to the fold and thanking them for subscribing to your emails. Do remember to assure them that even though emails will be regular, you will not be spamming their inboxes full of content. Now, all that’s left is email sequence optimisation, setting a tone that reflects the personality of your brand while still being human and keep subscribers engaged with the educational and valuable content. And keep updating your email marketing software’s email list whenever new contacts subscribe.
And lastly here are a few tips on keeping your content engagement worthy:
A content that goes on your blog or web pages or social media pages needs to be such that it grabs the attention of the visitor, keeps them hooked and compels them to take action. The action being read, subscribe and buy from your business. Most importantly, since a website acts as the face of the company, the content on that website shouldn’t make the reader feel like a robot is lecturing them on that subject. A more interactive, human approach helps in gaining the reader’s trust. Contests and giveaways endear you to them as they win prizes or incentives and that always is exciting for a reader. Conducting polls or getting feedback from these readers helps build engagement, increases trust and loyalty as they’ll feel that their opinion matters and it will also give you new insights into your audience. A person who tags and replies to comments, shares or other collaborators are always more appreciated as the audience will identify with them as someone who cares and it gives credibility to your post. You might laugh at this one, but hashtags do have their own importance; include them where they’re relevant to help people find your social content. This one’s a no-brainer; compelling images, infographics, and videos add a lot more credibility to your content and make it more attractive to the reader.
So armed with all this information, you can now confidently build your own email list and start communicating with your contacts.