An email list is essential for entrepreneurs these days if you want to generate and nurture quality leads for your business. It can feel like an insurmountable task when you’re starting from zero. And sometimes it can be difficult to see the pros of creating an email list compared to the more urgent tasks on your agenda. However, don’t be tempted to procrastinate on building one, as your business will reap the benefits in the long run.
If you want to have a sustainable and profitable business, a strong email list is a must. For one thing, you have total control over your email list, which probably does not hold true for most of your digital assets. Not convinced? Consider your social media presence; while it does wonders for revenue growth, you don’t have any say on the algorithms and policies used by these platforms. The same is true for SEO; your rankings can be affected by changes in search engine algorithms.
In contrast, you’re the only decision-maker when it comes to your email list. That’s why it’s always a good idea persuade your website visitors and social media followers to register for email updates. This allows you to contact potential clients anytime, plus you have total control of the timing, content, type, and other aspects of your message to your prospects.
Guess who are most likely to buy from you, a random visitor who just landed on your website for the first time? Or, someone who have opted in to your email list and have been reading your high engaging emails? The answer is quite obvious, the second person… So if you want to generate quality and target leads to boost sales then building an email list is a must for your business!
How do you get started in building up your email list?
1. Look for an email service marketing provider.
Let’s assume you’re starting from scratch, which means you don’t have an email service provider (ESP) yet.
An ESP helps you acquire email subscribers using online templates and other and services. They also provide the tools for managing and testing campaigns as well as other tasks required for your email list.
It’s important to do your research, as ESPs vary widely in the services and pricing packages they offer. For example, some have a flat monthly rate while others charge by the number of emails sent. Try to find a balance between quality and cost, while considering your business’ potential for growth. One of the most popular providers is GetResponse, which offers a free 30 day trial and beginner-friendly. I am currently using GetResponse and I highly recommend them! You will get the best value for what you pay. Sign up for a FREE 30-day account here.
2. Create an attractive lead magnet that people can’t refuse.
How do you get people to give their email addresses willingly? Offer something compelling in return, like a free ebook, training webinar, or exclusive deals. Some bloggers transform old content into a handy guide that would entice prospects to register. Just make sure that you reward the people on your email list with something that provides real value. Otherwise, they may just click the “unsubscribe” button!
Reward subscribers with exclusive discounts
3. Create a streamlined opt-in form.
Less is more, especially when it comes to creating the opt-in form for your mailing list. Ask a potential subscriber for only two data points: the email address and first name (the latter allows you to personalize your email blasts). Prospects don’t want to waste their time with long opt-in forms, so you risk decreasing conversion rates if you ask for more information in your first interaction. The additional data is just not worth losing a potential lead. GetResponse provides many free templates and other tools you need to create a high converting opt-in form.
4. Put the opt-in form on your site.
Once you’ve created an opt-in form, GetResponse will give you a piece of code and instructions that will let you add the form to your website. Recent stats show that the best place to put the form is on the right sidebar, but you can still get high conversions in other locations.
Social Triggers lists other options for your opt-in form placement:
- After each article or blog post
- Inside a pop-up box
- Inside a feature box (see example)
- Inside a bar splashed across the top of the homepage (WordPress offers a free Attention Grabber plugin)
- In the upper section of the sidebar
- On the website footer
- On the About page
Make sure you test each option thoroughly, as the performance will also depend on your niche and audience.
Reminder: Make it easy for your new subscribers to get their freebie or discount (mentioned in item 2). You can do this by adding a download link on the landing page that subscribers see once they confirm that they are part of your email list.
How do you get targeted subscribers for your mailing list?
So, you’re all set with a reliable email service provider, a compelling offer, and a shiny new opt-in form. Now how do you get targeted subscribers? If your site has excellent traffic and your offer is too good to pass up, that’s not a problem. However, the majority of online business newbies may need to look for subscribers elsewhere. Here are some strategies that you can employ to grow your fledgling email list.
5. Maximize existing email lists.
The most popular strategy recommended by the experts is leveraging existing email lists of other people. You can offer an X deal in return, like creating content that would benefit a popular blogger in exchange for being mentioned on their site. You can also suggest partnering up on a new project or promoting them to your social media followers.
6. Combine opt-ins with other online forms.
You probably have other forms already on your website, including forms for contact information, requests for quotes, online orders, contest registration, etc. Why not add your email list opt-in form to these existing ones? At the very least, you already know that these visitors are interested in your services or products.
7. Conduct a contest or giveaway.
Another effective way to boost your mailing list is to hold a contest or give away freebies. If you already have a lot of social media followers, this option will work wonders for you.
But what if you’re a newbie with zero traffic? If you’re starting from scratch, why not offer something that’s really useful for your target audience? It can be a specialized training course or custom templates. However, be careful about offering cash or physical products from other sources, as you may get contestants who are more interested in the prizes than in your content.
8. Contribute content as a guest blogger.
You can’t grow your mailing list in isolation, and one of the best strategies is to collaborate with existing bloggers. By writing guest posts, you get top-notch inbound links, boost your site’s visibility, and acquire new mailing list subscribers in one fell swoop.
If done well, guest blogging can have a positive impact on all aspects of your digital marketing, including social media, SEO, and email campaigns.
Guest blogging strategies include:
- Writing a one-time post to a popular website.
- Becoming a regular contributor to a niche blog.
- Syndicating your blog content.
Doing so will give you more visibility since most sites give guest authors the opportunity to link back to their own sites. You can usually do this in your author profile, as part of your main article, or at the end of your guest post. Make sure you capitalize on your guest post by linking to a compelling offer on your website.
Putting in the time and effort into your mailing list is an excellent investment in your online business. Your email campaigns will keep you top-of-mind for your prospects and position you as a credible supplier or authority in your industry. If you’re in your prospects’ inboxes, you can slowly but surely build a relationship with them. When they are ready to buy, guess who they will turn to first?
Ready to start generate leads with your email list? Sign up for a GetResponse FREE 30-day account here.