Email marketing is alive and well. Despite the rapid advance of social media marketing and other types of marketing outreach in the digital age, email still stands as the bedrock of most marketing programs. To maintain a strong email marketing presence, it’s imperative to build, and continuously expand your email list. Here are some tips that will help you along the way:
1. Have an opt-in form
It’s hard to collect new names for your email list if you don’t have a way for people to opt-into your email distribution. Create a web form to make it easy for people to sign up. This is a basic element of effective email list management.
2. Keep your form simple
Ask for email address and name only—or just email address if possible. You’ll be able to gather more of their info later, once you begin to engage them.
3. Place your opt-in form across your site
Place it around your website so that it’s visible in many places. Make a point to include it on higher value pages that get the most traffic. It’s important to make the form easy to see, as few people will go looking for it on their own.
4. Reassure subscribers
Include language on your opt-in page that reassures potential subscribers that you won’t send them spam or sell their email address to other businesses. Because spam is so prevalent these days, this reassurance will go a long way.
5. Produce a killer blog
If you publish a great blog that covers pertinent topics and delivers helpful advice to your readership, people will take notice. The objective here is to provide insights that make life easier for your readers. Always include an option for readers to opt into your mailing list at the end of each blog post. If your content is engaging and helpful, people will want to sign up and provide you with their email address.
6. Write an eBook
Develop an eBook that educates readers on a topic of interest in your respective market. Gate the eBook with a form that gathers contact information. Each new download will provide you with a new address for your email marketing database.
7. Develop a white paper
If you have the capacity and the expertise to produce a solid white paper, you should do so. Make sure to present a solution to a common problem your customers and prospects face. And, like the eBook, gate it with a form to capture new email addresses for each download.
8. Reward those who opt in
Offer a one-time discount, a coupon, or some other incentive for opting into your email list. You’d be surprised how effective even a small incentive can be.
9. Create a cool name for subscriber membership
Think of a catchy name for subscribers, so that people who sign up feel like they have entered into an exclusive club. Provide ways for members to interact in some way, such as through the use of social media hashtags. People like feeling a sense of inclusion in something exclusive, and will be more likely to opt-in if you position your subscribers as members of an exclusive club.
10. Offer promotions that are only available to subscribers
This is a way to convey to subscribers that they are in fact members of an exclusive club. Offer special discounts or other promotions and make them available only to those who have signed up.
11. Make part of your website only available to subscribers
Here, you could store some of your higher value content and make it only available to those who have signed up. Here’s a tip: make parts of that content visible so that people can find it, but configure your site so that a pop up appears after 30 seconds requiring readers to log in—or subscribe—to continue viewing.
12. Host a webinar
Develop content for a webinar that will provide helpful advice, such as best practices in your industry. Promote your webinar on social media. Capture emails for your contact list through the registration process, and be sure to make the webinar free to attend.
13. Include a link to your op-in page in your email signature
Once you create a landing page with an opt-in form, you can share that page as a hyperlink. One of the better places to share that link is in your email signature, so that every email you and your colleagues send includes that link. Often, your emails will get forwarded to people who are not on your list, meaning new leads may see it and sign up.
14. Be active on forums
Check in on popular forums in your space, and answer any question you can. Readers will start to see you as an authority on that particular subject, and will be interested in learning more. Just make sure to include a link back to your website each time you post, so that interested parties will see your opt-in form.
15. Offer a free trial
Offer the ability to try your product or service out for free. When someone wants to start their free trial, require them to provide you with their email address so you can add a new contact to your email marketing list.
16. Offer a free version of your product or service
Go one step beyond offering a free trial, and offer a free, basic version of your product or service. People will still need to register their contact information with you to get it. Plus, by using your free offering, they are more likely to grow fond of it and decide to go all in for the paid version.
17. Be a good corporate citizen
Become active in your community by organizing employee volunteer events, sponsoring food drives, and finding other ways to give back to the community. Share information about these events on your blog or in local publications, with a link to your opt-in form for those who want to learn more. Corporate social responsibility is increasingly important in today’s business landscape, and people will take notice if you become an active corporate citizen.
18. Hold a recurring give-away
Give away a free product or subscription to your service one a month, or once a quarter. Require those who want to be eligible for the drawing to provide their contact information.
19. Use web pop-ups
Use CRM software with marketing automation capabilities that let you place web pop-ups on your website. Use them to display your opt-in form with a message telling visitors that they can stay up-to-date with what’s new and great at your company by signing up for your mailing list.
20. Attend industry events
Attend conferences and other gatherings in your industry to get in front of new leads. Bring a physical opt-in sheet so that anyone you interact with can sign up. And make sure to suggest people sign up when you speak to them.
21. Host your own event
Organize a workshop, free lunch, or any other type of event that’s likely to appeal to prospects. Require them to RSVP with their name and email address.
22. Offer free demos
Give people the ability to see a virtual demo of your product or service, through your website. Ask them to provide their contact information in exchange for the demo.
23. Collaborate with influencers
Find influencers in your industry and suggest writing guest blogs with them, or collaborating with them in other ways. Then, share the results of that collaboration on social media with a link back to your website where people will find your opt-in page.
24. Use exit intent pop-ups
When someone is about to leave your website, exit intent pop-ups will appear and offer a discount or some other incentive for sticking around. Tell visitors all they need to do to receive that offer is provide their name and email address.
25. Use Facebook Ads
Targeted Facebook ads are a great way to drive people to your website. Make sure you target the right people so that your ad will be relevant to them. And be sure to link them back to a page on your site where your opt-in form is highly visible.
26. Participate in LinkedIn groups
Contribute to conversations in those groups so that members can see that you are an authority on that subject. The better your contribution to the conversation, the more people will take notice and navigate to your site to learn more—where they will find your opt-in form.
27. Leverage customer testimonials
Include them on your opt-in page—below your form—so that visitors will see that others are touting your product or service. Hearing how great your company is from other buyers is more convincing than hearing it from you.
28. Include forward-to-a-friend links
Add them to your emails and newsletters so that when you send something that interests a particular subscriber, they can easily send it along to colleagues, friends and family who might be interested. And include a link to your opt-in page in every email.
29. Promote items of interest on social media
These could be discounts, new offerings, promotions, or anything else that is likely to spark interest. Share them on all your social channels to expand your reach. And, of course, require an email address to take advantage of the offer.
30. Use social share buttons
Put them on any content that you think people will share, particularly your gated pieces. If it’s helpful content, people will be more likely to share it, which will aid in your email list building efforts.