Your website visitors don’t usually buy, take action, signup for your newsletter, or take any kind of action the first time they visit.
The secret to success is in “nurturing.” Email List Building helps you do just that.
Consider these stats, curated thanks to CampaignMonitor:
Looking to acquire more customers? Email is reportedly 40 times more effective at client acquisition than Facebook or Twitter.
More than 81% of online shoppers who receive emails based on previous buying habits are likely to make a purchase because of these targeted emails.
An email message is 5 times more likely to be opened and seen in an email than Facebook, for instance.
Transactional emails have 8X more opens and clicks than any other type of email. For businesses that implement B2B marketing automation, revenue increased by 60% to $1.2 million in 2014 (as compared to 50% increase in 2013).
More than 74% marketers report that targeted personalization while sending email campaigns increases customer engagement drastically. Personalized emails also deliver 6X higher transaction rates.
Email marketing – when executed right – provides for a way to boost ROI (over 3800%, according to the Direct Marketing Association).
If you just had to use one single digital marketing channel, it ought to be email marketing. For that, you’d first have to build an email list comprising of highly-active, enthusiastic, and willing subscribers who love what you do and those that’d like to hear from you.
Note: The days of asking visitors to signup for “a newsletter” are over unless your regular emails and newsletters could actually pass off as paid products (in terms of value), but you are giving all that value away for free.
Essentially, start thinking about your business as an email-only business. Email First and everything comes in next. Learning how to grow your email list has huge payoffs.
Here are some effective ways to help you with email list building:
Content Engine + CTA = Your Bread Winner
You’d need to attain a certain level of authority through publishing for to get people interested, and for them to pay attention to you.
For this to happen, you’d need:
- A steady, high-quality regime of publishing involving information-rich blog posts, clear calls to action, and a simple way for your visitors to “subscribe” for more. It’s harder to make this happen than it looks like.
- Amplifying your publishing on social platforms.
- Clear calls to action “asking” visitors to signup.
- Repeat one and two indefinitely.
The Buffer Blog, The Help Scout Blog, James Clear, Michael Hyatt, Social Media Examiner – each of these blogs and/or individuals are success stories with massive emails lists. They vouch for it, and they attribute their success to email alone.
Give Something Of Value Away
It doesn’t matter how many times you’d have read this, and it won’t matter how many businesses and individuals try and do it.
The only thing that matters is whether or not you are doing it right: to get subscribers into your list, you’d need to give something away of value.
- eBooks, cheat sheets, email courses, and regular newsletters.
- Exclusive content, tips, private videos, early access, discounts, etc.
- SaaS companies and service businesses can give away free trials.
- Free reports, free cheat sheets, and free “tool kits”
By giving something away, you are providing a piece of your business away for free. Without any obligation and by transferring customers’ risk on to your own business, you open up the gates for a big pool of enthusiastic, curious, and potentially profitable customers.
Wondering if this really works? Read Kevan Lee’s Blog Post on Buffer Blog featuring plenty of case studies of marketers and businesses that made it big just by building email lists.
Put Email Opt-In Forms, Where they Matter
The only way to decide the most impactful placements for your email subscriber opt-in forms is through A/B testing. A few tried-and-tested placements include the following:
- Main menu
- On the header
- Above the blog (inside the header)
- The sidebar
- At the end of each blog post
- Use Pop-ups (and also go deep with customized pop-ups for every page)
- On your bio everywhere (starting with your about page and over to each social media profile, for instance).
- Website footer
- Email signatures
- Within your bylines which show up under the blog posts, you write (on your blog and on other blogs where you’d do guest posting).
Apart from native opt-in forms from mail service providers, and along with tools like MailOptin, SumoMe, MailMunch, OptinMonster, you can make use of even more ways to nudge your visitors to join your email list.
The Potent Free Trial Method
You can’t under-estimate the power of the word “free”, especially if that “little something that’s free” has inherent value.
Regardless of the business you are in, there has to be a way for you to provide value. For instance, a service business can giveaway a teeny-weeny bit of a service (and not the complete package).
For products, information-based businesses, and for SaaS companies, it’s straight-forward.
Here are a few examples:
- SaaS Product free trial for 30 days, 14 days, etc.
- Free product samples.
- Free expert consultation.
- Get one hour free or a piece of service for free (works great for consultants, freelancers, and professionals).
Smart Social Presence
Insert a link to your web-based opt-in form on your bios, across every social platform you belong to.
Also, use low-touch opportunities such as a Twitter automated direct message, the about section on your Facebook profile (plus, add a tab to your Facebook page), insert the link for people to signup on LinkedIn, and more.
Expand Opportunities to Build Lists + Content Upgrades
Apart from native opt-in forms from mail service providers, and along with tools like SumoMe, MailMunch, OptinMonster, you can make use of even more ways to nudge your visitors to join your email list.
Use top bars (hello bars), bars on website footers, slide-in forms, slide-out forms, scroll-trigger forms, and forms at the end of each blog post.
You can even go advanced with content-based upgrades.
For instance, if you write a post like this one on how to build email lists, you could offer a “Content Upgrade” where you can share ten examples of small businesses that succeeded by building massive email lists.
Display & Link to your previous emails
First, make sure that you include information in your emails that you could have actually charged for (It ought to be that good).
Then, start sending out your emails on a regular basis (regardless of the number of subscribers you have on your email list).
Finally, showcase your emails (or even archive them) and link to these emails whenever possible. Let your potential subscribers know what they’ve been missing on.
Email marketing – and hence building a list is so critical – that some marketers and businesses dedicate efforts to publish regularly only with the intent of building authority and then to grow their email lists.
You could publish at the following places only to grow your exposure and to help build your email list:
- LinkedIn Publishing
- Guest Blogging
- Full-fledged PR programs (while your bio still has the opt-in form link)
- Influencer mentions and blogger round-ups
Where do you show up?
Paid Advertising, for Email List Building
Email list building pays off in the long run. Instead of depending on the slow growth of their email lists through organic list building methods, a few marketers and businesses don’t mind spending money on paid advertising methods. Such as Facebook ads, Google AdWords, Twitter Cards, and LinkedIn advertising to help build email lists.
The campaigns will still have the aforementioned strategies such as giving something valuable or free trials or information-based bribes, except that the traffic comes in through paid traffic.
Don’t Underestimate Old Customers & Offline Potential
As a business, there are tons of opportunities for you to grow your email list (in addition to each of the points mentioned above).
Most businesses completely ignore their previous customers (even if those customers just bought once, or only enquired but never purchased).
Go on a campaign to collect all those customers’ and prospects’ emails.
Further, make it a point to collect emails every time a customer or a prospect interacts with you. This also includes many offline opportunities such as events, conferences, trade shows, and when you run (or interact with people at local meet-ups).
Email makes money. Nothing pays off better than the effort you take to build your own email list.
The question is this: Are you building your email list? If yes, how? Tell us all about it.