Email is the secret weapon of many successful businesses and internet entrepreneurs. While social media marketing has received a great deal of (deserved) attention for elevating brand identity; it isn’t as powerful as the email when it comes to driving people to take action. Capturing email addresses and creating an audience of email readers will take you and your business to the next level. Let’s take a look at why email is so important and the best recipe for building a better audience for your email marketing efforts.
First, Why Email is SO Important
Here’s why: people still guard their email inboxes. They will not give their addresses to just anyone. Because of this, they are much more likely to read and engage with the emails that they do get. In addition, your email is not competing with games, funny memes, or a friend’s new baby. It’s just your message laid out there for a ready and willing group of subscribers who are actually interested in what you have to say.
By the numbers…
Email has shown to blow other online marketing methods out of the water when it comes to ROI. Litmus reported $40 ROI for every $1 spent on email marketing, while keyword ads only return $17 per dollar, and banner ads a small $2 per dollar. Let’s also talk conversion rates. Email has been reported to offer a 4.16% conversion rate, whereas search results offer 2.64%, and social media converts at less than 1%. So now that you have an understanding of the reasons to invest in email marketing, here is how to grow your email list.
The Best Strategy
The following ways are tried-and-tested ways to get the coveted email addresses of your potential customers. As we said, people keep their emails more guarded, so you will need to offer incentives and position your request strategically.
1. Prioritize Your Opt-In Form
First, your opt-in form should be a priority when it comes to the design of your site. These little forms allow you access to the golden list which converts higher than any other channel and offers the highest ROI for goodness sakes, make it the first thing visitors see! Here is an example from the 7 for all Mankind website, a company that sells high-end jeans.
Three seconds after arriving at their site, pop! Up comes the email opt-in with a 10% off incentive and a promise of exclusive offers, updates, competitions, and in-store events. Not only that, they help to segment their customers by gathering gender information. Take notes marketers, they’ve got it right. But, how about the customers that aren’t sold right off the bat and don’t opt in?
2. Ask for Subscriptions on the Bottom of Every Page
In order to get the most subscribers from your website or blog, you need to make an offer to subscribe at the bottom of each page. Now, each of these offers should not be like the rest. You want to customize call-to-actions according to the content on the page. For example, if you have a page explaining actionable steps a customer can take to achieve a goal, you might add an opt-in like the one below at the bottom of the page.
Make opting in easy and make the offers relevant to the situation your visitor is in.
3. Site Registration
Of course, one of the easiest way to collect email addresses is when a visitor registers for your website. Juniper reported 77% of marketers report site registration to be effective for building a large, quality email list. Similar to how Facebook requires a registration to sign up, or eBay when you are trying to make a purchase, your site should register users with their email addresses too. In the site registration form, or e-commerce forms for that matter, you want to provide an opt-in option for visitors to receive continuous emails. Be sure to incentivize your opt-in so visitors are more likely to agree. Here’s an example of this tactic on H&M’s website.
Note how they incentivize their offer by saying “exclusive offers”. Who wouldn’t want exclusive offers, right!? They also collect information to segment their audience, as the 7 for all Mankind opt-in did above, including fields for gender, location, and even an interest in kids wear.
4. Use Social Media
Next up is social media. Social media is a great tool to reach far and wide and attract new customers. It is also a place to build your email list. Opt-in forms can be placed on your social media sites to call followers to action. Here is an example of what that looks like on Facebook from Salesforce’s Facebook page.
When you click on that “Sign up” button, you are taken to this page to complete the email opt-in. Adding email opt-in buttons on your social media profiles can help you move your audience from social media down the buying funnel to a place where they will click through and convert.
Social media is also great for running contests. You can offer a prize and require signing up with email in order to qualify to win. Here’s a great blog about 10 social media contests that generated a total of 10,000 emails for the respective companies.
5. Create a Free Course or Other Downloadable Content
Last but not least, a free course is a great way to engage your audience and earn their email address. What can you teach? Well, what industry are you in? What is your expertise? What do your customers want from you? You can share some of your coveted expertise on a topic people commonly ask about in your industry. Courses can be in written, audio, or video form. Here is an example from a page on Neil Patel’s Quicksprout website.
On this blog, which targets an audience who is having trouble converting SEO traffic, he has the side banner offering his free course (valued at $300) on increasing traffic. It is free in exchange for a simple email address. Note how the blog and course have the same target audience and the course reinforces the blog. This is a great way to get more email subscribers.
Another note is that these offers don’t have to be limited to courses, you can offer an infographic (as shown below), a downloadable whitepaper or PDF, a report, etc. in exchange for the email address.
If you give visitors a reason to give you their email address, and something in exchange, they are less likely to hesitate.
There you have it, the best recipe for building your email marketing audience comes down to strategically placed opt in’s with incentivized messaging. As shown in these examples, you need to be funneling visitors toward your email list from many angles. The main takeaways to remember are:
- Opt-ins Should be Highly Visible
- Opt-ins Should be Frequent
- Opt-ins Should be Relevant
- Incentives! Incentives! Incentives!
Need a tool to help you move forward with your simple strategy?
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This easy-to-use email marketing suite provides services from email opt-ins to landing pages to automation and more.
And, the best part for anyone who is just getting started? How’s a free trial sound?
Best of luck on building your golden list!
Outside of work you can find her with friends or family, enjoying beautiful San Diego or at home with her 2 cats watching Netflix.
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