You know by now the tremendous value of email marketing.
If you haven’t began building your email list yet, or you haven’t given it much effort, now is the time to focus on building one to grow your business.
HubSpot defines an email list as “a collection of email addresses that a business can create by engaging with potential customers through lead-generating campaigns.” They further comment that “Email lists can shrink as members opt out of email subscriptions, and grow as the business solicits contact information from website visitors.”
Because email marketing is so effective, and because your email list needs constant attention, here are some major principles behind building an email list and some effective ways to go about building yours.
These are foundational factors for building your email list. Start with them first, then move on the ways of actually attracting users to join your list.
An email address is a valuable commodity, that’s why every website you visit wants yours. It allows the business or entity to send you solicitations of all kinds on any type of schedule. And because emails are read and acted on at a high rate, this is a precious thing, indeed. Therefore, people do not give up their email addresses easily. You have to offer something of value in exchange.
One of the best ways to capture email addresses is to give away something valuable for free. This opt-in gift, sometimes called a lead magnet, can be any form of content, demo, or free trial that shows off your brand’s expertise. Popular lead magnets are eBooks, case studies, and free demos or consultations. What you create and send your registrants is up to you, but the underlying strategy is the same: Deliver something useful so users will happily give up their email address for it.
The second important principle that is foundational to building your email list is so basic that many people miss it. Not only should you offer something of real value in exchange for email addresses, but you must let people know about your offer. You must make it easy to subscribe to your list. This means prioritizing the placement of multiple opportunities for people to give you their email address throughout your website. We’ll suggest some ways to do that below.
Now that you have a great lead magnet to attract users, it’s time to start letting them know about your list and how they can subscribe. The principle above is about making it easy for users to subscribe to your list. Here are the top ways to do that.
A timed pop-up ad that shares briefly about your lead magnet and invites users to get it is a very effective way to harvest email addresses. After a user spends a certain amount of time on your page, he or she can receive a pop-up relevant to the content on that page or your offer, or to their behavior. Examples of this include exit pop-ups, which appear when a user tries to leave the page, or scroll pop-ups, which appear after the user scrolls a certain percentage down the page.
As you expand your business, you may want to offer more than one lead magnet, each designed to target a specific audience. As you advertise that particular offer, the link leads to the specific landing page that contains a CTA for subscribing to your email list. More landing pages with offers to subscribe is a way to dangle more hooks in the water to catch more subscribers.
Each landing page for a different lead magnet needs its own specially-written call to action. You are attempting to meet a specific need with your lead magnet, so address that need in your call to action. For example, if the lead magnet is an eBook about writing great blog posts, don’t just hang a button on the page that says, “Register for My Email List.” Embed a hook that describes the value of your lead magnet in that opt-in button text by saying something like, “Send Me Blogging Tips I’ll Love!”
Good language to use includes words like exclusive, now, today, unique, all-access, limited time offer, love, and limited number to be offered. Promote the value while emphasizing urgency.
BONUS: This strategy should be used on every CTA to join your mailing list, no matter where it is located. Your page pop-ups should employ similar language. A bonus is to use negative language on the link that allows the user to decline joining your list. For example, above we used an opt-in button with the text reading, “Send me Blogging Tips I’ll Love!” A smaller link below that users must use to close the box or navigate off the page could say, “No, I’d Rather My Blogs Suck” or “No thanks, I don’t care about writing great blogs.”
Get the word out on every piece of communication you send or content you publish. Users should see opportunities to subscribe to your newsletter everywhere. Every blog post, Twitter post, Facebook post, Instagram image or video, everything. Every email you send for any reason should include an opt-in CTA and link for your mailing list as close to your signature as possible.
Word of mouth is still the best form of reliable advertising. In the digital email world, that means users think your newsletter is so valuable they eagerly anticipate it. They forward it to others. They encourage their friends to subscribe themselves. Every month, or whenever your email newsletter is sent, be sure to load it with exclusive content and offers that provide real value for your readers. They can be your best source of new list members. And of course, include a line in the newsletter for how readers can subscribe.
What strategies to build your newsletter have you have used successfully? Share them with our readers in the comments below!
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