Are you curious how your competition has grown such a huge email list? Do you wish that you had a larger audience for your content or product offerings? You are not alone. Building a high quality, profitable email marketing list is a bit of a science. But when done correctly, email lists have tremendous value to small businesses and can provide a strong impetus for growth.
What Exactly Is An Email List?
Simply put, an email list is a captive audience. When developed correctly, your email list will include people within your target audience in the following categories:
- People who have expressed an interest in your product or service.
- Prospective customers who are almost ready to buy.
- Existing customers.
These email addresses will be used to develop marketing emails that will share valuable content, promote products, services and events, and build relationships with future and existing customers.
Your business may also want to develop multiple subscriber lists or multiple segments of a single list. One of these lists or se
gments might include business partners, vendors or other people that you want to keep updated on your company news or business announcements. These type of emails could focus on new product or service offerings, highlight specific employees or sections of your companies, or changes in company policies, information that might not be as relevant to sales leads or prospects.
Why Is Email List Building Important?
Email subscriber list building should be considered a high priority marketing task for any small business. Forget about working on social media “likes” for a moment and think about what an email subscriber really is: It is a potential customer who has told you that they would like to receive emails from you. They are an active audience.
The practice of email list building is important for several reasons:
- Each email is a direct connection with a customer or future customer.
- Every subscriber who provides their email is a lead that has an unlimited lifetime value.
- As your email list shrinks, it will need to be replenished.
- The people behind the email addresses provide valuable insights for future marketing or product development efforts.
- As new products are launched, a growing email list can provide initial feedback and sales.
Actionable Ways to Grow Your List
By implementing a few simple strategies, your email list will begin to grow and help you build a clear channel for communication with people who have express a direct desire to hear from you.
1. Create an irresistible lead magnet.
Leverage your knowledge of your audience to create a cheat sheet, checklist, guidebook, or webinar that the subscriber will receive for free when they submit their email address. Freebies developed by small businesses for the purpose of growing an email list are called lead magnets and they are highly effective.
2. Use a feature box on your website.
Above the fold of your website should always be a powerful statement of what your business provides to a customer with a call to action box. This type of graphic is referred to as a feature box. When small businesses are focused on growing their email lists, the call to action can be “Subscribe Now” or “Sign Up For Free Stuff.” You get the picture.
3. Include a “Sign Up” box on social media.
Facebook and Twitter have options to include a call to action box on a profile. Email providers also offer customized options for social media so that fans and followers have the opportunity to sign up for additional information.
4. Implement the “dreaded” Pop Up box on your website.
There is no denying that pop up boxes are effective. Email subscriber sign ups have been known to increase by over 600% on websites that include at least one pop up box. Include one on the home page of your website and at least one other page and watch your list grow.
5. Include a sign up box on your eCommerce checkout page.
Take advantage of the excitement that comes with a new purchase. Including a subscribe box on the checkout page ensures that customers stay excited about your products and come back for more.
6. Create a survey.
People love to answer questions about themselves. Create a survey using Survey Monkey or related service and post it on various social media platforms. Offer a gift card drawing or other giveaway for completing the survey and require email addresses as one of the fields. Not only will you collect info about your audience, you will collect email leads.
7. Turn blog comments into a sign up opportunity.
When your audience reads your blog post and wants to comment, typically their name and email is required. By including an opt in box below the comment contact information, you can begin to funnel these email addresses to your email list. Basically, if the commenter does not uncheck the subscribe box, they have agreed to be included.
8. Start a Facebook group.
Facebook community groups are simple to start and organically attract the right audience. Once the group is set up and members begin to join, post call to action buttons and link encouraging the group members to sign up to learn more about your specific product or service.
9. Don’t forget your local audience.
Attending events, holding local raffles, and speaking at Chamber of Commerce meetings are all great ways to make a local impact. Encourage attendees to sign up for prizes or more information and add the emails addresses to your existing list.
The key takeaway here is that email list growth and development is a crucial part of email marketing. Depending on your business model, you may want to choose 3-4 of these email marketing list building strategies, test them and stick with the ones that really work for you. Understanding the value of a robust email list and how to use it as part of your marketing mix will produce noticeable business benefits including growth of your bottom line.
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