building your email list

In spite of what some people might think, email is not dead; things are quite the opposite, in fact. New email marketing trends continue to develop, such as dynamic email content, but until you get there, your first concern as an email marketer is expanding and maintaining your subscriber’s database.

Even if numbers are encouraging and the thought of thousands of subscribers receiving your emails is comforting, don’t rest on your imaginary laurels and be honest with yourself: how many of these subscribers open and read your emails? Your can guarantee a lot of the address you have will not be current email addresses (as people change their jobs). The fact is that about 25% of the entries on your email database are lost each year, which makes email list building top priority for email marketers. Here are 15 effective methods we recommend you for expanding your email lists.

  1. Quality content. The only way you can attract more user engagement and encourage people to stay subscribed is sharing remarkable content. At the beginning, you may attract prospects with an offer and convince them to sign up, but eventually it’s all about the quality of the emails you send.
  2. Write powerful value propositions for your emails. The first question that most prospects ask themselves is “What’s in for me?” If you manage to design your subscribing form in a way that makes people instantly understand what the benefits of receiving your newsletter are, you clearly are on the right path. A few possible ideas for promoting those benefits are testimonials, feedback from subscribers, and short 5-figure lists on why people should subscribe to your newsletter.
  3. Watch your language! By this we mean that you should take care about the terms you use. Even if “subscribe” and “register” sound totally legit to you, these words may suggest commitment or spending money to the average user. Give up marketing clichés; you don’t necessarily have to call it a “newsletter” either.
  4. Offer something in exchange! Free lead generation content such as whitepapers or e-books are an efficient way of attracting more subscribers. Before creating this kind of content, we advise you to check your website’s analytics and see what keywords and what links attract more traffic.
  5. Organise a contest. Well constructed contests send engagement levels to the sky. There are numerous contest ideas you can try: trivia, encouraging users to submit content, asking people to provide you with their feedback, offering a gift to the comment that gets most likes, or asking customers what their favourite product or article is. When combined with Social Media it provides a powerful multi-channel forum to encourage engagement and gain contest entrants by asking them to register with their name &email address.
  6. Seek for help in your professional network. Instead of swapping email lists with your business contacts (which is not very honest to your subscribers), we recommend you hosting a webinar with a partner and asking them to promote your newsletter and registration form to their audience.
  7. Filter your subscribers. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, quality is more important than quantity. Update your list with an opt-in campaign; send emails with an engaging message to all contacts and give them two possibilities: re-opting-in or being removed from the subscribers list.
  8. Make your subscription options easy to notice. Use calls to action on almost every page of your website: the homepage, your blog, the “About Us” and the “Contact Us” page. The best place to put it is in the header but If your opt-in form is difficult to locate, visitors won’t dig your website for it.
  9. Collect email addresses at every opportunity. Some occasions when you can add new entries to your email list are trade shows, conferences, workshops, seminars, meetups, networking and educational panels. If you create a strong impression at the event, people will look forward to receiving your emails.
  10. Promote email signup on social networks. Pinterest, for instance, can be used to create offers that require email signup. Pin images of your free online content that can be downloaded by subscribing to your company’s newsletter. Other methods you can try are promoting your free resources on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.
  11. Encourage current email subscribers to share your emails. Include social sharing buttons and an “Email to a friend” button. Make opt-in easy for people who receive the forwarded emails by including a subscribe link at the bottom of the email.
  12. QR codes can help with email marketing, too. Add to your printed matter a QR code that people can scan; consequently, they will be able to immediately opt-in for your email list.
  13. Don’t forget about your email analytics. Some data you may want to look at are delivery, open, share, forwards, bouncing and unsubscribing rates and spam complaints. Once again, having a 4 or 5 digit subscribers list is not a reliable reflection of your email campaign’s impact. Email analytics data will help you focus on trouble areas and come up with effective solutions.
  14. Multiple email subscription types. One of the things you will discover after reviewing your email analytics is that you should aim your campaign at different marketing personas. Your audience is not homogenous, but instead it can be divided into various sectors. Create targeted subscription types for each major segment of your audience and people will be more likely to sign up for the subscription type suiting their needs and interest.
  15. Offers and coupons. This kind of small incentive is probably the most effective and fast method of increasing the number of subscribers. Prospects are more easily persuaded to subscribe to your newsletter if they feel they are getting a good deal: free shipping, discounts, or taking part in a contest where the prize is one of your products. Theseoffers produce better results if they are time-sensitive: “Sign up today for our service and you can save 20% on your next order until January 30th!”

By using these methods not only will you increase the size and the quality of your email list, but you will also manage to convert more leads into satisfied customers.

We use and recommend using an email marketing system to manage your contacts, provide mobile friendly emails and measure the results like VMA Emailer where you can send up to 500 emails per month for absolutely free.

Do you use any other tools for growing your email list? Share your ideas with us!