You already use your email list as an efficient, effective marketing tool to spread news about your products and services. Make growing your email list a priority, and soon you may see your sales numbers increase.
Do not underestimate the importance of email as traditional marketing system. Used in tandem with search and social media, email gives the highest return on investment (ROI) over all the other marketing channels.
Today, we will look at 5 steps to grow your email list… substantially.
Simple Sign-up or Opt-in Form
Give visitors to your website every opportunity to enter their email for more information. Don’t make it complicated by asking for tons of info. An email address is all that you need.
Prominently place that sign-up or opt-in form on your homepage so readers will not miss it. Web pages often feature a form bannered across the top or off to the right. Light boxes (often called pop-ups) are even more effective. Readers may complain about the intrusions, but tests show that eliminating light boxes reduces subscription rates. Also, imagine the visitor seeking more information becoming frustrated and giving up because the opt-in form is buried.
The home page gets the most hits, but you still want to give visitors more than one chance to enter their emails. Place forms on every page, after every blog post, and in the “Contact Us” section. When you guest blog on another site, include a call to action and a link to your opt-in form below your entry.
You may be tempted to give more play to social media buttons, e.g. having someone follow your business on Facebook or Twitter. Give email forms the priority. Email messages are more substantial and concrete than a fleeting Twitter tweet and will be scanned over quickly like Facebook post. Your email list is more valuable in the long run.
Website users want something in return for supplying their email address. What’s in it for them? Sweepstakes with valuable rewards attract visitors. They will not mind if an email is required to enter the contest. Two types of rewards encourage subscribers – prizes and recognition.
Offer a prize suitable for your websites followers. If you run a fine art site, give away a valuable painting. Owners of more technology driven sites may offer a laptop or a tablet (iPad). A discount on your product make good consolation prizes.
A good way to double your return is to offer a contest entry in return for a referral. Your customer enters his email for a chance to win an iPad. In return, he gets a code to pass on to a friend. To collect his discount, the friend must enter the code and his email address into your site.
The second type of reward – recognition or a chance to share – also draws traffic to your site. Ask readers to enter a favorite story or picture on a particular subject and post the entries for public viewing. Of course, they will register their entries by entering their email. Also, have an email sign-up form near the posted entries for friends of contestants who stop by to see the entries.
Make sure any contest is promoted through your social media pages.
Here too, you want to offer a value in exchange for an email. Some sites offer discounts for first-time subscribers, while others will run specials giving a gift or discount to the first 50, 100 or 200 subscribers. Flash discounts are a popular option too. Again, promote these events on social media to drive in the most participants.
Fans Only Offers
Regular site visitors want to feel special and be reward for their loyalty. Offer them something that will only be sent to those who subscribe to your special club. For example, a cosmetics site may give away a limited release fragrance to registered club members who provide an email address.
An offer of newsletters and white papers will entice visitors to subscribe. These documents should provide valuable, substantial and useful information, so your subscribers will not feel cheated. You could let them be the first to have exclusive information about your soon-to-be-release latest product.
One final note. Buying email list is a risky and tactless venture. The best method to grow your email contact is to woo readers in with your content and products. Give them that value, and they will subscribe. You will have an email list of people you know and people who have voluntarily come to trust you and your site.
Great post, Gabriella.
I am working on an ebook about how to get targeted traffic to a site, but I am testing the methods first. I am planning to give this for free to those who subscribe to my email newsletter. And about pop-ups, I can’t stand them, but used in the correct way, they can help you increase your email list.
Thanks Juan, let me know when your ebook is ready!
Nice post, Gabriella.
Do you find pop-ups work for you or just annoy your visitors?
They’ve always irritated me but I hear so many good things about them!
Hey Todd, like you, I can’t stand them…but I have read/heard/seen a high percentage that actually have a nice conversion. But there is a down side too — pop-ups really push users buttons, get under people’s skin. Some are so annoying they can actually drive people away from the site. Granted your traffic and conversion get a nice spike, but at what price? Are you driving your traffic away from reading the content they came to read? Those are all things I would consider.