In the age of social media, it’s easy to see email lists as old-fashioned, but consider this: email is actually 40 times more likely to generate new customers than social media. And every dollar spent on email marketing generates an average $38 ROI. Email might not be glamorous, but it’s still how 72% of customers prefer to do business.
Let’s look at 10 strategies to grow your email list.
As you hatch new marketing plans, keep this front and center: your goal is to engage with potential customers in an authentic way. The reason most people decline to share their email in the first place is because of the potential spam that could result. There are two main ways to ease apprehension. First, be clear about how (and how often) you use email addresses. Then provide something of value in return.
Facebook Call to Action
While social media may not close the deal, it’s a valuable partner when it comes to driving engagement. One thing to consider as part of your Facebook marketing strategy is the “call to action”. This is a button that’s integrated into your business page just below your cover photo (see screenshot below). You can choose one of seven different ways for Facebook’s users to answer the call, from “Sign Up” to “Shop Now.” If your main objective is to grow your email list, use this CTA button as an email sign-up. Check in each month to view analytics to see how this call-to-action is performing.
A word of caution about pop-ups: we’ve all been to sites where a series of ads have rendered the page almost unreadable. Confronted with too many obstacles, your target audience is going to leave. Pop-ups can be effective, but focus on the most important task you want to accomplish — in this case, to obtain emails. Keep pop-ups simple, tasteful, and easy to complete and clear away.
Visitors to Gap.com are met with a tasteful and compelling pop-up. Anyone who loves to stay on top of new trends or loves a deal would be drawn to complete this simple form. Those who are uninterested will find it easy to close.
A key way to connect with your audience is to offer downloadable content about your field of expertise. This includes whitepapers, ebooks, and reports — things that don’t directly advertise your brand, but share knowledge that’s of interest to anyone who might be considering the products or services you offer. Require an email address as a form of “payment” for these items.
The best way to show confidence in your product or service is to offer customers the opportunity to experience it themselves. You might offer an attractively-presented product sample, or a discount on seasonal or popular services for first-time customers. By sharing these things freely, you’re saying, “We’re confident this experience is one you’ll want to repeat.” In order for visitors to receive your special offer, require them to enter their email address.
This simple pop-up on Draperystreet.com offers a special discount to new subscribers. It’s easy to complete and clearly lets visitors know they are joining the email list in order to receive the special offer.
Email to a friend
74% of consumers say that word of mouth is influential in their decision-making process. So make it easier! Streamline the sharing process by adding buttons to your email campaigns that make it easy to pass them along or even share on social media. By doing so, you can also ensure that “friends-of-friends” see your carefully-presented brand rather than a text with your contact info. This tactic works best when the content is personalized, so steer away from generic subject lines.
Maybe you’ve participated in online giveaways before. They’re easier to set up than you might think, and there are free contest-hosting services that automatically generate widgets for your site. Services like Rafflecopter let you add opportunities for participants to earn more entries, like tweeting or sharing on Facebook, which in turn drives more traffic to the contest.
Youtube call-to-action within video
Videos are another way to drive traffic from one platform to another. They attract viewers like too-small boxes attract cats! Once you’ve got potential customers watching, close the deal by planting call-to-action buttons in the video itself, driving traffic to the sign-up form for your email list.
Kitten break! You’re welcome.
Host a webinar
Webinars are the perfect opportunity to position yourself as a knowledge leader. They offer attendees the opportunity to connect with your business in a very personal way without having to come in for an appointment. The registration process should require an email, which you can then use to send a reminder before the webinar begins.
Add a checkbox to join list from order and contact forms
Remember that transparency we talked about earlier? Customers appreciate the opportunity to opt in or out of email lists when they’re filling out a form with their contact information. That said, offer something irresistible, so they won’t want to opt out!
In the end, it all comes down to engaging with customers instead of marketing to them. You know better than anyone why you do what you do. Show customers that you’re a trustworthy source of advice and information, and sharing their emails will become an act of personal connection.
Which of these strategies to grow your email list have you tried? Has it been effect? Let us know in the comments below.