Email Marketing

10 Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Building an Email Marketing List

Having the right email list is essential. Email marketing is still very much alive – it’s a great, cost-effective way to build a relationship with your audience. Not convinced? Check out these stats:

  • 72% of U.S. adults prefer their communication from companies to come from email.
  • Email has an ROI of 3800%.
  • Email is 40x more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.
  • B2C marketers who leverage automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50%.

Simply put, email allows you to reach the right people, the right way, at the right time.

Building an email marketing list can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re starting from scratch.  But even if you already have a solid list in place, it’s important to keep updating it. People change their email address all the time; honestly, when was the last time you filtered your list?

So, whether you’re starting from the ground up or looking to freshen up your list, there are a few things to consider…

1. Pick the Right Service

First, you need the right email service.

There’s a bunch of options out there, so it’s all about finding one that fits your needs and one you’re comfortable with. These services give you templates, allow you to easily manage your lists, set up autoresponders, track your emails, and much more.

A service we really like is MailChimp. If you don’t have an account, you can create one for free – it’s quick and easy to set-up. You can set-up auto-response campaigns and Facebook has built-in integrations for lead generations.

We also like ActiveCampaign. They use what’s called a lead scoring system to determine who your best leads are.

  • Someone opens your email? That’s one point.
  • Someone clicks a link inside your email? That’s two points.

Pretty soon you’re able to tell who your best leads are and can target them with specific messages and offers.

Which brings us to…

2. Offer Email Exclusives

Email is all about keeping your subscribers in the loop – whether it’s a sale, a report, a new product you’ve just launched, or any company updates.

Be sure to send them subscriber exclusives like special discounts and sales.

This is about thanking your subscribers by giving them some extra perks from time to time.

3. Make Use of Sign-up Boxes

It’s essential to have sign-up boxes on your website – specifically your homepage. After all, a business’s homepage is where most of their traffic flows.

There are a few different ways to do this:

  • Use a “welcome mat” that appears as people scroll.
  • Use a “smart bar” that sits at the top of the browser no matter what page they visit.
  • Make sure to have an exit sign-up box appear before people leave your site to give them one last chance to subscribe.

Don’t limit the sign-up box to just your website though. Include it wherever you post content – from social media, to YouTube, to your blog.

4. Offer Incentives

In the world of email marketing, you have to give in order to get.

The sign-up box on your site should offer people something in return when they enter their information. Giving people free content – eBooks, guides, toolkits, cheat sheets – is a great way to get people on your mailing list. Or if you’re in retail and don’t have content to giveaway, offer discounts instead.

People love free stuff, especially if they don’t have to do much to get it, and all you’re asking for is their email address.

Once you’ve got their email address, you have a new subscriber and they have their free content.

It’s a win-win for everyone.

5. Run Promotional Events

Running giveaways, contests or sweepstakes where people have the chance to win a prize, is a great way to add subscribers – but only if it relates specifically to your audience.

The key is to be straight to the point. Tell people what they can win if they enter, have them sign up using their name and email, and tell them to check their inbox for results.

This is where social media – specifically Facebook – comes in. You can push your promotion with Facebook ads, that way it appears in user’s newsfeeds. Just make sure you read up on Facebook’s rules and guidelines., to give your campaign the best chance to succeed.

Your prize should be relevant to your brand. If you’re a company that does IT work, don’t giveaway a $25 gift card to Wal-Mart. Offer something relevant like a free diagnostics test, or the chance to win the latest version of Microsoft Office.

The end goal of your giveaway or contest is to lure in new potential customers.

6. Make Use of Landing Pages

When people click to enter your sweepstakes or to claim their incentive, they’ll get redirected to a landing page where they give their contact information.

A landing page’s whole purpose is conversion. It should be customized with details and information specifically related to the type of promotional event or free content you’re offering.

Don’t ever redirect them to your homepage. Homepages don’t convert – landing pages do.

7. Customize Your Content

You should make your emails as relevant as possible for your subscribers. Spotify does a great job of this.

At the end of every year, Spotify sends its users a yearly recap of their activity. It shows you your most listened to genres, most listened to artists, most listened to songs, and so on. They also give you recommendations for other genres, artists, and songs you might like based on what you’ve listened to (using the Spotify app of course).

It’s fun and interesting for users to recap all the music they’ve listened to over the year. It gives them the chance to go back and check out music they may have forgotten about, or check out stuff they’ve never heard before.

Spotify is rewarding people for using their app while encouraging them to continue using it.

8. Be Genuine

Your emails should read like a conversation.

When sending out emails, make sure the content sounds like it was written by someone – not a company. Avoid broad and general statements that sound like a press release or company-wide statement.

Be relatable – sprinkle in a little empathy, make people comfortable, and be engaging.

9. Collect Contact Information In-Person

This method is old-fashioned, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Going to an event like a tradeshow is a great way to generate leads. You’re having face-to-face interaction in a much more personable situation. Set up an iPad at your booth so people can give their name and email to stay updated on everything new going on with your company.

Or, if you’re in the retail world, point of sale is also a great way to get a customer’s email. When people are checking out, they obviously like whatever it is you’re selling, that’s why they’re spending money! Now you can send them those exclusive email offers we talked about earlier.

10. Don’t Ever Pay for a List

Whatever you do, don’t pay for an email list!

There are services out there that charge a pretty penny and a half for email lists. While this may be tempting – it’s quick and much easier than building your own, especially if you’re starting from scratch – don’t shortcut yourself. No one likes spam, and a good majority of this list will either:

    •  completely ignore everything you send them, or
    •  unsubscribe, putting you right back where you started.

Get Help

In the long run, you will be better off having an organic list of subscribers who have expressed genuine interest in your product or service, and have willingly given you their email addresses.

Building or updating your list shouldn’t seem so daunting anymore. Hopefully we’ve put some of your anxiety at ease. That’s why we’re here – to help! Take advantage of our email marketing experience to get your campaign up and running.

Give us a call at 330.929.7700 to get your email marketing up and running today!

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