E-marketing is one of the oldest yet most profitable methods of marketing, all thanks to the so called ‘father’ of email – Ray Tomlinson. Thanks to him, business owners all around the World now have the opportunity to promote themselves directly in consumers’ inboxes. Isn’t that great? It’s like being able to go to potential consumers’ houses and present them with all the amazing aspects of your business or products. Be careful though, because it’s not as easy as it sounds. “What’s the catch?” you may ask. Well, there is one. You need an email list! And just having an email list is one thing, but making it effective can be quite challenging. In this article, we will share with you all the secrets of building an effective and profitable email list. Let’s dive right in!
What is an email list?
An email list is a database of email addresses of all the people who would like to hear from you. These addresses can come from places like your website, sign-up forms from webinars, blogs, or social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Your goal as a business owner should be to, first of all, gather as many email addresses as possible and, secondly, to ensure that those contacts are valuable – meaning their owners are your ideal customers who are genuinely interested in your business. With the right type of audience, your return on investment can reach up to $40 for every $1 spent. Tempting, right? But the question remains, how to actually build an effective email list?
How to build your email list: the top 12 ways
#1 Pick the right email marketing software
There’s nothing worse than an email service provider that lacks vital and fundamental features. Once you have a tool in your hands that outperforms your most outlandish demands, you’re pretty much on track to building a strong email list. Make sure the email platform you pick lets you track the performance of your email campaigns and leads as well as manage your subscriber list easily. Having such insights are extremely useful for customer retention and acquisition.
#2 Remember about social media
Make sure you allow your potential customers to sign-up to your email newsletter via social media. With the rise in usage of social media platforms, it is important that you make it easy for people to join your list from these channels. Whether it is an email sign-up form on your Facebook page or Instagram account, providing this option surely won’t hurt your business but may help a lot! What’s more, if your followers see that you post quality content on a regular basis, they will be more likely to generate more leads and join your email list, which is something to keep in mind for the future!
#3 Offer a free gift
What could better attract potential future consumers than offering them free gifts? To apply, all they have to do is join your email list. Smart, right? This is a great idea because it contributes to creating positive brand awareness and recall right at the moment of someone’s first encounter with your business, plus you gain a subscriber who could be a potential customer! What’s not to like?
#4 Engage your visitors with your brand
There are many fun and smart, ‘outside the box’ ways to turn your visitors into subscribers. Example? Use a pop-up form that includes some sort of game or a puzzle, for instance, a wheel of fortune. By offering gifts and benefits you will gather huge amounts of subscribers in no time. Considering that the conversion rate for ecommerce businesses is 1.94% (meaning that 98.06% of your visitors will leave your website and most likely never come back), it is important to provide experiences that will contribute to customer acquisition and building a positive brand image.
#5 Incorporate ‘email only’ offers
Another great way to encourage email sign-ups is by offering your audience something exclusive. Rewarding your loyal subscribers for being part of the customer journey is a great way to show non-subscribers that joining your list is beneficial. It is up to you what your bargaining card will be. Example? Free shipping or an extra 5% discount for email subscribers. The possibilities are endless.
#6 Offer rewards to existing subscribers for referring your brand
The numbers show that 92% of people trust referrals from friends and family over any other advertising method. This is great news for you. Some customers would do anything for a discount code or a freebie. Ask your existing customers to invite their friends to subscribe to your email list, and make sure there is a gift for both the referee and the referrer because you want to make both sides satisfied. Although the process might seem complex, it’s actually not. All you have to do is pick a powerful tool offering such a solution, such as EarlyParrot. For more details, visit our website explaining the whole process in detail. Having such a tool will help build your email list in no time.
#7 Look for original opportunities to gather more contacts
In the world of marketing, you need to think smart. Try looking for unique tactics to gather a bigger audience. One of them could be designing a really cool QR code. Such practices vastly contribute to shaping a positive brand recall and, of course, building your dream mailing list. Have a look at some possible inspiration below:
#8 Build your email list offline too
You never know where you might meet a new subscriber or even a customer. That’s why it’s extremely important to always have your business cards or leaflets to hand. Whether it’s during a work meeting, lunch break, fair, or in your store – having them with you won’t hurt but may possibly help. So go and check if you have enough business cards/ leaflets now, and you’ll thank us later.
#9 Pick wisely and never purchase an email list
No one wants bots, inactive email addresses, or people who want nothing to do with your business on their lists. Make sure you display your opt-in forms in places where your target audience is present. Consider what sites are visited by your ideal consumers, as well as what could be the best locations to place your sign-up forms. Avoid at all costs purchasing email lists from external agencies. Not only are they useless (most of the time), but they can also negatively impact your brand image once recipients start complaining about your content. Lastly, some of the best and most reputable email marketing tools simply don’t accept purchased email lists lacking confirmations of opt-ins.
#10 Ensure your opt-in forms are easily accessible on mobile devices
Statistics show that 63% of emails are opened on mobile devices. This may as well mean that people generally want to sign-up from their mobile phones. Keep this in mind when you design your landing pages, pop-ups, and sign-up forms. You want them all to work perfectly on mobile devices so that people can sign up, view, and open your emails. After all, in the long run, the higher the opening the rate, the greater the possibility of a better conversion rate. Isn’t that the point? To know what your ideal open rate should be, check out these extensive statistics showing the average click-to-open rates of marketing emails worldwide as of June 2020 by industry.
#11 Bounce Backs are not the end of the world
There might be times when you send an email newsletter to your subscribers but it doesn’t reach each and every person on the list. This is due to common bouncebacks, caused typically by server or spam errors. A bounce message is what you receive as the email sender saying that a message was not delivered. Ideally, the benchmark for bounces should be less than 2%. If, however, the bounce rate is higher than that for some reason, you should think about fixing it. For instance, suppose you have the mailing address of a person whose email address is faulty, you can simply send them a postcard or a freebie asking them nicely to update their email address in your database. Don’t forget about offering a discount code or other surprise. This will undoubtedly contribute to lowering the bounce rate and improving the effectiveness and performance of your email messages.
#12 Build your own online community
Sounds scary? It’s actually not. Creating an online community managed by yourself, such as a Facebook group, telegram group, or a blog is a great way to gather your target audience in one place. Once the group/blog is up and running, it’s your time to shine. Invite followers there to join your email list. You can do so, for example, by offering some sort of an incentive to your audience, such as a discount code or a free shipping option valid exclusively for group members/blog readers.
Now you know all the right tricks and hacks for building your own strong and healthy mailing list. Let’s have one more look at the most important takeaways:
- It’s better to take care of your existing email list than buy a new, often useless one.
- Be creative with pop-ups, landing pages, and sign-up forms – a little bit of imagination works in your favour.
- Make it worth signing up to your email list – various incentives like freebies, discount codes, and other gifts will be more than welcome!
- Consider all possibilities – they may be closer than you think.