In case you haven’t heard, email marketing is the tops. Some used to argue that social media would take it’s place, but the numbers don’t lie. According to Kissmetrics:
- “…email has nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined…”
- “every web search made on every search engine every day equals just 1/100th of daily email traffic…”
- “…all the pages viewed on the entire web each day—including images and videos—use only a quarter of the bandwidth consumed by email.”
As you can see, email marketing represents a big opportunity. The trick is to grow your email marketing list as big as you can with quality subscribers. Here are some tips and strategies for growing your company’s email marketing lists.
9 Ways to Grow an Email Marketing List
There are a lot of simple, low friction ways to get consumers to give you their email address:
- Automatically opt all your customers into your email marketing program. This can be done via your terms and conditions disclaimer, or via an opt-in box in your ecommerce checkout process.
- Add sign-up forms and links to your site. A newsletter sign-up box can generate a handful of emails here and there, as can “sign up for our newsletter!” invitation links in emails. You can also setup an email invitation that pops-up or overlays your blog content, or shows on exit.
- Share a link to your email campaigns on social media. Your social media followers will see the email, and maybe sign up.
- Encourage email sharing. Make sure the “forward to a friend” link appears at the bottom of every campaign email. If the customer’s friend likes the email, they may subscribe.
- Offer a coupon. A very powerful (and common) tactic is to offer anyone that signs up for your newsletter a small coupon (e.g., 5% off, $10 off, etc.). This can be done with an pop-up or overlay on your website, or it can be something you advertise on social media.
- Have your salespeople ask for emails. If your company answers a lot of phone calls or online chat requests, why not have them ask customers for their email address if/when it’s clear the customer isn’t ready to buy?
- Share sign-up links on social media. As long as the email marketing platform you’re using supports it, a sign-up link can be shard on Twitter, Facebook, etc. from time to time.
- Offer a download – like an ebook or PDF – in exchange for an email address is a tried and true practice. The trick is to make sure your customers and potential customers will want whatever it is you’re offering. It should have value, and it should be something that has enough value to get a customer to surrender their email address.
- Run giveaways and contests – These are great for building email lists too. You will have to give away something that people will want to win. Often times, it makes sense to coordinate with a website publisher when you run a contest, as they have great tools for promoting contests to their readers.
There are other ways to grow your list that require less effort. Here goes…
How NOT to Build Your Email Marketing List
We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t mention that there’s a right way to build an email list, and a wrong way.
One wrong way: buying a list of email addresses. Using purchased lists is against the terms and conditions of nearly every email marketing platform, and you could get booted if they discover you are emailing such a list. Plus, purchased lists are typically crap, filled with old emails or honey pot emails (designed to catch spammers).
Another wrong way: grabbing every email address you can find. It’s not hard for bots or crawlers to find and scrape up email addresses by the truckload, just by visiting websites and searching for email addresses. The problem is that this sort of email address collection effort is against the law in the US and Canada (and most other countries, too). While there is some gray area on outreach (finding reporters to email a press release to, for example), there is no gray area when it comes to sending commercial emails to addresses you just randomly find. That’s called “spam,” and it can land you in hot water.
Email marketing is affordable and easy to execute. If you have a good system for growing your email list, your business will grow right along with it.
While none of the methods we’ve outlined is going to help you build a massive email list overnight, all of them in concert can be very beneficial to the bottom line.
And, if you’re looking at this list and wondering where to start, contact us. Email marketing is one of our core services.