Email is one of the most enduring forms of digital marketing. It’s been around since the internet has been a thing. The first-ever email campaign, in fact, was sent out in 1978 to 400 subscribers and netted $13 million in sales.
Despite not making it onto many “hot trends” lists, email marketing is still a force to be reckoned with. It’s one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising, is excellent at increasing web traffic, and even shows better results than social media in many cases.
But email has one major limitation as opposed to other digital marketing strategies: you need people to give you their email to add to a list.
So that’s why we will go through the nuts and bolts of building an email list from the ground up.
Email Lists: To Buy or Not To Buy?
Buying (or renting) an email list is a tempting practice. Thousands of emails available for just a small fee.
It seems too good to be true! And, bad news, it is!
Yes, you can buy email lists, but there are many reasons not to.
1. The practice’s legality is murky (and banned in Europe under the GDPR).
2. The leads you get from those will be less valuable than an audience who wants to be there.
3. Some people may be so off-put by an uninvited guest in their inbox that they unsubscribe even if they’re interested.
4. Not only could you be violating the terms of service of your email service provider, but you may also be sending unsolicited emails to people who haven’t opted in.
5. Additionally, buying email lists can lead to decreased open rates and deliverability issues.
So yeah, it’s going to be a “don’t buy” for email lists.
But if you can’t buy emails, what should you do?
7 Ways To Grow Your Email List
So that’s why you need the cardinal rule of content marketing: give people a reason to listen to you.
If you leverage the right incentives and don’t fall into some common pitfalls, the people who want to hear your message will come to you.
1. Use your blog!
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the pillar of content marketing for a reason. If people are searching for information relevant to them, it stands to reason they’ll be more interested in your product.
By creating interesting, informative, and engaging content, you can attract readers who are already interested in what you have to offer. You can then use your blog posts to promote your newsletter and encourage readers to join it. Ensure you have clear call-to-actions throughout your blog posts so readers know exactly where they need to go to sign up for your newsletter.
2. Leverage lead magnets
Lead magnets are among the most effective ways to get people to sign up for your newsletter.
Gated content offers something of value in exchange for contact information. Ebooks, white pages, and templates are all great lead magnets.
By providing incentives like these, you can entice potential customers to give you their email addresses and join your newsletter list. With the right lead magnet strategy in place, you can quickly grow your mailing list and keep it full of engaged subscribers interested in what you offer.
Read More: 10 Lead Magnet Ideas
3. Make it painless to sign up
You always want to make it simple to sign up for your email. If people have to hunt for a signup sheet, they will likely not make the effort! So instead, use the in-line signup forms and integrate them into the parts of your website that make sense (footers, landing pages, etc.).
In addition to making it easy to find signup forms, you should ask for the bare minimum of information on them.
Yes, more data is good, but your audience has to decide whether the incentive you’re offering is worth giving you that data. And asking for information like phone numbers or location will often make a potential lead reconsider.
If you still want to gather more information, you can make certain inputs optional. You can also present the rationale behind some of your inputs. For example, asking for a birth date to send a celebratory coupon.
You can also let someone’s preferences give you indirect information. For example, if you’re running multiple campaigns, you can let them choose which ones they want to receive and gather info from that choice.
4. Don’t bombard
Do not make your email signup so intrusive that using your website is difficult. Some websites will use pop-ups that cover the website on every new page. People are way more likely to get annoyed and leave your website than give in and give their information.
Use pop-ups tactically. Some websites or plugins will give you options like only showing a pop-up after a period of time or an amount of the page scrolled through. Some can even limit by device types or demographic information.
And remember to also make sure your pop-up works on mobile.
5. Show people what they’re missing
It doesn’t hurt to have a visual representation of the content you send out. Showing an excerpt of your content can be an excellent teaser.
Don’t bog your website down, but it can be good to have a preview of your newsletter on landing pages, especially.
6. Offer email-exclusive deals
Email exclusive deals and free trials can be a great way to get people to sign up for your newsletter. By offering exclusive discounts and promotions, you can incentivize joining your mailing list and staying informed about what’s happening in your business.
You can also use email-exclusive deals and content to reward existing customers for their loyalty. This will help keep them engaged with your brand and encourage them to make repeat purchases. Plus, it allows you to showcase new products or services that interest them.
By leveraging email-exclusive deals and content, you can create a powerful marketing channel to help you grow your business while keeping customers engaged with your brand.
7. Use social media
Social media is a powerful tool for getting people to sign up for your newsletter. Social media is a fantastic marketing tool, but it lacks some of the personal touch of email.
By leveraging the reach and engagement of social networks, you can get more eyes on your content and increase the number of people who subscribe to your newsletter. With the right strategy, you can use social media platforms to build relationships with potential subscribers and direct them to sign up for your newsletter.
Email Marketing Is Still In
It may not be fancy or gimmicky, but email marketing is an old faithful when it comes to digital marketing. And growing your email list organically (and not taking the shortcut of buying contacts) will inevitably bring positive results.
But to grow your list, you must offer content your audience finds interesting and valuable. And that’s where we come in! People First Content can help you create lead magnets to grab your target audience. So call us today to get started!