5 Ways to Build a Highly-Engaged Email List
April 3, 2017
An email list with relevant, high-quality contacts is a company’s best asset. While there are many online and offline techniques to build an email list, it’s a marketer’s job to ensure that your list remains relevant and up-to-date to reduce database decay.
According to HubSpot, your email list degrades approximately 22.5% each year, so it’s a good idea to implement a regularly scheduled data cleansing program. Building and maintaining a healthy email list takes time and effort, but it should still take top priority.
Whether you’re running an online business, a brick and mortar shop, or a mix of the two, you still need a way to stay in touch with your prospects, customers, and fans. As consumers become increasingly dependent on the internet in their day to day lives, the feasibility of email as a communications tool will hold steady. Email as a marketing channel is very much alive and should not be ignored.
Techniques and trends in online marketing constantly evolve, so it all boils down to a relevant contact list that you have total control over. If you haven’t already started building your email list, there’s no better time than now.
Tips to Build a Relevant Email List
1. Optimize Your Signup Forms and Popup Boxes
Email signup forms can (and should) be optimized on every page of your website. They can also be integrated with certain social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. To optimize form conversions, make sure that your form is short, sweet, and straight to the point. Only ask for critical information (i.e. name and email address) during the opt-in process to remove unnecessary barriers to entry.
You might have heard somewhere that popups are dead, but did you know that you can effectively double your website’s lead conversion rate by adding popups? Popups are generally pretty intrusive so don’t overdo it. But don’t be shy when it comes to signup forms—put them everywhere! A neat hack is to ask your employees to include a link in their email signature that lets users subscribe there and then.
2. Build Your Social Media Presence
Find out where your potential clients and target audience are hanging out. Build your social media presence by posting relevant content such as quotes, images, videos, or anything you know your audience might like and comment on. Follow other accounts that are relevant to your industry and don’t hesitate to post comments and share relevant posts. Don’t be a troll. Make sure that all your posts are directed at helping users and equipping potential clients with useful information.
Once you have established your social media presence with valuable comments and posts, users are more likely to check out your profile. Include a link to your landing page or blog that leads them to sign up and provide their email address.
3. Create Valuable Content
Blog, blog, blog! Create valuable content on a regular basis and post it on your website’s blog. You can also build a microsite with landing pages that capture lead data. With this awesome content, you can show users that you are an authority in your specific niche. Let them know you’re offering free industry information and educational materials.
Regular blogging can help you build an email list. Just ensure that your subscription signup form is easily visible on every blog post you create. Through this, you can also determine which post is performing the best, so you can recycle and repurpose the same content to promote exponential list growth.
4. Offer Freebies and Incentives
Offer users something they can’t resist. This can be in the form of a downloadable eBook with relevant content, a useful tool, a template, access to a free webinar, exclusive discounts, or incentives via your loyalty program.
Give users something in exchange for their email address and other contact details. Whatever incentive you decide on, make sure it’s something your target audience really wants.
Aside from attracting new followers, you should also make use of your existing followers by rewarding subscribers or clients who refer their friends or family members. Offering freebies or incentives to encourage advocacy will work to enhance customer loyalty and generate more leads. They’ll also work to increase customer retention because after all, existing customers bring in 67% more sales and cost 5x less to attract.
5. Join Trade Fairs and Events
Offline events such as trade fairs and expos are great ways to reach your target audience. These trade shows are usually frequented by highly-focused individuals that are likely to make up your target market. Make your booth enticing, and incentivize your sign-up booth. Some businesses even host mini-games where users can win free items.
Trade shows and events are most often used as sources of new prospects and business opportunities (64%), as lead gathering, cultivation and prospecting opportunities (63%), and for face-to-face customer meetings (60%).
Joining offline events is almost never free. You’ll need to shell out a certain amount, depending on what kind of event it is or who is hosting, just for the right to set up a booth. Not to mention the resources needed to get the right people to run your booth and encourage sign-ups.
Yes, it may cost you a significant amount, but bear in mind that an email list may well be the best investment that you make. It also doesn’t hurt to network with other industry professionals who might just be able to give you a hand in the future.
Now that you’re starting to collect email addresses, the fun part begins! Optimize your email sequence with a tone that reflects your unique brand personality and keep posting educational and valuable content to keep your new subscribers engaged.
Remember to import your new contacts in your email marketing software’s email list (if the process isn’t automated) and don’t forget to send them a welcome email to say thanks and confirm their subscription.