Email marketing is still, hands-down, one of the best ways to reach customers with your marketing message. By getting someone’s email address, you suddenly have permission to continue your conversation with them indefinitely. An email subscriber list is a different group of people than a community of social media followers or connections, even though there is some overlap – having given you their email address, you know they are one step further along in the sales process than they were when they were just liking your post on Facebook.
As a business, your goal is conversions, so the more people you can convince to give you their email addresses, the better. But how do you convince them to take this all-important step? Here’s a list of 29 ways to help you do just that.
1. Give them content they’ll love. If your email newsletters are full of content that isn’t relevant to your audience’s needs, or content that is relevant but written in an unappealing, boring way, they’ll probably unsubscribe after the third or fourth one. Make sure that your email marketing content is so good that not only do your subscribers open each one to read it – they also forward it to friends and family, who then hopefully will also find it interesting and useful, and subscribe themselves.
2. Trade them big content for their email address. Offering a valuable white paper or eBook in exchange for an email address is a common way to build an email marketing list – and the reason it’s so common is that it works.
3. Create a free online resource that requires an email address to access it. Whether it’s some sort of practical tool or even a fun game, make the price of admission an email subscription.
4. Try hosting a webinar. And of course, in order to register, people will need to provide their email addresses.
5. Hold an online contest. Try a giveaway or some other attractive offer, and have people enter by giving you their email address.
6. Add a QR code to your print marketing materials. Make it one that people can scan to be added to your email marketing list. The simpler it is to sign up, the better.
7. Ask your Facebook fans to subscribe. Adding an email sign-up call to action as a custom tab on Facebook will get the ball rolling quite nicely.
8. Run an email sign-up promotion on a partner company’s website. That way you’ll be reaching a new audience with your request.
9. Collect email addresses offline, as well. Ask people to sign up at trade shows or in your stores.
10. Encourage your current subscribers to share and forward. Include social media sharing buttons in each email you send, as well as an “Email to a Friend” button, to make it easy to spread the word. And be sure you’re also including a “Subscribe” button, so that all those new readers have an easy way to opt in, as well.
11. Use paid search ads. Link these to a landing page asking people to sign up for your email newsletter.
12. Don’t stop at one subscription type. Someone who doesn’t want to be on your general email marketing list may jump at the chance to be included on a more targeted, niche list you also offer. The more specific, targeted lists you create, the more likely you are to have visitors subscribe to at least one of them.
13. Ask for sign-ups when guest blogging. Don’t include this call to action in the body of your guest blog – that would be a bit much. Instead, add it to your author bio at the bottom – that way people who have enjoyed your content can easily access more.
14. Get editors to opt in. Which editors and PR professionals are you regularly in contact with? Ask them to join your email list, as well, so that they’ll have instant, ready access to your content – and will hopefully be persuaded to spread the word about it more often.
15. Contribute information of value on local sites. Find websites and online publications based in your area, like your local newspapers. Be active on these sites, writing letters to the editor, posting comments, and taking part in forum discussions – and include a link to an email sign-up landing page in your signature or profile.
16. Take advantage of interviews. Any time you are interviewed by the press, whether for TV, web, or print, be sure to mention your email newsletter, and how to sign up.
17. Reach out to online influencers. It’s one thing to get one person’s email address. It’s another to get the email address of a person with a huge audience. If you can get even just one or two bloggers with a large following to sign up for your newsletter, you’ll be much more likely to get a mention on their blogs every once in a while – which puts you in front of entirely new audiences.
18. Use Twitter to get email addresses. Create a Twitter campaign to promote a new eBook or white paper that requires an email subscription in order to access.
19. Create a Facebook offer. Promote an offer on Facebook that people can only claim by giving you their email addresses.
20. Spread the word about an offer on LinkedIn. Let everyone in your LinkedIn groups know about your offer, whether it’s a special deal or free content, and give them the link to your email opt-in landing page.
21. Use your Google Plus account. But don’t confine your offers to your Google+ updates. Put a link to your email sign-up in your About section, too.
22. Take advantage of Pinterest. If you’ve put together an eBook with an interesting-looking cover page, or even just have great, attention-grabbing images to go with your offer, post them on Pinterest with a link to sign up for your email marketing list.
23. Make use of YouTube. At the end of every video you post to YouTube, include a call to action and the website address where viewers can sign up for your newsletter. And don’t forget to put that same link in the video’s description, as well.
24. Run a promotion in a partner’s email newsletter. Let them know about your latest eBook or white paper, and you’ll have access to a brand new audience.
25. Try to convince customers to switch from direct mail to email. Anyone on your regular mailing list should regularly be offered the option to make the switch, or at least to add email to the ways in which they can be contacted.
26. Host your own offline events. Hold meet-ups or conferences for which you gather email addresses as part of the registration.
27. Make your opt-in page accessible. Every page of your website should have an easily visible area asking people for their email address. If it’s not there when they finally decide they want to sign up, they won’t go looking for it.
28. Co-host a webinar with a partner. Be sure that registrants are aware they are signing up for two different email newsletters with their registration. This is a very effective way to get in front of a new audience.
29. Breathe new life into an old email list. If you have an old list that is mostly decayed, run an opt-in campaign, offering a deal to those who opt in again, and promising to remove those who don’t respond.
Of course, one of the most important things to remember about email marketing is to always, always, always be sure you have explicit permission before you start sending those emails. Keep your tactics white hat, by making people aware of exactly what they’re signing up for, when you require their email addresses to enter a contest, sign up for an event, or gain access to a piece of big content. Once you have that permission, go for broke, and make the most of your email list by sending them content they’ll value and share with others, over and over again.
If you’d like help managing your email marketing list, look no further than Marketing Zen. We’d love to help you grow your email subscriber list and craft the perfect marketing emails for your business. Give us a call today!