When you think about your most important marketing assets, is your email list right up there?
Take a moment to think about it – the people on your list have actively engaged with you, and have given you permission to contact them. They are therefore much more likely to convert to customers versus those who have come across you on platforms such as social media.
The basics of email marketing
More is not more.
Whilst cost per email is relatively low, why spend money contacting unengaged people, or sending messages to unused email addresses? Quality is as important as quantity.
Collect email contacts transparently, Clean your list often, and never buy generic lists.
Not everyone in your database is ready to buy.
When people give you permission to email them, they are giving you permission to show them more about what you do, to provide helpful insights and to engage them with your brand culture. Whilst everyone in the list is “marketing qualified”, they are not necessarily “sales qualified”, so bear this in mind when you write your content and don’t be overly salesy, particularly in your newsletters.
Don’t spam your email list.
Subscriber retention is an important component of growing your email list, so avoid actions likely to cause unsubscribes. Keep your content highly relevant to both you and your audience, and your message frequency appropriate to your market – no-one wants to be bombarded by irrelevant email messages.
7 tips for growing your email list
1. Encourage people to opt in
- Position your opt in calls to action in the obvious places – homepage, blog page, side bar
- Explain what they get for opting in “Subscribe to our newsletter to get …..”. No-one intentionally invites generic spammy communications into their inbox.
2. Assess the quality of your website traffic
- If you are getting plenty of traffic to your website, but they are not converting into leads or sales, chances are that you are attracting too broad a visitor base, and will have the same problem with your email subscribers.
- It may be time to re-assess your customer personas, conduct some fresh keyword research, update your site content, or undertake a conversion rate optimisation review for your site? These actions will all contribute to improving your SEO performance as well as your email results.
3. Create power content
- Most of us write newsletters and blogs about subjects we find interesting and that we want to share because we think our audience will be interested. This is great for once your reader has clicked on the page or opened the message, but if they never open or click, how will they ever know what you have to say?
- Be brave with your headlines, and follow them up with equally brave descriptive content …. “The ultimate guide…”, “The top 10…”, “The only X that you need…”
- Share your power content as a lead magnet – readers can only access it in exchange for signing up to your email list.
4. Try competitions and giveaways
- Competitions and Giveaways are great ways of attracting attention and email contact details. Beware though, regular giveaway entrants often use a separate email address and are in the habit of unsubscribing.
- So, avoid generic giveaways – yours should be highly relevant to you and your brand to have value to your audience.
- Note that there are rules around online competitions – find out more here.
5. Use “exit intent” sign-up pop-ups
- Of course pop-ups can be irritating, but if you’re being presented with a new offer, you might be interested, yes?
- Google also penalises sites for badly used pop-ups, so be aware of :
- Only generate the pop-up after a reasonable period of time on site or specific actions, after which you can predict that the reader is already engaged
- Have a clear “X” or “No thanks” so that the reader can easily close it
- Offer something of value “Subscribe to get…..” or access to a lead magnet
- The pop-up must be relevant to the content on the page that the client is on
6. Create a drip campaign
- The most common “drip campaign” is a series of welcome emails, welcoming a new subscriber to your brand and sharing various aspects about who you are, what you do and how you help across a series of emails – as opposed to one big long message which is more likely to get an unsubscribe.
- Drip campaigns can also be used to move readers through to the next stage of the sales funnel – for example, after someone has down-loaded a lead magnet, attended an event or got their freebie. This is called Inbound Marketing.
7. Segment your email list
- I’ll never forget a colleague of mine being irritated that he was getting emails promoting an offer for a free lipstick from a local shopping centre. How you segment your audience will be very different depending on your market, but the principle of dividing up your audience so that you specifically target messaging for each group stands.
- There may be demographic, geographic or lifestyle factors to consider – the best thing to do is to ask people their key categorisation when they sign up.
- Be careful though – no-one wants to fill in a long form or share lots of personal data just to get on an email list. Keep questions to the critical few that you need answers to in order to create valuable segmented messages.
Grow your email list – Summary
Your email list is valuable, and so you should curate it carefully. Even when you are using automation, remember that there are real people at the other end, so always Embrace Digital, Stay Human.