In the dizzying online space, it seems like a new social media channel pops up every month. But email marketing is still a steady and consistent way to keep in touch with your customers, generate new leads, and nurture your growing audience.
A few reasons for this are: pretty much everyone has an email address, emails don’t get lost in the never-ending social media feeds, and users don’t “delete” their email accounts like they delete Facebook or Twitter in moments of social media burnout.
Here are five simple tips to help you grow your email list:
1. Think giving instead of getting
In the online space where we can dig into the analytics behind every website click and video view, it’s easy to get caught up in the metrics. We want to get more likes, get more views, get more subscribers, get more traffic…
But to grow your email list, it’s important to focus less on getting and more on giving.
Why are your email subscribers on your list in the first place? What can you share in your emails that will provide them with tangible information, value, and delight?
Think about all the email lists that you’re subscribed to. Now think about the emails that you actually open. What’s so special about those ones?
Get out of the energy of “getting,” and instead find creative ways to add real value to your audience’s lives.
2. Make a valuable free product
The most popular way to build your email list is to offer an irresistible free guide, video, quiz, or coupon in exchange for someone’s email address. (In the world of internet marketing, this free item you provide is called an opt-in).
The contents and format of your opt-in will largely depend on your unique target market. If you run an e-commerce site or a brick-and-mortar store, a coupon or discount code is a great opt-in to get new customers in the door. If you sell coaching or consulting services, you could offer a free video training, PDF guide, or Buzzfeed-style quiz in exchange for someone’s email address.
Make sure your opt-in provides something that your target market actually wants. Once you create an opt-in, you can set up an automation in your email software that automatically sends your opt-in product to new email subscribers.
3. Talk about your opt-in
Let’s say you sell home brewing supplies for people who make their own beer, so you make an awesome PDF document that outlines the 5 steps to get started as a home brewer. When people sign up for your email list, they receive this value-packed homebrew guide in their inbox. It’s amazing.
But when you post about your exciting new homebrew guide once on social media… no one signs up for it.
Here’s the thing: the internet is a busy place. People are almost always multitasking online, announcements slip through the cracks, and even if we find something interesting… we usually have to see it multiple times before we remember to sign up.
Mention your opt-in at the end of your blog posts, and link to it every couple of weeks on your social media channels. You can even run Facebook or Google ads to a landing page where people can sign up for your opt-in. Building your email list is a long-term project, and it’s important to keep showing up even if you don’t see immediate results.
4. Install a pop-up form on your website
I know, I know… you don’t want to “annoy” your website visitors with a pop-up, right? But the reason so many websites utilize pop-up forms is that pop-up forms are highly effective.
Your website visitors are capable of exiting out of your pop-up form if they don’t want to sign up. Let them make that decision for themselves, and in the meantime, add a pop-up to your website and see if it helps increase the size of your email list.
5. Respect people’s emails once you have them.
Once someone has given you the keys to their inbox – respect their inbox and respect their time. Don’t sell their email addresses, and make sure your emails have actual value.
And while there’s no rule of exactly how often you “should” email your list, be considerate of their time and attention. If you send several emails every day, when they didn’t specifically ask for that many emails, you’re likely to come off as spammy and annoying.
Some people will ultimately unsubscribe from your updates, and that’s okay. Which would you rather have:
Option 1: 10,000 email list subscribers that never open your emails, buy from you, or care about your company…
Option 2: 500 loyal e-mail list subscribers that look forward to your emails, share your offerings with friends, and purchase from you repeatedly?
(The correct answer is option 2 ? )
In the end, the number of subscribers on your Mailchimp dashboard doesn’t mean much if they aren’t ever going to buy from you or tell others about your great work. Keep showing up for your audience, respecting their inbox, and providing some kind of value in your emails, and you will find that the right people will stay.
Did you know we send out a value-packed newsletter with tips on how to grow your business, productivity hacks, and upcoming networking events in Austin? (see what we did there? ? )
You can sign up for it here, and as a bonus you’ll receive one free trial day to see if MELD Coworking is the right workspace for you!