Social media is certainly a powerful tool and building your social media following is an important part of marketing your brand online. Except, you don’t own your social media site and recent changes to the algorithms make it harder to reach followers organically. With social media marketing becoming more difficult, an email list is an effective way to reach someone directly.
According to the email marketing masters at MailChimp, email open rates are over 20%. Those a pretty good odds considering these emails send subscribers straight to your website or blog which you do own and have control over. The end goal with any online marketing strategy is to get people to your website and email marketing is a direct way to meet that goal.
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1. Content Marketing
The first step to building an email list is to have stellar content in the first place. If your blog posts offer valuable information that people want more of, they’re more likely to opt-in to your email list and come back for more. People don’t want to miss out on updates and new posts when they find the content they want and need. Start there and grow your email list each time you create valuable content.
2. Create a Strong Opt-In Message
Once you’ve gotten people to your website, create a strong opt-in message that offers them something valuable if they sign up for your email list. Whether you choose to include a pop-up message or your homepage itself offers a freebie when users sign up, you’ll just want to make the message clear and strong, assuring the potential subscribers that it’s a good idea to join your tribe.
3. Make Some of Your Content Gated
Gated content simply means that certain content is unavailable unless you’re on the email list. Grow your email list by creating exclusive content that not everyone has access to. It’s an easy tactic that will make people feel special and part of the club.
4. Host a Giveaway
The truth is people love free stuff. People will jump on your email list so fast when you’re hosting a giveaway that only email subscribers are privy to. The trick is to really tie your giveaway to your brand so that you’re targeting people who are actually interested in receiving your content directly.
For example, if you run a nutrition coaching business a great giveaway could be a free personal consultation. On the other hand, a bad giveaway would be a $100 gift card to Amazon which will likely attract some people that are uninterested in your brand.
With an unrelated giveaway, you run the risk of people immediately unsubscribing after it’s over or you’ll have a huge email list of people who never open your messages. It’s better to have 100 devoted subscribers than 1,000 uninterested subscribers.
5. Add “Email Signup” Call to Actions in Your Social Channels
If your social media following is killing it, take the opportunity to include an email signup call to action in your Instagram or Pinterest bio or within your Facebook content, for example. If people are already following your social media channels, hopefully, that means they’re genuinely interested in what you have to offer. It’s a great place to capture more emails and grow your email list.
6. Offer Coupons or Discount Codes
If you sell something on your website, whether it’s a product or a service, offering coupons or discount codes in exchange for sign up to your email list is an effective way to get people to opt-in. Since you’re in control of the cost of your own products, it’s an easy way to grow your email list by adjusting something well within your control.
7. Reward Current Subscribers for Referrals
Have your subscribers tell their friends about your email list and give them something in return. You can use any of the tactics already listed, like offering them a discount or giving them exclusive content all because they helped sign up a friend or two. By using circles of friends, you’re bound to create a dedicated circle of your own.
8. Host a Challenge
Challenges always gain interest. When people are challenged to meet a goal, they often take it on and when there’s accountability, it creates a strong bond between people. Fitness coaches offer workout challenges and financial gurus present money-saving challenges. Use this to your advantage and make sure they sign up to your email list in order to participate.
9. Add a Link to Your Email Signature
Similar to including a link to your opt-in page on social media, another great place is to include it in your actual email signature. The idea is to capture their attention in the medium you’re looking to capitalize on. They’re already emailing you, so why not give them the opportunity to join your email list as they hit “reply”.
10. Guest Blog for Other Websites
Expanding your reach by writing as a guest blogger on other websites is a great way to grow your email list with a whole new audience. But again, it will be key to make sure the blog you’re writing for is related to your brand so that those on your email list will be eager to learn more about your products or services.
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11. Collect Emails Offline
Who says you have to use online methods only to grow your email list? When you’re out at a networking event or you end up talking business with a stranger at your local coffee shop, ask for their email address. If you have a storefront business, have employees ask if customers would like to join your email list and receive special offers. Use old school communication skills to add subscribers.
12. Run a Quiz and Gate the Results
Come up with a fun and informative quiz (related to your brand, of course!) but make it so you’ll email them the results. Whether you’re quizzing them on how much water they drink or how to meet business goals, chances are, they really want the results. Capture email address this way.
13. Use Cross Promotion
Smart in most circumstances on its own, cross promotion means partnering up with another brand or website to add value on both sides. For example, a videographer might team up with a film festival to promote each others’ services. When you improve the visibility of your brand across various channels, you’re more likely to add a wider range of potential clients and customers to your email list.
14. Ask Again… and Again!
Don’t be afraid to ask more than once and in more than one way. Create various opt-in messages that target each arena. Have one for Instagram, another for LinkedIn, and even still more on each page of your website. Try not to annoy people but make it easy for them to join in the fun if they feel so inclined. The worst thing you can do is make it hard for people to opt-in, so don’t be afraid of asking in a few different ways before you close the deal.