Friday, 9 March 2012

How Do I Grow My Email Marketing List?

One of the most frequently asked questions I have been presented with while out on the road with iContact’s Crash Course in Email and Social Media Marketing UK tour is, “How do I grow my list?”

Our clients understand that they cannot use purchased or other dubiously acquired lists. This isn’t an issue for most of them. At the end of the day, they hate spam as much as we do. But for many marketers, poor list growth is a major roadblock en-route to greater email marketing success.

My answer is simple: Be aggressive in your approach to list growth and ask for permission at every available opportunity.

9 Quick Steps to Help You Grow Your Email Marketing Lists
  1. Improve Your Website Conversions: Make it as easy as possible for visitors to your website to register for your email newsletters. Place your subscription form on every single page (not just the home page). Never hide your subscription form behind a link in your website navigation – very few people will actually click here. Remember once someone has left your site, it is very hard to get them to return.
  2. Get Social #1: Drive subscribers to your email marketing list via your social media activity. While it is easier to grow your following on Facebook or Twitter than collect email addresses, email marketing has the potential to drive more significant ROI. Be sure to add an email subscription form to your Facebook pages.
  3. Get Social #2: Make it easy for your email recipients to share your emails with their friends and family by adding social media share buttons to your newsletters. This will ultimately send more traffic back to your website which if optimised as per point #1 will help drive email subscriptions. The best way to encourage sharing is to invest time in creating great content.
  4. Keep on Blogging: An active blog gives your website a pulse, aids your SEO efforts and helps your business stand out in a sea of static website content. Don’t forget to include your email subscription form on every page of your blog.
  5. Get Mobile: Email Marketing apps for the iPhone and Android mobile devices make it easy for you to add names to your list on the fly. Whenever you meet potential clients ask them if you can add them to your email list.
  6. Tradeshows: It’s not a high-tech solution. But there is nothing wrong with placing a goldfish bowl on your booth and soliciting email subscriptions (perhaps with the aid of a competition) from tradeshow attendees. The cost of adding names to your list is negligible, therefore email marketing offers an idea solution to dealing with lukewarm leads while your sales team focus on more immediate prospects. The unsubscribe functionality on your emails will also go some way to helping your clients self-prioritise their lead status.
  7. Point of Sale: How much repeat business is lost at your sales counter? If you don’t ask for your customers’ email details you’ll never know. Sweeten the deal by offering an incentive to share their details.
  8. Incentivise and Reward: You don’t need to offer a financial incentive to win repeat business. How about offering email exclusive promotions such as the first chance to buy? This will be particularly useful if the customer is presented with a perception of scarcity.
  9. Keep it Relevant: Don’t be a generalist. Maintain multiple lists and send targeted campaigns. Manage your unsubscribers carefully by offering them alternatives. Just because someone no longer wants to receive your weekly newsletter, doesn’t mean that they would not appreciate a more targeted or less frequent communication.
Photo: sujata.b

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