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Building your email list can be a daunting task. There are so many different ways to do it, and it can be tough to know where to put your energy! We're excited to share with you 5 proven strategies that will help you be successful in building your email subscriber list!
Let's jump in.
This is going to sound a little bit like a no-brainer, and maybe that's because it is. Before you ask anyone for their email address, it's important to give them something they want to receive. The content needs to be useful and valuable and it needs to help a particular person, or persona, solve a particular problem. Otherwise, it's not worth their time to sign up for your email list and it won't be worth your time either.
What's the unique perspective that you bring to the table? What do a lot of people in your industry get wrong? How might you help drive the conversation to make life easier for everyone in your industry? If you've got something to say to answer these questions, then you're on the right path.
One pro tip: Don't forget to segment your audience here. What's appropriate content for your customers might not be appropriate content for your prospects or subscribers. Don't be afraid to send out a few different versions of your marketing campaigns, based on where each person is in their customer journey.
Now that we have something to say, it's important to give someone a true reason to sign up. Unfortunately, in 2021, "Sign up for our newsletter" just won't cut it anymore. We need to create an engaging and valuable offer, whether it's a free ebook, access to special content, or an exclusive discount - only available to your subscribers!
Let's say we run a Pest Control company, and we're building a list of homeowners who are looking for ways to deal with pets. Which of these is the more compelling offer, "Sign up for our newsletter", or "The Top 10 DIY Tips to Pest-Proof Your Home." It's highly likely that the second offer will significantly outperform the first.
It's not enough just to create a good offer, you need to make sure that you're continuously optimizing it to have the highest conversion rate possible.
This does not necessarily mean that you have to create tons and tons of offers, although the data shows that helps. It could mean A/B testing the name of your offer, or updating the resource every year so it stays up to date.
You should also try out different ways to get the offer in front of people. Are you running ads? Try out a bunch of different combinations of ad copy and images. Are you promoting it on your website? Try a popup form, or exit intent form to draw attention to your offer.
Ideally, your website should be converting somewhere in the neighborhood of 3% of all of your traffic into subscribers - the more offers you have, and the higher quality those offers are, the better that rate will get.
If you're much below, you should probably ask these questions:
1) Do people want my offer? Try not to be too precious about the offers that you write, and try to do as much research as you can before creating a big resource to ensure that your audience would actually find that useful.
2) Does my offer have the wrong name? (I ran a campaign for the same resource, one titled "The State of Audiology" and one titled "Sell More in 2021". The actual offer was the same except for the title, but the second was twice as effective).
3) Am I linking to the resource on the right pages? Offers work best when there is synergy between what the audience is reading and what the offer is. For instance, if I wrote a blog post about how to use Instagram Stories for your business, a great offer might be 10 Outstanding Social Campaigns You Can Copy Right Now. If I offered an ebook about building a persona, it probably wouldn't be as effective.
4) Make it easy for people to share your content. If you're running at a 3% conversion rate site-wide - every 33 eyeballs you get to your content will result in a subscriber, so making it easy for people to share your content is a great way to get more eyeballs on your content.
5) Do I need more offers? Not every offer is for everyone. I worked with a client that sells wedding dresses, and we had one big offer that was a Bridal Personality Quiz. That works really well for some brides, but others just aren't interested in Buzzfeed type quizzes. For the more left-brained brides, we've published a comprehensive bridal timeline.
When you go through all this work to get a subscriber, don't take it for granted by not communicating with them. Be consistent - if you're going to email them weekly, send the email on the same day of each week. Don't let a week go by without communicating to them - if you do, they may start to see you as inconsistent, which you don't want.
Why do you want to build your email list in the first place? Although I'm sure you're a nice, smart person with lots of knowledge to share, I'm sure there's more to it than that. Like, money. You want to turn these subscribers into customers. Turning a stranger into a subscriber is one of the first steps on the Customer Value Journey, and you should have a plan for nurturing them toward that first low-risk purchase, build excitement for your brand, and cross-sell and up-sell your products and services over time.
If you're not familiar with the Customer Value Journey, be sure to check it out.