Email is one of the most widely used forms of communication we have today on the web. And also the most important one. People value their email inbox a lot more than they value their Facebook or Twitter inbox. Why? Because email is personal, and it is bound to remain that way.
Still, there are many small business owners who find email marketing to be an outdated or an old-fashioned method. Social media is the new cool kid on the block and it is hogging all the attention. Which makes traditional email feel like the medium with smaller reach.
However, the fact is, social media has not dethroned email. Not at all. While social media marketing has its own place, it is yet to catch up with email in terms of marketing power. It has a long way to go.
Every major social network knows this and understand the importance of email. Don’t take our word, try signing up with Facebook or Twitter without an email address. You can’t. Because even social media sites know the importance of email.
Email marketing is here to stay. The sooner small businesses realize this, the better results they will see from their online marketing.
Email list building has always been a hot topic in the online marketing circles. Mainly because small business owners can get a high return on investment by leveraging their email contact list. According to a study done by Direct Marketing Association, email marketing can give your business a whopping 4,300% return on investment. That’s a number that social media marketing hasn’t even come close to.
Still not convinced? Here are some stats to turn you into an “email believer”:
- More than 65% of US. Internet users (online consumers) have bought something after receiving promotional emails.
- A staggering 91% of online consumers visit their email inbox daily.
- 72% of purchases made via mobile were motivated by marketing emails.
- When compared to popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, email marketing campaigns yield a 50-100 higher click through rate.
- 47% of Internet consumers prefer being communicated about products/services via email.
A targeted list of email subscribers that have given you permission to email them is often seen as huge asset. Because these subscribers know you and trust you, which makes them qualified leads that you can convert. Right from getting repeat traffic to repeat sales, marketing suddenly is a lot more easier with a quality email list.
How well you monetize your email list and drive revenue from it depends on how you well you manage your subscribers. The relationship you share with them matters to a great extent. Which means building a quality, responsive email list can be challenging if you’re not careful about developing and maintaining your list with care.
Here’s Why Email List Building is Important for Your Small Business
It doesn’t matter what niche your small business is in, your website may already be getting consistent traffic that you work on converting into clients or customers. You may already have an audience that is familiar with your brand and products.
This current audience of yours may comprise of potential customers, new customers and as well as the ones who have bought from you before. They could be at any stage of the buying cycle. However, if they don’t have a way to maintain their relationship with your business, you may not be getting the most out of your customer base.
When you give your prospects and customers a way to stay connected to you through a medium like email, you have the opportunity to give them value, build a relationship and take your business to the next level.
Having access to a list of subscribers who are interested in your products/services and want to learn more about your industry is key to growing your small business. Because finding new customers each and every time can be expensive. Your email list can help you repeat buyers at no extra cost.
Reason #1: You Cannot Solely Depend on Social Media
You don’t control your Facebook page or your Twitter followers the way you control your email list. At the end of the day, you are at the peril of the social media network you’re on. Do you have access to the contact info of your fans/followers? Of course not. Which means, regardless of how big your followership is on social media, you don’t own it.
In the earlier days, you could reach out to almost all of your fans on Facebook with a simple post. However, with time, the organic reach on Facebook has dwindled. Today, you can only reach out to a very small percentage of your fanbase, unless you are willing to shell out advertising dollars. Even though you put in the effort to grow your list of social media followers, you are restricted unless you pay to play.
Coming to your email list, there’s nothing like it. Because your list is yours in the truest sense of the word. You’re free to contact your subscribers at any time. The only expense you face is the cost of sending out your emails.
Even your subscribers will be happy to hear from you, given that you are delivering value-oriented information to them. They won’t mind learning from you, buying your products or taking up any relevant offers, because they have given you explicit permission to contact them.
Last but not the least, your social media message may not reach each of your fans. But with email, that’s simply not the case. You can rest assured that your email message is being seen by your target audience. Because you’re connecting with them in their inbox, their most guarded place on the web.
Email list building can change the way you do business. With access to a responsive email list, you can experience increased sales, better feedback, and freedom from spending big money on advertising.
Reason #2: A Bigger Email List Can Change Your Business
While the quality of your list matters more than how big it is, still you cannot and should not underestimate the power of having a bigger list. When you see how valuable your list can be in the long run, you’ll want to consistently grow it. Because the more people you have on your email list, the more people see your offer. Which increases the likelihood of getting more sales and word of mouth marketing.
By consistently focusing on growing your email list, your business doesn’t get stagnant in any way. You’ll have an ongoing stream of customers and clients who are eager to give you repeat business. In short, your email list building efforts need to be continuous for best results. It’s definitely not a set and forget tactic.
Reason #3: There’s More to Your Email List than You Think
Small businesses that are new to email list building quickly learn that there’s more to their list than they thought. Because when you have access to laser targeted email list, you’re suddenly in control of how you communicate with them. It’s vastly different than any type of cold marketing that you’ve done.
You get to know your audience better when you are consistently in touch with your list. Instead of assuming what’s important for your audience and trying to sell them products that you feel they should buy, it’s the other way round. Having your own list lets you turn the tables.
You get to interact with your email subscribers and learn about the products they are interested in or the content they want to see from you. Even though you’re not connecting to them on a one-on-one basis, it’s almost as if you are.
Also, by understanding the behavior of your email subscribers and how they open, read, and click through your emails, you can learn about their likes and dislikes. You’ll no longer be aiming in the dark as you slowly understand what problems they are facing, and how your product/service could help them. You can even survey them from time to time.
All in all, knowing your email list subscribers puts you in a better position to make smarter decisions when it comes to launching new products, creating relevant content, etc.
The best part about this is the fact that there are still many small businesses that aren’t leveraging the true power of having a mailing list. Which means they are not trying to get the most out of their contacts list, while you are. This gives you an edge over your competitors who aren’t looking beyond other channels such as social media.
Let’s now look into a few email list building tactics that you can use to power your small business email list building efforts.
#1: Use a Free Giveaway
Small business email list building is not rocket science. In fact, it can be done with little effort, given that you are thinking out of the box. But if you’re not into the DIY thing, then we have a full service email marketing team ready to take on the task for you. Just contact us to get started.
One of the simplest ways to ramp up your email list building efforts is to run a giveaway or a contest.
Initially, you may think that running a giveaway is complicated or it can only be done by big brands. However, the fact is, it is not only an effective email list building hack but also a simple one to execute. Why? Because when you are giving away free stuff on the Internet, you can have a ton of interested people give you their contact info.Regardless of the type of small business you run or the niche you are operating in, you can run a proper giveaway and see real results coming your way.
When software programmer turned email marketing expert Josh Earl decided to use giveaways to grow his email list, he was able to grow his list from 5,000 email subscribers to almost 200,000 in 11 days.
Did he invest in an expensive giveaway to get these results? Of course not. All he gave away was a copy of a simple text editing software called Sublime Text. And it worked!The bottom line is: giveaways can be an amazing way to take your email list building to the next level. However, do keep in mind that you still need to have a strategy up your sleeve. In other words, you need to invest time/money to ensure that your giveaway is successful, with enough preparation. The easiest way to do this is to work with a professional email marketing agency.
Most importantly, you need to put in the effort to build a relationship with the leads you gain so that you can convert them into customers/clients.
#2: Gate Your Valuable Content
If you are already giving away valuable content to your website visitors, then you could try gating some of to get visitors to subscribe to your email list.
An email address is valuable to most people, which is why they have a difficult time parting from it. You need to figure out a way to get them to give you their email address and feel good about it. The most common and probably the most result-oriented way to do this is create an ethical bribe in the form of gated content that gives real value to prospects in exchange of their email address.
The only difference between regular content on your site and gated content is while the former is open to all, the later is hidden. For instance, you may want to keep 75% of your content available to everyone, and the rest 25% is behind the wall. This could your high-value content such as detailed guides, research reports, white papers, ebooks, etc.
What you’re doing here is using your existing content to increase the size of your email list. However, keep in mind that people who give their email address expect to see high-value material that is worth it. So instead of gating any type of content, only gate content that you know delivers a ton of value.
Here are a few things to keep in mind…
- Go Specific: In order to show prospects that you have something of value, your gated content should be specific enough. In other words, it should be focused on “one problem, one solution” so that your target audience can derive value from it right away. The problem you address should be real and the solution you give should work.
- Focus on Quality: Instead of trying to add fluff content to your ethical bribe and making it bloated, focus on giving quality information that is useful to your target audience. If you can deliver real value in two pages, that’s enough.
- Use Instant Gratification: Keep in mind that converting visitors into subscribers is only the first step. You still need to keep them. Which is why it’s important that your subscribers feel instantly gratified with the content they receive after subscribing. They should feel the benefit right away.
If you manage to make your open-to-all content high quality and give people a clear idea of what they can expect, then you should have a good percentage of your website visitors wanting to give you their email address.
#3: Make It Easier to Sign Up
In order to get more people to join your email list, it’s important that you make whole process easier. Even though this may seem to be an obvious tip, it’s not uncommon to see websites with the signup form tucked away somewhere hard to find. You need to ensure that your sign up form or forms are displayed at all the prominent places of your website, along with a clear call to action.
Here are a few common, high-converting spots on your website to display your sign up form:
Navigation Bar: Your website visitors may not be actively searching for your email sign up form, but they still expect to see important links displayed in the navigation bar of a website. Whether it is link to your newsletter or your free ebook, use the navigation bar to add more subscribers.
Feature Box: This happens to be a highly sought after way to grab the attention of website visitors and grab their contact information. A feature box is nothing but a subscription box that is placed above-the-fold of your homepage or other important pages. It contains information about your offer along with a strong call to action.
Content Pages: If you have a blog where you regularly publish blog posts or other pages on your site with content, you can place a simple email opt-in at the end of each content piece. People who enjoy reading your content may want to stay updated by receiving more such content in their email inbox.
#4: Leverage Facebook Lead Generation Ads
When it comes to quality email list building, there is one method that’s underutilized: Facebook Lead Generation Ads.
While there are many different ways to advertise on Facebook, lead gen ads are in a league of their own. When you run a Facebook lead generation campaign, you are able to display your ads to a laser targeted audience along with a specific lead-capture form that interested people fill out. And since Facebook has the biggest user base, you shouldn’t have a problem finding people interested in your offer.
The best part is the fact that this form is pre-populated with their email address that is connected to their Facebook account. This not only makes the process of getting sign-ups easier but it also much quicker, especially when it is carried out via mobile devices.The reason why Facebook lead ads are great for email list building is because they are designed to help you convert more users into subscribers. In fact, Facebook launched lead generation ads to combat the problem of bad landing pages and giving user a much faster experience.
Here are three main advantages of Facebook lead gen ads:
- Users do not have to leave Facebook, which increases the chances of conversion.
- Once the emails have been gathered, you can automatically import them to your email service provider.
- You get access to clear stats that tell you how well the ad campaign is working
Even though Facebook lead generation ads are not free, they are worth it. If you have the budget and want to invest it in the right direction, then you may want to power your email list building with Facebook ads. If you’ve never created a Facebook lead gen ad before, our Facebook advertising experts can set that campaign up for you.
#5: Create a Content Upgrade
Content upgrade is a specific kind of lead magnet or bonus content that you give away in exchange for an email address. What makes it different than a regular “site-wide” lead magnet is the fact that it is attached to a blog post. In fact, it adds to the value to a content that is already valuable. Which makes content upgrade unique in its own way.
Now, site-wide lead magnets work great. But if you want to take your email list building to the next level, then you need to create these smaller, power-packed and laser-focused lead magnets that directly relate to the content your readers are already reading.
For example, if your blog post lists out ways to achieve a goal, your content upgrade could be a spreadsheet that helps you track your progress. Everything from a workbook to a cheatsheet can act as a content upgrade.Content upgrades work because they enhance the value of your content. They offer readers more support by acting as a free resource. The additional work that is required to create the content upgrade may seem daunting. However, the results that you can achieve make it totally worth it. Still too daunting for you? We have a highly experienced content marketing team that can help you create these pieces to boost your business growth.
Here are a few content upgrade ideas you can use to upgrade your email list building:
- A curated list of relevant, helpful tools or resources
- Additional related content that touches some more unique points
- A quick start guide to help readers take action on your blog content
- A checklist that enhances the value of long, detailed blog posts.
- Video version of the blog post giving visual instructions
The content upgrades you create don’t have to be too complicated or heavy. In fact, keep them light and valuable. See them as an additional resource that helps your readers get the most out of your blog.
Email List Building
Now that you have the tactics you need, you’re ready to start building your list of email subscribers! If want to get started now, but don’t have the time or simply don’t have the skills to create the email content, we have both. If email marketing help is what you need, then just complete the form on our contact page, and we will chat about how we can help boost your email marketing campaign.