8 Strategies for Growing your Email Lists
Ah, email subscribers. For small business owners, this is the marketing holy grail. If you’re reading this, you probably already know the value of having an email marketing program. Email subscribes mean more people to send marketing material to, more people who will potentially open your emails, and more return on your investment. The Direct Marketing Association currently has the ROI for email marketing at a whopping $40 per $1 invested. Is your return on investment this high? No? Well then the easiest way to fix it is to simply send to more people!
Before we dive in gathering new subscribers, let me stress this –your focus in ANY effort to grow your list should be on getting more QUALITY subscribers that are a good match for your business versus just bringing in hundreds of dead-weight subscribers. Buying email lists, while easy to obtain, WON’T be responsive to your campaigns because they haven’t opted into your emails. You WILL be seen as SPAM by these email accounts.
So then, how can you increase your email list with good quality emails? Here are 8 great strategies for growing these lists.
1. Have an Opt-In Box on Your Website:
if you don’t have this on your website, you are wayyyyyyyyyy behind. Your website MUST have at least one (multiple is preferable) place where consumers can sign up for emails for you.
2. Offer an Incentive:
This one’s pretty obvious. If you offer an incentive to signing up for your email (such as 15% off your next purchase or a free small gift with their next purchase) you are going to see your subscribers grow. You can do this both online through a sign-up plug in that feeds to your mail client, or you can even do this directly in your store! At the point of purchase, ask your customer if they would like to sign up for emails for you and offer your incentive. This is a great way to keep customers loyal and coming back for more!
3. Share Opt-In Opportunity with Social Media Followers.
Email is the next logical path for turning social media leads into conversions. Every once and a while,Tweet out or make a Facebook post about your email lists. Just make sure that these followers have a clear incentive to do so.
4. Subscribe Via the Check Out Process:
Does your business do e-commerce? Consider adding a “Check here to subscribe to my super-awesome-fantastic weekly newsletter” tick box to your process. Again, this is a great way to keep those customers coming back for more.
5. Run a Contest!
You probably have heard this one before as a way to grow your audience but let me issue this warning – MAKE IT RELEVANT. Don’t run a contest to win a flat screen TV if your ideal client is an athlete with foot pain. Although that athlete may very well be interested in the flat screen, use your contest to ONLY attract your ideal client – and weed out the non-ideal prospects.
6. Attend Trade-Shows and Seminars:
Networking isn’t just for people looking for jobs. Attending trade-shows and seminars are a great way to get your business in front of prospective clients and customers. While you’re there, bring lots of flyers and business cards with ways they can sign up for your emails!
7. Guest Post:
Guest posting is a great way to get in front of more and more of your target audience. To get the most email subscribers out of your guest post, make good use of your About the Author bio box. make sure this includes what your business does, a link to your website, and a way to hear more from your business (hint, hint: email subscribe.)
8. Ask Your Current Email Subscribers for Help:
your most loyal email followers are the primary target of this sort of campaign (highest open rate / longest subscriber / highest click rate / etc.). Ask this list: did this help you? Do you think this is awesome? Share it with someone you think would benefit from this!
And of course, make it easy to for those forwards to join your list – at the bottom of your email make sure there are instructions for non-subscribers with an appropriate sign-up link.