Despite suggestions that email is dead and social media is the way to go – email is still very much relevant for inbound marketers.
Social media has been great to us in the sense that it allows to reach a huge audience without too much effort. All those followers and likes are all good to have, yet the troubling thing is that do we really own them. they don’t belong to your business.
With an email list – you own the contacts on it and it’s yours to use how ever you like.
And the best part about it is that the people who sign up are warm prospects. They are interested in what you have to say and want to receive information delivered to their inbox – and folks just don’t give away their email unless they want something!
So how do you begin growing an email list? Here are five simple tips to get you started.
1. Put a sign up form in the sidebar
Use your sidebar to place a sign up for email list. Let people know you have an email subscription option by displaying it somewhere that appears on every page. Make it stand out by using vibrant colors and come up with a compelling reason for people to sign up.
2. Offer an incentive
People are not going to give you email just because you’re asking them to. Instead, offer them a free eBook or a special white paper as an incentive to sign up for your mailing list.
Most people bulk at the idea of writing an eBook because they think it will be too much work. It doesn’t need to be long, just 5-10 pages. Make sure to follow these 7 tips for fast writing and content creation to get it done in no time!
3. Social media promotion
Going back to the first point – folks won’t be aware of your email subscription unless you tell them. Login to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn , Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr and any other social network you’re on and promote the hell out of it.
4. Social proof
In his book Influence, Robert B. Cialdini describes how, “Advertisers love to inform us when a product is the fastest-growing or largest-selling because they don’t have to convince us directly that the product is good, they need only say that many others think so, which seems proof enough.”
That’s social proof at work. Using other people’s actions as evidence that something is the right thing to do.
For your email list, use the number of subscribers you already have. Content Marketing Institute does a great job of this in the image below.
But what if you’re just starting out, and don’t have 40 000 subscribers? Use a testimonial from a happy recipient in the sign up form. You can also put up social sharing buttons with counters on your blog posts to show how popular your content is.
5. Deliver valuable information regularly
Lastly promise to deliver valuable information such as regular industry report analysis. Having an email list is only good if you use it. And the best way to remain top of mind is to touch base with prospects at least once a month.
Unlike social media, where your message can get lost in all the noise – your email campaigns are guaranteed to make their way to your prospects’ inbox. You can’t count for how people will filter them and what labels they’ll assign your emails to. But you’re able monitor click through rates and how many people are actually opening your emails to determine how successful your email campaign is.
Image by Ryan McFarland