Email remains one of the strongest ways to reach prospects and clients with little to no cost, but how do you build your email list over time? A strong email list is perhaps the most valuable asset your sales and marketing team owns, and it needs some good TLC. A healthy email list requires weeding, nurturing, and consistent messaging to keep it active and growing.
Here are some tips and tricks to build your list the right way, and keep it for the long haul.
Don’t cut corners.
There will be people trying to sell you lists that are thousands of emails long, but the integrity of those lists is often very poor. You never know what you’re getting when you purchase a list. Plus, with the recent crackdown on the CAN-SPAM Act, sending unsolicited emails to a large list with a high bounce rate could land you some serious consequences. Some email platforms restrict you from sending emails for 48 hours or more as a penalty. Make sure your data is clean and there isn’t a mismatch of data integrity between different CRMs if you use more than one.
Build your list through gated content.
If users are already on your website, there is a good chance they are interested in your product or service. Gated content, like a pop-up on your homepage, is a much healthier way to add to your email list without requiring a purchase. Invite users to subscribe to your newsletter or download an ebook. Put a simple name and email address form on the popup with a message that will entice users with more valuable content. Experiment with different messaging, colors and orientation to boost engagement.
Optimize blog content.
Make sure you are consistently adding a CTA (call to action) to every blog post, inviting your readers to sign up for your newsletter or download an ebook for more great content. Also, always add social share buttons at the end of your posts so users can easily share with their network.
Invite through social media channels.
Use all your social media channels to invite your audience to join your email list. You can offer them a prize or resource for doing so, and even reward them for sharing your content with their friends and network. On Instagram, have your users follow your account and tag their friends in the post comments for a chance to win or receive a complimentary resource. Always lead these posts back to your website to increase traffic, and educate your target on what you do.
Be active on relevant blogs and forums.
Frequently participate in the blogs and forums your clients and prospects are a part of and offer insightful comments. Include a link to your website where visitors will find your opt-in form.
Use your business cards.
When you’re at any kind of networking or industry event, make sure to bring your business cards. Add an offer on the back that invites people to sign up to receive your emails. This is a great way to keep up with all new contacts you’ve met face-to-face and capture their information organically.
Don’t let visitors leave without an invitation.
If visitors peruse your entire website without opting into an email list, entice them one last time before they click away. Set a lightbox to appear asking for an email address whenever someone is about to leave your site. This will give visitors one last chance to engage.
Add personalization tokens.
If you’re going to send out a mass email campaign, it’s a good idea to make your emails more personalized. A great way to do this is to add a “personalization token.” This plug-in can auto populate a personalized sentence, like, “Hey John, congrats on being on the Best Places to Work list.” Check out Hubspot to add this feature to your emails.
Send segmented and targeted messaging.
Once you have a good list, start sending emails specifically tailored toward a segment or target within your list. You can segment by company size, title, industry, type of business, radius and more. (Your email platform should be able to give you multiple options.) This will lead to a higher conversion/ROI because the email will feel more personalized. Reach out multiple times over the course of a few weeks. Don’t spam, but be persistent.
Go beyond the inbox.
As a final tip, don’t just rely on email as your sole communication channel with your targets. Follow up with LinkedIn messages, and find out what events your prospects are going to via LinkedIn, Facebook events, or industry trade shows — and make sure your paths cross. If you have a booth at a trade show, always include an email signup sheet.
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