Email is a highly-effective method to build your customer base and maintain long-term relationships with loyal customers. This is because it gives you a direct, private channel to communicate with your subscribers, in contrast to crowded platforms like social media where it’s difficult to talk to individual customers. So how can you grow your email subscribers to fully leverage this powerful channel? Here are 10 proven strategies to help you.
1. Run a competition
Competitions are a great way to accelerate your email list building. Set up a competition with a prize — cash, gifts, VIP experiences, products, or some other reward — and have people sign up with their email address. Encourage them to share the competition invite by rewarding them with extra entries for every person that signs up to the email list from their referral.
Make sure your prize aligns with your target market. It should be appealing enough so they, as potential customers and leads, will want to sign up and tell their friends about it. You can have tiered prizes, such as one main prize, and a second and third prize. The process should be designed to nurture them from competition entrant to a prospect.
2. Use other types of lead magnets
Competitions aren’t the only ways to grow your email marketing list, and lead magnets can help you add subscribers quickly without running a major campaign. With a lead magnet, you use an incentive to get people to sign up to your list. Exclusive deals and discounts are one of the most popular lead magnets, and these work by offering the person who has given you their email an immediate discount, discount code, or the promise of future information about the best deals.
Free exclusive content is another great lead magnet. Depending on your industry, you could offer email subscribers targeted ebooks, checklists, and other content of immediate value to them.
Remember to use dedicated landing pages to promote your lead magnets where appropriate. Direct visitors to a page that’s devoted to encouraging them to sign up so they’re not distracted by other content. Remove pop-ups, sidebars, and anything else that could distract them. Use elements like persuasive headlines, testimonials, compelling copy, useful videos, and a list of the benefits of signing up to encourage visitors.
3. Integrate email opt-ins
Incorporate click triggers at the points where visitors are paying the most attention to your content. Turn text, images, and buttons into links to your email subscription page where they can easily sign up. In addition, display full-page pop-ups with calls to action to sign up. You can also use more subtle pop-ups like scroll boxes that take up a smaller proportion of the screen. These scroll boxes should invite the visitor to enter their email address to sign up to your list.
Remember, with any email sign up offer, you need to make the benefits crystal clear. List the values of signing up to the email subscription in an easy-to-read list. These value propositions could be things like social proof, third-party credibility, current subscriber numbers, and other strong arguments to convince the visitor to sign up now.
4. Use a universal landing page
You should be using dedicated landing pages for your lead magnets (as outlined above), but you can also make use of a universal landing page that traffic from many pages are sent to that encourages visitors to sign up. Link to this landing page in your social profiles, business cards, promotional flyers, and brochures. By promoting your universal landing page as much as possible, rather than linking to a bio or home page, the first thing your visitors will see is the email sign up value proposition.
Make it easy for them to sign up with one click, and remove any potential distractions. Highlight the key benefits of signing up now, whether it’s a discount code they can use right away, exclusive content they can download, or some other immediate benefit.
5. Provide valuable content
Share valuable content at every possible opportunity, whether it’s blog posts, research papers, instructional videos, or other types of content highly relevant to your target market. By providing valuable content, you’ll encourage your readers to link to it, share it, and forward it on to colleagues and friends. This drives more traffic to your site, where you can then guide visitors through your email sign up process.
Valuable content also helps you rank higher in searches, which also drives organic traffic to your site. Finally, by offering actionable content, you’re building trust, credibility, and confidence in your brand.
Think about the problems your products or services solve for your target market and base your content around these problems. Great content delivers real value to readers and incorporates data, insights, and actionable advice that your readers can apply. Note you can outsource this process to copywriters, video experts, and researchers, but ensure the content matches your brand voice and personality.
As discussed, lead magnets are a proven way to capture email addresses, and one of the most effective ways you can implement lead magnets is through content upgrades.
With a content upgrade, you provide the reader with an “upsell” piece of content within an article in exchange for them signing up to the email list. Depending on your industry or niche, this upsell content could be detailed checklists, instruction manuals, or cheat sheets. You can offer spreadsheet templates, resource lists, or some other type of valuable content with practical value for the reader.
The upsell content must align with the original article topic, and the additional information it provides should be so valuable that visitors want to hand over their email addresses.
Write relevant blog posts, and create custom upsell content for each of these posts. Aim to add a content upgrade to every page of your website that receives significant traffic, as this will give you the best chance of accelerating your email list growth.
7. Run joint email campaigns with partners
Another inexpensive way to get more subscribers to sign up is to run joint email campaigns with partners. Partner with businesses in complementary niches and agree to add a link to their websites, social media pages, and emails as a way to encourage your current subscribers to sign up for your partner’s email list. Include a succinct introduction to your partner business, as well as the advantages of signing up to their email newsletter. Your partner can then do this for you so you accelerate your email list sign ups as well.
Joint email campaigns are an easy strategy for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. To sweeten the deal, why not offer a discount, prize, or other lead magnet to the sign up call to action?
8. Become an industry expert
Grow your email subscriber list by selling yourself as an industry expert and promoting your business. Blogging on your own website is an essential element of this, but you can also contribute to industry blogs and newsletters, cross-post content on partner businesses’ websites, give free talks, and share your content with communities in your niche.
For example, look for sub-Reddits, Facebook groups, and other online channels where you can spread your voice, provide valuable information, and link to your email sign up landing page.
9. Use behaviour-based pop-ups
Make use of software tools that allow you to tailor pop-up opt-in messages based on the visitor’s actions on your website. For example, if the visitor has quickly checked out only three pages and is about to leave, you can have your page show a pop-up that’s designed to grab their attention with a compelling message.
Actions like abandoning shopping carts and returning visits could also be triggers for different types of messages. The goal is to make the message persuasive by tailoring it to the type of visitor and their behaviour on your site.
10. A/B test your messaging
Every email marketing strategy should incorporate A/B testing so you can keep refining your strategy. A/B testing is critical because it helps you avoid the pitfalls of simply guessing what makes your visitors sign up for the email list, and what doesn’t. For example, you can test different pop-up messages to check what messages work best with different traffic types. Based on this you can then change graphics, font, and wording to improve your conversion rates.
But if your email campaign is poor, even if you get email subscribers you’re likely to lose them quickly, making the above strategies redundant. So it almost goes without saying that you should track your analytics in addition to A/B testing. The key metrics to pay attention to include delivery, open-rate, click-through-rate, share, forward, spam complaint, and unsubscribe rates. As you track these, you can more accurately test the impact of things like different subject lines, images, content, and email structure to retain subscribers.
Build your email campaign now
Email marketing might not be the most popular digital channel, but in reality it can offer you an unbeatable ROI when implemented correctly. So, it’s vital to focus your efforts on growing your email subscriber list to can maximise the benefits of marketing through this channel. With the right email list growth strategy, you can drive forward your core email marketing strategy, as well as your other marketing efforts.
TractionNext offers an industry-leading, all-in-one platform for automating your marketing that doesn’t get in the way of your business. Subscribe to our mailing list to receive tips and techniques for your improving your email, SMS and promotion strategies, or contact us for more information today.