Building an email list that converts means understanding and creating relationships with specific customers. How? Using content that connects with their wants, needs and desires. You’re probably already finding new customers with targeted ads that link to a landing page providing a magnetic offer. It’s free, they love it, you get their email address.
That bit is all great, but what about your website, social networks and emails? Do you have all the elements on your digital properties that optimise conversion opportunities?
Here are 15 things to immediately audit your digital assets to grow your email list and optimise conversions.
1. Call to action colour contrast
A lot has been written about conversion tests that compare red and green call to action buttons. It is generally accepted that red beats green.
Most brands don’t like to stray from their own colours. Nor should they. There is no perfect button colour, but the colour of your button is affecting conversions.
The example below has been anonymised, but it is a major European e-commerce site that sells hand-painted porcelain.
When people know how brands are attempting to position themselves, people consider colours congruent with those positions to be more appropriate.
Rather than trying to find the perfect colour, use a colour that heightens the visibility of your button to ensure a higher conversion rate.
Also pay attention to the copy on buttons. One word can change everything as you see from an A/B test below.
2. Make subscribing to your email list easy
Your opt-in form could help or hinder your efforts to gain more subscribers.
The box is often in a prominent position on your site with a strong call to action. You know all that. You might not know that the prefilled copy such as Your Email Address or Enter Name Here can disappear when someone clicks inside the box.
Make it easier for visitors to simply click in the box and start typing. Without the courtesy code you might get bounces because your customers entries are rejected for looking like this: Enter Your Email Address email@example.com.
3. Cut the click count on call to actions
The opt-in box is usually on the homepage, but if your site visitor starts looking at your blog, about us or pricing page, does your subscriber box follow them?
Also, we know it’s tempting to try and gather as much information as possible, but you can get that down the track. Keep your opt-in fields lean but always collect more than just an email address. You can collect more valuable data once they’re inside the gate by encouraging them to update their preferences.
4. Build an email welcome program
Welcome emails typically get open rates of more than 50% according to Econsultancy.
Granted, you’ve already got the email so this tactic doesn’t necessarily add to your list, but you’ve got more than one list, right?
The welcome email shows gratitude to a new customer and an automated onboarding series gives you the opportunity to showcase your brand. Better yet, it’s an opportunity to get more data on your customer and shift them as appropriate to more segmented lists.
5. Ask customers to forward your newsletter
Imagine if every person on your existing list forwarded your newsletter to just one person they knew. List doubled!
A simple Share button could help, or you could make an offer that entices people to forward to a friend. It could be an exclusive (and trackable) discount or entry into a draw.
Make sure the link is clickable in case email clients don’t allow people to download or forward images.
6. Package content to attract new leads
People love whitepapers, e-books, blogs, infographics, cheat sheets, best practise guides, and any valuable content offered free for download.
A good way to get new email addresses is to package the content you already have – or go nuts and create something new – in a themed, listicle, or even serial style of format dripped over time or available all at once.
7. Guest postings
You could pass on your value-added downloads to another publisher and ask them to promote it to their audience. Publishers and influencers often have guest programs that allow good content to be showcased to a fresh audience.
A succinct biographical-style call to action at the bottom is usual practice.
“Tammy is the founder of Productive Solutions and has used her asset ROI analysis to help clients increase productivity by as much as 35%. Companies that are striving to increase productivity can reach Tammy at her website www.productivesolutions.com.”
8. Make it scannable
QR code stands for Quick Response and can contain website addresses that open direct from a smartphone once scanned.
QR codes can be put on almost anything such as posters, postcards, flyers, business cards, even stickers and temporary tattoos that can be part of a gift pack to give your advertising a unique edge.
9. Use a video message for company announcements
Your brand’s YouTube channel is a powerful way to announce when a new newsletter is out. You could let people know how to sign up and perhaps give them an incentive to do so, sending them to a relevant landing page via links in the video description.
10. Thank your subscribers with an exclusive deal
Typically when subscribers opt-in they are presented with a Thank You page and instructions for confirming their subscription.
This could be an opportunity to introduce new subscribers to added benefits.
Your subscriber benefits could be valuable freebies in the form of checklists or discounts that disappear once the page is closed. It’s the perfect opportunity to thank your new subscriber with something tangible, make an added offer, or even grow the list further. Anything is more beneficial than the standard “Thanks” page.
11. Survey says… customer engagement just went up
Ongoing engagement with your customers is a great way to keep them engaged in your brand and what you’re all about. Surveys and forms give customers the opportunity to talk about themselves. This gives you a lot more data about them personally, and feedback on what you’re already doing (or plan to do).
12. More unsubscribe options can reduce unsubscribe rates
There are many reasons that people unsubscribe from newsletters every day. The frequency of emails is commonly cited as people struggle to maintain control of their inboxes.
Brands often ask “Why are you leaving” when someone hits Unsubscribe, which can create more annoyances, or simply don’t offer an alternate solution.
During the Unsubscribe process give users the option to subscribe to a lesser frequency email in the form of digests. Sure they can say No, but it’s the same effort as not offering it and you never know – a daily subscriber might opt for a weekly email if given a choice at the departure gate.
13. Drive traffic with paid ads
Creating ads that drive traffic to dedicated landing pages is a proven way to build an email list. Remarketing ads help create targeted segments with different messages depending on that segments needs and your brand’s offer.
14. Ask Social followers to Subscribe
Social followers often outnumber email subscribers, so it’s worth asking them to also subscribe to your email newsletter. Facebook allows you to post a newsletter direct to your page, which can be a great way to showcase your offering to a wider audience who could opt-in immediately.
15. Host events to harvest emails from registrations
Seminars, summits, workshops, discussion panels, are a great way to build email lists during the registration process. The content at these events can be as simple as discussing industry trends using your talented staff as a further way of showcasing your brand and its values.
Public demonstrations at community fairs also provide an opportunity to expose potential customers to your products and services, with sign-up sheets either passed around the crowd or at entry and exit points.
Make an action plan for your email list growth
These are our top tactics for building your email list. Work through them and start to methodically implement five tactics per week to grow your list by the end of the month.
Let us know which ones worked best for you, or if you’ve had success with something not mentioned here.