What’s the hardest part of building a successful email marketing campaign? For most brands, the answer is the very first step of the process: building the email list. Once you have a strong base of subscribers, you are in a good position. You have a direct line to reach people who are interested in the messaging you are trying to convey. You can automate huge portions of the marketing process, simply by configuring your emails to send at specific times of day, to specific segments of your email list. When one of you emails resonates with a subscriber, they’re just a click or screen tap away from heading to your website and buying something, or from forwarding your email to their friends and family.
First, though, you need subscribers. An email marketing campaign with no email list is no campaign at all, and an email marketing campaign with a list of unwilling subscribers might be even worse. Email marketing works because you are reaching out to people who already know your brand and who are familiar with what you are about. They are also at least a step or two down the lead conversion funnel from the outset. You can’t replicate these results by, say, buying an email contact list from another company. Instead, you need to go about building your email list organically. The question is, where do you start?
The important thing to know is that your email list isn’t going to turn into a 20,000-name behemoth overnight. It takes time to build trust and loyalty with would-be subscribers. It takes time to establish a strong reputation in your industry or niche. It takes time to create strong buzz and word-of-mouth. With all that said, here are a few tips you can start using today to build and grow your list:
- Add calls to action to your website. Content marketing and email marketing often work hand-in-hand. For instance, an email newsletter to your followers might inform them of a new blog post or podcast that they may find to be of interest. The connection can go the other way, too: incorporating calls to action on your website—including blog posts and landing pages—can be a good way to start building an email list of folks who are interested in the content, products, and services your brand provides.
- Offer the subscription option at point-of-purchase. E-commerce retailers have a big advantage when it comes to building an email list. A customer who is in the process of buying something online has already converted and is, therefore, an optimal person to aim for as an email list subscriber. As part of the online checkout process, ask your customers to opt into receiving emails for you. You can sweeten the pot by offering coupons, discounts, and other special offers—a quick way to any online shopper’s heart.
- Use a special piece of content to entice subscribers. Sometimes, you can get more reluctant leads to subscribe to your emails by offering something they can’t get otherwise. Special e-books or white papers are common examples: in-depth content that your audience can still get for free as long as they subscribe to your email list.
Building an email list takes hard work and perseverance. Even with the hard work, though, building your list organically, from scratch, will always give you better odds at lead conversions and overall reputation building than creating your list in less ethical ways. If you need help getting started or taking your email list to the next level, contact Distribion today.