How Can I Build A Highly Effective Email List?
Email Lists 101
Of all marketing channels, Email Marketing has always taken first place when it comes to Return on Investment (ROI), even above SEO. With a $40 return for every dollar spent, it makes sense to focus on this marketing strategy with an effective email list. Whether your goal is to improve your current list or to build one from scratch, the time you invest in developing a vibrant subscriber list of your customer base will pay off with spectacular ROI.
The basic definition of an email list is simply a database filled with names and email addresses of persons who have opted in to receive email from you. These entries could be gathered from many sources. Such as online signup forms or during online purchases, through apps, or gathered in-person from, for example, contest entry blanks at your store.
Purchasing email lists is a very unwise marketing decision, despite the seller's claims that their list contains quality content targeted for your business. Although it may seem a fast way to establish an email list, it may instead hurt your business. You would not be the unique purchaser but would be joining other purchasers in sending to the same addresses. Thus, the email address and IP address of any of these senders would be marked as spam. Depending on the number of spam reports, the sender’s account could be terminated by the sender’s email service provider. If this weren’t enough, the sender could be penalized due to GDPR violation for any recipient residing in the European Union. That is, who hadn’t agreed to be added to your list.
Building Your List
In laying the groundwork for your list, start by considering concise strategies of how to market it. Such as your welcome email’s design and content, your campaign’s frequency, the “voice” of your mailings, and what strategies you plan for maintaining your readers’ future interest. Think about who your target audience is. What kinds of quality perks can you offer them in exchange for joining, an offer so compelling they can’t refuse? How will you present your opt-in offer? And what is your long-term strategy for keeping your subscribers engaged instead of opting out?
In constructing your list, be sure to keep the following in mind:
Know Your Target Audience
First impressions and shared interests count. You can gain a loyal base by listening to your audience’s personalized needs. One way to find out these needs is by sending surveys to your customers to learn ways you can help them.
Create Compelling Offers and Solutions
In exchange for joining your list, give your target audience valuable incentives that are only available to those who sign up. These could be free shipping, discounts, contests, freebies, and prize giveaways, ebooks, podcasts, videos, webinars and livestream events, or other forms of exclusive information. The solutions you offer can build long-term customer relationships. Once you define your targeted audience’s needs, you can design enticing promotions, content, and incentives around them, which will draw yet more subscribers to your list. Use a Call to Action (CTA) button with wording specifically targeted for the offer and a landing page dedicated to explaining basic details of the offer.
Make It Easy To Join
Give easy opt-in access for your audience with easy-to-find signup offers throughout your website. Such as in a header, footer, sidebar, or even in a popup when used at the right place and time. Keep it simple by limiting your information request to just their email address. Later, subscribers can create a profile to fine-tune their personalized preferences, perhaps in response to another incentive. Offer referral incentives to refer their friends to your list.
Embed signup forms on Facebook as well. You can acquire additional email addresses through physical hard copy forms or entry blanks, such as those placed at businesses and trade shows.
After You've Built Your List
- Keep providing your subscribers with quality content. Once your email marketing campaign has a following of subscribers, to retain their engagement, they'll need to be supplied with consistent and content-appropriate emails. Though it takes much effort to retain current subscribers, it involves less effort than trying to add new ones.
- Continually perform list maintenance to keep it current. Each year, 3 out of 10 subscribers will change email addresses. To prevent a stale subscriber list, it’s important to check for and weed out inactive addresses on an annual basis.
- Eventually, as it grows, you'll be able to divide your subscriber list into smaller segments based on certain criteria. For example, by a subscriber's purchase history, interests, geographic location, or demographics.
A large database of good-quality email addresses can channel your sales leads deeper into your sales funnel. The dedicated effort you bring to compiling and maintaining your list will allow you to reap the rewards of seeing these new subscribers become lifetime customers.
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