Growing an email list is one of the most important things you can do for your business. I've got some great tips and tricks to help you grow your email list.
Why do you need an email list anyway?
If you think that having an email list is something you can put off until you've grown your business then you're doing it wrong. Sorry to be so harsh but aside from creating a logo, website, blog and social media accounts the next important thing you need to do for your business is grow your email list. Why? Because of something called the sales funnel.
If you've worked in marketing then it's likely you've heard of the sales funnel. If not let me take a second to explain. It's an inverted pyramid that marketers use to represent the buying cycle of their potential customers. Depending on the company sales funnels can be pretty straight forward or extremely complex.
In short at the top of the funnel are your potential customers. These people have found your website via social media, organic searches or through paid advertising. Either way most first time viewers to a website are unlikely to covert to a customer without some nurturing. That's where the sales funnel comes in.
Before they exit your website, never to return again, you want to entice them to join your mailing list. Once they've joined your mailing list then they've become a lead and enter the second phase of the sales funnel. People who sign up for your email list are twice as likely to become a paying customer. Providing these leads with valuable content and helpful solutions to their problems without being salesy is all part of the nurturing process to get them to convert. I'll save that topic for another day but at least now do you see why you need to grow your email list from the gecko?!
How do you grow an email list?
When it comes to growing your email list there are certain things you must do in order to see a rise in subscriptions. Placing your sign up form only in your sites sidebar is NOT going to get you subscribers. Trust me. I know from experience. Over the past year I've experimented with a few different ways to grow my email list. I started off with an agonizingly slow subscriber rate. Then when I implemented all of my tips below I saw a HUGE increase in my numbers. So without further ado here are 7 ways to successfully grow your email list:
1. Write a Blog
Consumers these days are more likely to buy from a brand they are comfortable with. Writing a blog is a way for customers to vet you. You can express a lot about who you are or what your company is about in your blog posts. You can position yourself as an expert and gain trust with your readers. If readers find value in your blog posts than they are likely to subscribe to your email list.
2. Add your subscription form at the end of your blog post
This is a tactical tip. I guarantee you'll see an increase in subscribers when you put your subscription form directly below your blog post. Why? Because it's directly in front of them. It's all about placement. Take the checkout at the supermarket for example. You weren't actively looking for that candy bar but it was strategically placed in the checkout line for you or your kid to see it. You then buy it. Same goes for your subscription form. Place it where your readers are likely to see it. Don't make your readers look for your subscription form because then they won't.
3. Create an RSS feed
Once readers have subscribed to your email list you don't want them quickly unsubscribing because your emails are few and far between. Once you have an email list you need to actively engage with your subscribers in order nurture them. If you stay top of mind you'll be top of mind. If you're blogging regularly you can set up a free RSS feed through MailChimp that automatically sends your latest blog posts to your subscribers via email. Here's a quick link explaining how to do it.
I plan on covering this in a future blog post. I'll show you some tips and go into detail on how I set up my RSS campaign. Subscribe to my email list below to be notified when the post is published.
4. Create Free Content
The first three tips are a good starting point to growing your list but when I started creating content upgrades (aka free downloads) in my posts I began seeing a HUGE increase in subscribers. I create guides, worksheets, checklists and templates that relate to my blog posts. All my readers need to do is subscribe to my email list to get the free content.
People are willing to give you their email address if your free content is valuable to them. If you're not sure where to begin think of the things you do on a daily basis for your business. What do you use that you think your readers might find helpful?
[Related post: Content Upgrades: Answering What, Why, and How to Make Them!]
5. Create a Resource Library
If you start creating a lot of content upgrades for your posts a good idea is to put them all in one place on your site. Then make that page password protected and give access to that page only to your email subscribers. It's a great way to get people to sign up for your email list.
Take a look at my subscription form at the bottom of this post. My free resource library entices people to join my email list. Once they subscribe I send them a welcome email with a free download just for signing up and the password to my resource library.
6. Add Your Subscription form on your homepage
Your homepage should act as a sales funnel. You want your value proposition right at the top so customers know who you are and what you can do for them. Following that should be downloadable content your potential customer would find helpful. You can use a content upgrade you created for one of your blog posts. Then at the bottom of the page be sure to add your subscription form. Your homepage is now set up to capture leads two different ways.
7. Provide links to your email list on your social media accounts
If you create a resource library it's a good idea to link to it from your social media accounts. Because that potential client hasn't likely visited your site create a landing page further explaining your resource library and a link to go to your website. Here is the link I place in my social media accounts: bit.ly/22bbz4J. Below are examples of my Facebook and Pinterest accounts. This way you can get people to subscribe to your list even if they're not on your site.
Growing an Email List Takes Some Work
Like with all things growing an email list takes work. You get out of it what you put into it. I'm continuing to try new ways to grow my list. My next endeavor is to create a "How-to Email Marketing" e-course and to get more potential clients to subscribe to my email list for pre-launch special pricing and extras. Stay tuned for that as well.
There are a number of ways to grow your email list. What have you tried that I didn't mention above? Let me know in the comments section below.