In the world of email marketing, your mailing list can be one of your most valuable assets. When you have a solid list of subscribers anxious to buy your products and learn about your business, it is easy to grow and prosper. Once that list is established, adding to it can be a relatively simple matter, but building an entire mailing list from scratch is much more challenging.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to start building your email list today, from holding contests and promotions to including a subscription form on your website or social media page. Building a list of valid email addresses will take some time, and there are no shortcuts. Buying lists simply does not work, and it could even get you banned as a spammer. The best thing is to grow your list organically, through your own hard work and dedication.
Add a Subscription Form to Your Website
One of the easiest ways to start building your list of email subscribers is to place a subscription form on your own website. If your website already has a good number of visitors, chances are some of those visitors would like to know more about your company and what you do. Adding a subscription link to the front page of your website gives those potential customers an easy way to keep up with what your firm is doing and learn about new services and promotions.
Add a Subscription Form to Your Facebook Page
These days many people spend more time on the Facebook fan pages of their favorite companies than at those company websites. If you want to grow your list of subscribers and gather more email addresses, you simply must engage with social media. We recently made available a script that makes it easy for businesses to gather email addresses, confirm requests and build their mailing lists directly from their Facebook Pages. All email addresses coming from your Facebook fans are automatically added to the existing mailing list – seamlessly and simply.
Use SEO to Build Your List
It can be difficult to build your email list from scratch, especially when you are just starting out. Once customers learn the name of your business and your brand, they can go directly to your website or Facebook page to learn more about you. Before that, however, it can be hard for new customers to even find you. That is why search is so important, and why so many companies use SEO techniques and email landing pages to build their email subscription lists.
The world of SEO is always changing, and a simple tweak by the major search engines could have a profound impact on your business. That is why smart companies are teaming with SEO experts who can help them navigate those choppy waters and get more traffic coming to their sites. Look for a company with a good track record, and check out any references they provide. A good SEO expert should be able to guide you through the entire process, from designing your outbound emails to designing email landing pages that get results.
The Pay-per-Click Strategy
One of the most effective ways to drive traffic to the email landing pages you create is with Google AdWords and other pay-per-click services . Google AdWords takes advantage of popular search terms related to your business and helps you grow your email list organically. Of course it is still important to have a compelling email landing page that encourages visitors to become subscribers. Things like making the pages simple to navigate and keeping the sign-up form as short as possible can greatly increase your conversion rate. Giving away a freebie, like a free guide or sample booklet, is also a great way to encourage new visitors to sign up for your mailing list.
Use the Power of the Offline World
It is easy for email marketers to get caught up in the online world and forget that there is another world outside the confines of the Internet. The good news is that there are a number of offline ways to increase your list of subscribers and build your email marketing list. Something as simple as creating postcards and handing them out to people you meet can be remarkably effective. Don’t forget to leave a stack of those postcards in heavily trafficked areas as you go about your daily business. Keeping a sign-up sheet by the cash register at your store is also a great way to increase your subscriber base.
Speaking of business, seminars and business meetings are great places to gather email addresses and spread the word about your firm and what it has to offer. Make sure you always have a stack of business cards with you, and that those business cards include your website address and Facebook name.
Renting an Email List
Renting a ready-made email list is not generally a good idea, but there are some times it makes sense. If your company operates in a specific niche, it can make sense to use a list that has been tailored to those with matching interests.
If you do choose to rent an email list, it is important to check out the company carefully. Many rented lists contain a large number of invalid addresses, and a high failure rate could have lasting repercussions for your business. Be sure to keep a close eye on bounce rates, and trim those bad addresses from future mailings.
In the end, there is no magic formula for building a successful email list. Each of the ideas outlined above can help, but it is important to tailor them to the needs of your own business. Testing your results from time to time will allow you to eliminate the strategies that do not work for you and focus instead on the plans that get the best results.