“The money is in your list.”
Marketers have said this over and over throughout the years, and even in 2015, it remains accurate. Email is still a very effective form of digital marketing, and building an email list should be one of the main focuses of your marketing strategy, regardless of whether you have a car dealership or a mom-and-pop bookstore.
The simplest and most effective way to grow your email list is to offer a newsletter. It’s something that my company has done for many years. But placing an opt-in form on your website and waiting for the subscribers to pour in will leave you extremely disappointed. Sure, you will capture an occasional subscriber, but if you want to experience aggressive list growth, you will need to implement some other strategies. Here are five strategies that my company has implemented recently on our own website that has helped us grow our email list at an extremely fast rate.
Run a Twitter Card Lead Generation Campaign
We experienced success running Twitter card lead generation campaigns. I’m a huge fan of this list-building method for two reasons. First, it allows prospects to join the list with a single click. They aren’t required to enter an email address, as Twitter automatically passes the email address used to log into the account. Second, you receive a valid email address 100 percent of the time, since a prospect can’t enter a bogus email to claim your offer.
We were also able to use the targeting options to draw in qualified subscribers. You pay for each email added to your list using Twitter cards, so you need to have a decent budget if you want to get aggressive. Don’t let the cost deter you, though, as no subscriber is ever free. There is a cost associated with every subscriber you attract, whether it’s from social media, SEO or other marketing channels.
Install an Exit Pop-Up Offer
“I don’t want to annoy my website visitors with a pop-up offer.”
We hear this response often when we suggest using a pop-up to convert exit traffic, but I’m not suggesting using a pop-up that is triggered when the page loads or after a specific period of time. Instead, use a popup that uses exit-intent technology, only firing when it detects that the visitor is about to leave your website. This relatively new technology can track website visitor behavior and predict when someone is going to leave your site.
The majority of your website visitors are never going to return, so why not attempt to convert them one last time before they are gone forever? I have witnessed enough successful client exit pop-up campaigns for my company to start to use them in my own, and they have since helped increase our newsletter subscribers. In fact, our exit offer is the No. 1 source of newsletter subscribers at the moment, and our monthly newsletter subscribers have more than doubled since we started working with Bounce Exchange.
Campaign Aggressively on Social Media
Every business has a social media presence. You have to these days. Many business owners assume that everyone following their company on social media is already aware of their newsletter, but this isn’t always the case. The last thing you want to do is jam offers down the throat of your social following, but a little reminder about your newsletter isn’t going to cause someone to unfollow your brand. We are very subtle when promoting our newsletter via social media. Currently, we do it approximately once a month, and always see increased subscribers after posting.
I will also occasionally promote our newsletter via my personal social profiles — and we see the highest number of subscribers this way. That’s just a further reminder that consumers connect with you as well as your brand. Likewise, this is one of the first things my company does when we start building an email list for a client. If you have a strong personal brand, there might be hundreds of new subscribers just waiting for you to invite them to join via social media.
Increase Number of Opt-In Offers & Locations
We’ve learned that you have to place your opt-in offers in multiple locations throughout your website. Far too often companies will just place an offer in their sidebar and wait for the subscribers to come in. They will trickle in, at best, using this approach. My company was no different — for a while, our newsletter offers were also in the sidebar and after each blog post.
However, after using a heat map tool, we discovered that a very high percentage of visitors were navigating down to our footer and clicking on the links there. We added an opt-in form in the footer, and, to this day, it has been our second-best converting location.
Run a Contest With a Social Sharing Requirement
Finally, offering a chance to win something is a great way to pull in new subscribers. It doesn’t even have to be extravagant. In fact, your company’s product or service is often the ideal giveaway. We recently ran a contest for a free infographic, and it generated over 100 newsletter subscribers in a few days. A contest that requires all contestants to subscribe to your newsletter and share the contest on Twitter or Facebook can help you attract new subscribers at a very low acquisition cost, especially if you are giving away your own product or service.
Simply putting an offer and invitation to join your company’s newsletter on your website’s sidebar won’t cut it these days. You need to attract subscribers from a variety of angles. Use the proven strategies above to start adding new subscribers to your list.