Building Your Mailing List

email-listSocial media is a great way to reach your audiences, but it’s certainly not the only way. Often, it’s not even the best way.

Everyone’s got an email address which they log into several times a day. Most people with smart phones are signed into their email accounts 24/7 with push notifications enabled. Email is much more personal, direct, and a reliable way to get in touch with most people.

Why?

Email is Personal – Email allows you to land into a user’s inbox. There is no ranking system limiting your reach. Your message is intended for a user and it lands into their inbox. It is very direct, personal, and casual.

Email is Purposeful – To get your email a user needs to signup for your email list and confirm their email address. Someone doing this much work is obviously already interested into hearing from you and is much more receptive and responsive to your message.

Email is Targeted – As we mentioned earlier the user has already shown interest in your products / content. They have already given consent to learn more by receiving your emails. They are much more likely to click, buy, and spread the word around for your products and services. Since you already know what they like, you can deliver them highly relevant content and offers to get better results.

Email is One-on-One – People read email in the privacy of their inbox. The message is not on a public wall or timeline. They can ask you questions directly in private with confidence. You’d be surprised how many people don’t want to ask questions on public forums where everyone can read them. Email also allows users to build a one on one relationship with you. Gradually they develop trust in your brand and proudly spread the word around.

To summarize all this, email works a lot better than any other online marketing tool. Big name brands learned that long time ago, and this is why they spend thousands of dollars on social media campaigns to get people to sign up for their email lists. They understand that the email is the best long term investment and people will continue to get their message at a very low cost for a longer period of time.

How to Build Your Email List

Choosing the Right Sign Up Incentive

The first stage of building your mailing list is choosing the right incentive to offer people in exchange for joining your list.

This step is all about getting permission to follow up with your potential customers over time.

There are lots of options you can choose from – the key is to make sure it’s something that’s compelling. A good example might be an e-book on planning a birthday party or other event.

Creating High Converting Landing Pages

Once you’ve decided on your incentive, your next job is to create a landing page, sometimes called a squeeze page. A squeeze page is simply a page on your website that is 100% focused on getting people to subscribe to your mailing list.

Why do you need a landing page? You can use it in a variety of ways to help build your list.

  • Add it as a link in your social profiles.
  • Advertise it using Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.
  • Link to it in blog posts.
  • Link to it in emails (within the body or email signatures).

Essentially, it’s just an easy to reference page that you can get people to and convince them to subscribe. It has no distractions and no other objectives.

Your landing page content should include a persuasive headline, some text or a video about your incentive and the benefits of joining your mailing list, and an opt-in form.

Placing Strategic Opt-in Forms

Aside from your landing page, the most important element for driving opt-ins on your website is strategically placed opt-in forms. Opt-in forms are just a fancy word for the email sign-up boxes.

Popular email marketing software solutions will have handy opt-in form generators that will provide you with a snippet of code that you can just drag and drop into various places around your site.

While it may sound excessive to add multiple opt-in forms to your website, it’s really not. If you had eye-tracking analytics on every visitor to your website, you would find that they do not look at every part of your website, from header to footer.

They may just look at the content on a blog post or your about page, your navigation menu, or your sidebar. Hence, you need to make sure that any one spot they look at has a conversion point for your mailing list – an opt-in form.

Staying in Touch

As you start growing your mailing list, you need to make sure you’re staying in touch with your subscribers. The last thing you want is to build up a great list, not email them for months, and then have them either not open your emails or unsubscribe because they’ve forgotten all about you and why they joined in the first place.

Your Privacy Policy

If you’re going to collect email addresses (and you really should!) you also need to have a Privacy Policy in place. This assures people that you’re not going to sell their email address or send them a bunch of spam.

There are, quite literally, dozens of Privacy Policy Generators available. These generators will walk you through the process of creating a rock solid policy that will enable your business to function smoothly and build customer confidence. Most of the generators I’ve seen are similar, but all are at least a little bit different. Rather than send you to a specific generator, I’ll instead let Google find one for you.

Google Recommendations

When you are finished creating your policy you will need to post links on your website that are easily visible to your customers. The footer is a very common place to put your link, so common that most people will look for it there.

It is also a good idea to include a link to your Privacy Policy policy on your squeeze page and near any embedded form where you’ll be collecting your customer’s data.

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