“Focus on building your email list.” – EmailOut
Okay, okay, I know we’ve said it before, but one of the most disastrous things you can do to your email marketing strategy is to buy subscribers.
Bounce rates go up, open rates go down, you look like a spammer and you get very little engagement out if it. Instead of squandering your money and your reputation, why not try one of these excellent email list building alternatives?
In this article, we’ll cover the following email list building ideas:
- Hold a Competition
- Create Gated Content
- Offer Updates and Advice by Email
- Provide Amazing Deals to Subscribers
- Set Up a Referral Scheme
1. Hold a Competition
The important thing to remember, when working on your email list building, is that you need to give people a good reason to hand over their precious email address. What’s better than the chance of winning an awesome prize?
This doesn’t need to be a super-expensive option for you. You could, for example, make the prize a set of free tickets to an event you’re running, use of a particular product or service for free, a gift card, free shipping for a year, and so on. It just needs to be tempting enough for people to enter their email addresses for a chance of winning!
Bear in mind, though, that you DO need to be upfront with entrants about how you’ll use their email address going forward. Make it clear you’re adding them to a mailing list, for example, or will contact them about similar products to the prize item in the future.
2. Create Gated Content
This is a tried-and-tested strategy for capturing email addresses and developing a relationship with potential customers. Publish and promote excellent, well-researched, valuable content that your audience will lap up, but rather than making it freely available on your blog or website, set it up so that people need to fill in their details to receive a download link by email.
Oh, and remember that this isn’t only about email list building; it’s also about giving an amazing first impression about what an awesome company you are. This means that whatever content you’ve created really does need to be worth the time and effort of filling in the form. Don’t disappoint!
3. Offer Updates and Advice by Email
People get nervous about giving you their details because they worry you’ll clog up their inboxes with spam. To get around this, you need to make it super clear that the emails they receive are in their best interests.
One way of doing that is to provide regular tips, tricks, guides, advice, software updates and so on by email. Explain that sign up is optional but will help them get so much more out of a product they’ve bought from you, or to improve their skills more generally. You position yourself as a wise authority on hand to help AND you build your email list!
4. Provide Amazing Deals to Subscribers
When all else fails, appeal to people’s hardwired sense of FOMO. Offer awesome discounts, deals and early-bird prices exclusively to your email subscribers, or get people to sign up for the chance to get a limited-run product before anyone else. This makes your emails highly valuable to subscribers.
5. Set Up a Referral Scheme
We trust recommendations from people we know above any other factor. If you can get your existing subscribers to sign up new ones, you’re onto a real winner.
There are a number of ways to do that. You could offer financial incentives, upgrades or other perks to referrers and referrals, for example. Or you could combine your referral program with one of the other strategies mentioned above – for example, by giving a person another 5 entries into a competition for every new person they also get to enter. However you go about it, referral strategies are reliably effective.
Just as your gated content has to live up to the hype, so do your emails. Email list building is your first, and biggest, hurdle. But this isn’t the end of the journey. Once you’ve got them, you’ve still gotta keep them keen.
That means ensuring your email campaigns are always valuable, interesting, and well worth opening for your subscribers! Need some help building top-notch emails? Check out our free tool here.