This guest post was contributed by Whitney Blankenship from Omnisend.
There’s no denying the email marketing is potentially the most profitable channel that exists for online sellers. Earning $40 for every $1 spent in this channel, it’s no surprise that building a great email list is a top priority for every marketer.
However, building an excellent email list, like with anything, is easier said than done. How do you manage to get these potential customers to give you their email addresses in the first place?
Never fear – I’ve got 7 proven methods to help you capture email addresses and build an email list that will increase your revenue exponentially.
Let’s jump in:
Why should I build an email list?
The biggest benefit that email marketing offers is that the leads you have in your subscriber list are already warm. They are already interested in your products and what you have to offer.
Unlike leads that are completely cold (like new visitors to your site) or those who have shown only a
What’s also different about email subscribers is that you own that custom curated list of people interested in what you have to offer. And as long as you treat those contacts with respect, you’ll never lose them.
7 tactics to build an amazing email list
Before we launch into how you should build an email list, there’s one thing we have to talk about.
Don’t buy an email list. Just don’t do it.
There are tons of sketchy sites on the internet offering “high quality” email lists for purchase, and assuming that you actually get an email list from one of them (in lieu of a virus or stolen identity) the list is never going to be high quality.
Because what makes an email list high quality is the fact that you captured them in the first place. I don’t care if I’m interested in a super niche product, I’ll never open an email from a company I’ve never heard of, even if they’re selling that same product cheaper.
If they’re not interested in your products and your brand, it’s not worth it.
On top of that, people who get emails from brands they’ve never signed up with are likely to report you as spam.
When you have too many spam reports, your sender reputation will go down the drain. If that happens too severely, your email service provider is likely going to terminate your account.
There are tons of other reasons why you shouldn’t buy a list, but the fact that you’re wasting money on something that will have almost no ROI and destroy your email marketing strategy should be enough.
So without further ado, here are 7 methods of building a quality email list on your own:
#1. Choose a great email marketing provider
Finding the perfect email marketing provider seems like it’s easier said than done. The truth is that there are thousands of email marketing tools out there for you to try, and it’s important to find one that meets your needs.
Ecommerce email marketing is particularly tricky, and many tools may not be able to handle the specific needs of an online merchant- so it’s important to have high standards.
What to look for:
- Different kinds of sign up forms
- The ability to diversify the sign ups you get from those forms into different lists and segments
- The ability to segment your lists based on the profile data you have, campaign behavior, and shopping behavior
- The ability to automate certain campaigns for those segments based on triggers, time, and sign up
With at least those basic features, you’ll be ready to start building your awesome email list.
#2. Use your basic opt-in form
The standard opt-in form is a great way to passively capture email addresses. Typically found in the footer of your site, it’s a simple text box with a button that says “sign up.”
While its chances of being seen are relatively low, it’s still a pretty standard first step, as customers looking to sign up with you might look in the footer.
You can also make this a bit more dynamic by having a sign-up form stickied at the bottom or the side of the screen no matter where your visitor navigates.
Again, this is a very passive way to capture email addresses, but it can be effective.
#3. Wait! Don’t go! You should use a pop-up
In contrast with the standard opt-in form, the popup is considerably more dynamic. While popups have gotten a bad rap from marketers who overused them, they can be extremely effective when implemented properly.
There are a few different ways you can use popups depending on your customer’s behavior:
- Exit-Intent: this popup will appear when your user moves their cursor towards the top of the screen to click the X or the back button.
- Time Elapsed: if a customer spends longer than a certain amount of minutes on your page, you can set the popup to appear. This will help capture only customers that are truly interested in your products.
- Scroll Percentage: you can also set a popup to appear after a customer has scrolled a certain percentage of the page. This will help you differentiate between engaged customers and bounced visits.
- Number of Pages Visited: It’s possible to set up a popup to appear only after a customer has navigated through a certain number of pages. For example, if a customer lands on your home page, and clicks on a category, then from the category clicks through to a product, they would see the popup. This can be really effective in helping a customer make a purchase decision.
#4. Gamify your sign up form and make it interesting
As humans, we love games. Any way we can make something more interesting through gamification is an opportunity you absolutely should take.
Oftentimes, we’re excited to play with something even if we initially weren’t particularly interested in the offer. By creating dynamic sign up forms, you can make the process more entertaining for customers and gain signups easier.
For example, using a spinning Wheel of Fortune for incentives is a great way to capture that email address. The customer has to enter their contact info in order to spin, and when they do, their prize could help push them to make a purchase sooner rather than later.
#5. Incentivize your sign ups
Sometimes, a customer will be interested in what you have to say and won’t need an incentive. However, those customers are few and far between. Users today are pretty picky about who they give their email addresses out to, and with the amount of spam we all receive on a daily basis, there’s no question as to why.
So in order to earn your customer’s trust, offer a little something in return. For ecommerce, it’s typically a first time discount or perhaps an offer for free shipping that does the trick.
After all, if a customer is shopping around for price, it might be the make or break factor in whether or not they purchase from you.
#6. Offering giveaways and contests
Incentives don’t only work in the form of discounts. A great giveaway is an easy way to acquire a lot of new customers quickly. When you combine the giveaway with the viral nature of social channels, this strategy can be truly effective in attracting the right kind of customers to your page.
However, it’s important to remember that your prize has to have a direct link to your store. If there’s no relationship between the prize and your offer, there’s no way to know that the leads you’re capturing are high quality.
For example, if you use your own products as part of the giveaway, you’ll know immediately that the customers signing up for this contest or giveaway are interested in your offer. Otherwise, you may just attract those who just want something for free.
#7. Referral programs for easy customer acquisition
A great referral program is the single best way to acquire new subscribers without spending a dime. Asking or incentivizing your customers to share your products, posts, or emails with their friends and family is a great way to put this into practice.
And the fact is that 77% of consumers are more likely to purchase a new product when they heard about it from family or friends.
Imagine what that kind of word-of-mouth power could do for your email subscriber list. To make it easy, make your content sharable by adding share buttons at the bottom of your newsletters, content, and email offers. You can also offer referral codes to incentivize your customers with a discount or points if you have a rewards system in place.
Building an email list isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s not crazy difficult either.
If you follow the best practices in building an email list, and you use the right tools at your disposition, you’ll have a high-quality email list in no time at all.
By incentivizing your visitors, making things interesting with dynamic forms and gamification, and offering sweet rewards for referring friends and family, you can build a list of engaged subscribers that can’t wait to open your next email.
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