How to Grow Your Email List (and Why it Matters)

reasons why you should grow your email list and why you should care
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By Jess Dixon

Your email list is one of your most valuable marketing tools. Studies and statistics repeatedly show that email marketing is still one of the most – if not the most – effective tools in customer acquisition and customer retention.

According to Express Writers, email marketing campaigns enjoy an average open rate of 20% and click-through rate of 3.3%. That’s almost fifty times higher than Facebook’s average 0.07% ad click-through rate!

To do email marketing, you need to build a substantial and high-quality mailing list. But how do you get those sign-ups? It’s all about reaching the right people, getting them to your website, and then giving them the right incentive to join your list. Read on for my top tips.

Give away a lead magnet

A lead magnet is a freebie that you give away to entice people into giving you their email address. Good examples of lead magnets include e-books, online courses, and bonus content. Whatever you choose, it must be relevant to your business and of use to your target audience. If you’re a marketing consultant, you might give away an e-book on digital marketing tricks. If you own a restaurant, you might offer a recipe. And so on.

Run a giveaway

Everyone loves the chance to win free stuff! If you’re running a mailing list drive, the opportunity to win a prize is a powerful incentive to get people to part with their email address. Just make sure the prize is connected to your business and desirable to your audience. Attaching a monetary value to the prize can also nudge undecided visitors into signing up.

Run a webinar

A webinar – a portmanteau of “web” and “seminar” – is an online lecture or class. Webinars are cheap to run (you just need to pay for the hosting software) and popular across many industries. Make sure that your webinar is on a subject your target audience cares about, and offers value in the form of useful tips and actionable advice. Then at the end, you can add a call to action where you invite your attendees to join your mailing list (maybe with an added incentive such as some limited-time bonus content if they sign up today!)

Invest in SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting your website to rank highly in search engine results. SEO is complex and multi-faceted. It also takes time to do it effectively. (There are so-called “black hat” SEO techniques which promise quick fixes, but these can backfire – if you get caught, your site could be relegated to the bottom of the results page or even delisted entirely.)

There are plenty of resources online to teach yourself basic SEO. You can make it easier by using a plug-in on your content management system. I use Yoast SEO on all the WordPress websites I manage, and I highly recommend it. If you’ve got the budget for it, hiring an SEO specialist is a great investment.

As your boosted SEO brings more quality traffic to your website, more people will sign up for your email list (as long as you give them an easy way to do so!) Speaking of which…

Use a pop-up

Have you ever visited a website for the first time and been met with a “Join Our Mailing List!” pop-up? These are popular because they work. You can add one to your site using a tool like Wisepops or Optimonk. Some mailing list providers, such as Mailchimp, also offer a pop-up option as part of their package. Don’t forget to mention your lead magnet or giveaway in your pop-up, if you’re offering these. You can also offer a limited-time discount code for new sign-ups.

Use exit-intent pop-ups

Pop-ups aren’t just for when people first arrive on your site. An exit-intent pop-up appears when someone goes to leave your site, getting them to pause long enough to see what it says. The beauty of these is that they capture people who were interested enough in your business to visit your website, but aren’t ready to buy just yet. Get them on your mailing list, and you increase the chances of a conversion down the road. You can use the same tools I mentioned above to build your exit-intent pop-up.

End your blog posts with a call-to-action

You’re blogging regularly, right? (If you’re not, go and learn why you should and then come back!) End every blog post with a mailing list call to action. It can be as simple as this: “If you enjoyed this post, join my mailing list so you never miss an update!” Don’t forget to link directly to your sign-up form, too.

Use your social media

Your social media channels are a great platform to show off what you do and why your business is amazing. If you provide regular, useful content on your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram pages, you’ll amass a loyal following. Regularly adding a call to action to the end of your posts, with a link to your mailing list sign-up page, will encourage these fans to click the “join now” button.

Your email list is an essential asset. Hopefully these tips will help you drive sign-ups and get your products or services in front of the right people. Have you used any innovative tricks to grow your email list? We’d love to hear them!

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