How to grow your list for effective email marketing

email marketing

A guest post by Hannah Stevenson. 

While the focus is on social media and chatbots nowadays, when it comes to email marketing, the classic methods still remain effective.

For example, email marketing has the highest return on investment for any marketing channel. More than half of retailers who use it say it has good or excellent ROI. This is why roughly 60% of marketers plan to increase their email marketing budgets.

However, the biggest challenge for many is getting subscribers to begin with. Thankfully there are some ways that you can improve your results and get more subscribers starting today. Here are 4 things you can do to start growing your email list.

Incentivise mailing list signups

You need to offer someone something valuable before people will be willing to hand over their email address to you. It might be access to a white paper, coupon codes or entry in a draw for a prize.

The benefit of offering something of value for the signup is they must provide a valid email address to receive the document or discount code. However, the idea is to start building a relationship afterwards, based on the specific offer they’ve chosen.

For instance, if they picked a coupon for a particular product, you could sell to them later on with other products from the same brand, or similar products from other brands.

Another approach is offering daily or weekly deals only available to email subscribers. This will push more people to sign up, and will give you a reason to contact them regularly without looking like spam.

Another option is requiring them to sign up with an email address to access free online tools they’ll want to use, or by offering a free course. Free books are another great option. What’s great about them is that you can encourage your subscribers to share it with their friends, acquaintances or anyone they feel could benefit from the book.

Now your list and brand are getting disseminated virally with no additional effort on your part. This will also help you start building a name as an authority and a valuable resource in your sector.

Capture emails you already have access to

You may already have email addresses associated with your customers which haven’t made it to your email list. For example, social media sites may let you grab emails by throwing up a lead generation card to collect emails and add them to your email list.

Another option is pulling all the emails stored in correspondence and adding them to the email list. For instance, you could use a tool like PieSync to sync Google contacts and Mailchimp. This tool will allow you to tag business contacts in Google Contacts and have them directly added to the Mailchimp group. It will allow you to do the opposite, too.

Contacts subscribed to Mailchimp could be added to Google Contacts. You can synchronise the two data sets and keep information like group membership and tags consistent. You’ll minimise the amount of data entry and database cleanup involved. Remember to add all the emails collected in your store, whether they’ve placed an order online or in the retail store.

Furthermore, you could add an email signature for outgoing employee emails. This could take them to a page where they can sign up for mailing lists. They’re already emailing with your team members, so subscribing to additional emails is a natural progression.

Or, you could ask for feedback and require an email address as a condition of submitting it. Then you can get back to them if necessary, while they could be added to your marketing database.

Great content is needed for email marketing

While there are people who would sign up for a newsletter to read it the first time, they’ll unsubscribe unless you create great content. Give them valuable information in addition to promotional material or coupon codes.

This generally requires segmenting the email list by demographics and interests so that you send relevant content to each person instead of a blanket email blasted out to everyone.

Encourage people to share your content

If you create great content, your subscribers may share it. Take it one step further and encourage them to forward your content to others. This could be done through social sharing buttons or an option to email the content to a friend along with a call to action.

You’ll dramatically expand the reach of your marketing emails. Add a text-based link so that those who receive the email can easily opt in. And you’ll gain subscribers through the digital referral.

Email marketing may have a high ROI. However, you must work to maintain and expand the database if you want to see those high returns.

How much do you value email marketing?

Let us know in the comments below about your experiences or stories with growing your list for email marketing purposes.

About the author

Hannah StevensonHannah Stevenson is an experienced Content Marketing Manager and copywriter who enjoys creating engaging content. She’s a former journalist, who now blogs and writes full-time. She uses her experience in the copywriting, researching and SEO markets to inform readers and share her knowledge with professionals from across the corporate landscape.

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Alice Elliott writes the award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She provides simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Visit her new Beginner Bloggers blog to find her latest learning resources.
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