If you’ve been in digital marketing for any length of time, then you know that email marketing is one of the best ways to promote your brand.
Of course, before you can even start blasting out emails to prospective clients or customers, you first have to build an email list by collecting names and addresses.
But even you’ve gathered a healthy collection of contacts, you’re still not done. In fact, you’re never done collecting email addresses.
Why? Because your email list is likely to degrade by about 22% every year.
You need to keep adding fresh contacts. Here are 30 ways to do just that.
Give The People What They Want
If you want to build your list, generate some word-of-mouth buzz by offering your existing contacts outstanding content in their inbox.
If you’re under the impression that every email blast should be little more than a dressed-up sales pitch, think again.
Give your contacts something that they want to read. Let them know that they want to read it by using a subject line that presents an irresistible temptation to click.
In short, treat your email marketing much like you handle your content marketing. Give the people what they want and they’ll spread the word that you’re providing valuable info.
Then your list will grow organically.
Make It Easy to Subscribe
Suppose you followed the advice in the previous point and send out great content to all your contacts.
One of your contacts, John Smith, reads your awesome content and tells his friend, Joe Jones, all about your awesome emails. Jones decides he wants to subscribe to your email list.
So Jones visits your website. He looks around, clicks a few links, but can’t find any way to sign up to your email distribution list.
Frustrated, Jones gives up and goes back to the water cooler.
What happened there happens all too often. Webmasters don’t make it easy for people to subscribe to their email lists.
Remember, if you’re using popup technology to get people to subscribe to your list, then you’re probably also using a cookie that effectively prevents the popup from appearing again until after a certain number of days has past.
That means people who don’t subscribe won’t see the popup again for a while. If they change their mind and decide they want to subscribe, you should have an easy-to-locate link somewhere on your site that makes it easy for them to do so.
Make It Easy for Readers to Share Your Content
Let’s continue to assume you’re following the advice in the first point. You create and distribute awesome content via your email marketing efforts.
This time, John Smith reads a particularly awesome email and would like to share it online with some of his friends. He looks around your email and sees that he can’t do it easily because there aren’t any social share buttons.
So your message goes unshared.
Fortunately, most email marketing platforms make it exceptionally easy to include social share buttons. If you’re not already using them, start doing so today.
Hold a Contest
Modern technology makes it very easy to hold a contest that will help you build your email list. Of course, you’ll need a prize, but that’s usually a limited investment (e.g., a digital camera for $300).
The trick is that people have to supply an email address to enter the contest. Of course, you’ll add that email address to your distribution list.
Remember, though, to target your contest to the right people. You don’t want just anybody on your email list. You only want people who are likely to be clients or customers.
Create Multiple, Targeted Email Lists
Speaking of targeted lists, create several of them. Each list should be relevant to a market segment.
For example, if you sell auto parts, you might want one list specific to people who are into vintage automobiles and another only for people who own RVs.
People are more likely to sign up for a list that’s relevant to their very specific needs.
Spread the Word With Links
As we’ve seen, it should be very easy for people to sign up for your email list.
You should also do a great job at advertising your email list.
Find as many places as possible where you can add a link to your signup form. Consider adding it to employee signatures, your Twitter bio, and in the sidebar on every page of your website.
Give ‘Em a Carrot
Want people to sign up to your email list? Give them a reason to do so.
Offer a free ebook or whitepaper. Make sure you collect their email address so that you can send them the link to where they’ll download your freebie.
Of course, you’ll also add that email address to your distribution list.
Give out a Free Tool or Analysis
People are always looking for productivity hacks. Maybe you’ve got one that’s relevant to other people in your niche.
If so, put it on the cloud and offer it for free. The only “price” people have to pay to access your service is an email address.
Once again, you’ll use that email address in your email marketing efforts.
Use Twitter and Facebook
Do you have followers on Twitter? Fans on Facebook?
Tell them about your awesome email distribution list!
If you’ve followed the advice from one of the previous points, and you’ve got a free offer or service, be sure to let them know about that as well.
Also, Facebook lead forms works really well for email capture.
Use Facebook’s Call to Action Button
Facebook makes it easy for you to give fans and curious visitors alike an easy way to get to your sign-up page. It’s the call to action (CTA) button towards the top of your page.
Just opt for the “Sign Up” text on the button and link it to your landing page. Then, people who visit your fan page and like what they see will have an easy way to add themselves to your distribution list.
LinkedIn is the so-called “Facebook for adults.” It’s also a great way to get people to sign up for your email list.
Just add a gated offer to your LinkedIn Company Page and to LinkedIn posts. People who are likely to be part of your target market will follow those links and grab your freebie in exchange for an email address.
Use Pinterest to Promote eBooks
If you’ve got a Pinterest presence, you can use it to build your list as well.
Just make a picture relevant to one of your free offerings. Then, upload it to Pinterest with a link to your landing page.
Boom. People will click the link, see your great offer, and provide their email address.
Too many marketers fail to leverage YouTube properly. That includes marketers who even make it a habit to upload videos regularly.
Remember, YouTube allows you to not only include links in your video description but also as annotations. Those opportunities allow you to get the word out about your email list.
Just add an annotation that reads something like: “Are you learning a lot? Click here to learn more.” When the user clicks the link, he or she is taken to a landing page that offers your freebie in exchange for an email address.
You can add a link to your landing page in the description field as well.
Publish It on Google+
If you’ve got a Google+ page (and you should if you don’t), add a link to your email subscription page in the “About” section. People who decide to learn more about your business will also have the opportunity to sign up to your list.
Use Guest Posts to Promote Your List
You probably already know about the importance of guest posting for SEO purposes. But why limit yourself to just SEO when you’re posting on somebody else’s blog?
Use your guest post to also advertise your freebie. Include a link that takes people to your landing page so they can exchange their email address for your offering.
Make Use of Partners
Like most marketers, you’re probably working with one or more partners. Why not ask those partners if they can advertise your freebie on their websites?
Of course, be sure to practice good karma. If partners are nice enough to let you advertise on their sites, you should return the favor and let them advertise on yours.
Did you know that you can collect email addresses without even going online?
Sure, it’s often easier for people to fill out a form online because they might be using a browser that pre-fills many of the common fields for them. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t collect email addresses offline.
Work a trade show and ask people to fill out a form the old-fashioned way (with a pen). Be sure to include a place where they can put their email address so you can add it to your distribution list.
Of course, technology works in your favor at many trade shows now. Often times, you just need to scan someone’s badge and you’ll automatically collect the person’s email address.
At the end of the show, import all the email addresses you’ve collected to your own database.
Why not use a strategy from yesteryear to help you with modern-day digital marketing?
Use a direct mail campaign (yes, you’ll have to open some books that you haven’t touched in years) to encourage people to join your email list.
By the way, even this far into the 21st century, some marketers still swear up and down by hard-copy newsletters. If that’s how you roll, use the newsletters to promote your email list.
Host a Webinar
One of the more recent crazes in digital marketing is the webinar. There’s no shortage of business owners using webinars to promote their brand.
You can also use a webinar to collect email addresses. Just ask people for their email address during the registration process.
Fork out Some Cash
Your email list is a marketing tool. As such, it’s worthy of an investment.
If you haven’t already done so, run some paid search ads promoting your email list. Be sure that the ad copy includes a clickbait headline so that you can get the most bang for your buck.
Use a Reputable Autoresponder
There’s not much that will hamper your email marketing efforts more than a poor autoresponder.
If you’re totally new to this and you’ve never heard the word “autoresponder” before, it’s just a fancy term that describes the service you use to blast emails to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people.
If you decide to go cheap or try something free just to save some bucks with your email marketing, you’re probably going to regret that decision later on. That’s especially true if your email list grows dramatically.
Invest in a reputable autoresponder that offers templates, tools, and easy-to-use administrative features. The service you select should also provide you with analytics so that you can see which types of emails are getting the best open rates.
Let ‘Em Know What They’ll Be Getting
Before people sign up to receive an email every so often, they want to know what they’re getting into. Be sure to explain it to them clearly and in such a way that they want to subscribe.
For example, if you’re running an auto parts store, your popup might include text like: “Join over 10,000 auto enthusiasts who receive weekly tips on auto maintenance and news about the hottest deals on the web!”
That’s a message that will appeal to car lovers everywhere. Make a message like that for your niche and watch your subscriptions go up.
Let ‘Em Know How Often They’ll Be Getting It
Sometimes, people don’t subscribe to an email list because they aren’t sure how often they’ll be receiving your emails.
“I don’t want to get spammed with sales messages every day!” they think to themselves as they click the “No thanks” link on your popup.
But maybe you weren’t planning to send out emails every day. Maybe just once a week is good enough in your market.
That’s why you should tell people how often you’ll send out emails. For example, you could include text that reads: “You will receive no more than one email per week.”
Be sure to keep your promise!
Keep Your Form Short
Really, what do you need to collect from prospects? Probably no more than a first name and an email address.
If so, then collect just those pieces of information and nothing else. Don’t worry about the address, city, state, zip code, phone number, marital status, gender, or blood type.
You’re going to lose people who might otherwise have joined your list if you overcomplicate the signup form.
Embed a Video on Your Landing Page
By now, you’ve probably visited more than one landing page that had a video embedded in it. The video plays automatically when you visit the page.
There’s a reason why marketers use those videos. They work.
You can also use that trick on your landing page. Add social proof to your page by including the testimony of a few people who downloaded your freebie and appreciated it or who subscribe to your mailing list and learn from your awesome content.
Use an Inline Sign-Up Form
By now, almost the whole world knows about the importance of using popup forms to get people to sign up to an email list.
But those popups are starting to run afoul of Google’s mobile-friendly policy. It’s not a good idea to irritate the Big G.
As an alternative, consider using an inline sign-up form. That’s a form that appears in the content of a blog post that a visitor really can’t miss. Again, keep the form short and sweet so people are likely to convert.
Link to Your Landing Page in the Header
It’s very difficult to have too many places where people can sign up to your email list. Even if you have a popup, an inline form, and a link to your landing page in the sidebar, there’s still room for a link somewhere else.
Look to the header.
You’ve probably got enough room in your header for a link to your landing page. Put some clickbait text next to a CTA button.
Use an End of Post Sign-Up Form
If you think that an inline sign-up form might disrupt the reader too much, consider using and end of post sign-up form.
As the name implies, an end of post form appears at the end of the posted content. Users who’ve read all the way through are likely to be very interested in whatever it is your brand is offering, so the form should convert well.
Email Your Customers a Receipt
If you’re running anything like a brick-and-mortar business, you should ask your customers if they’d like to save some trees by getting an email receipt rather than a paper one.
If they say “yes,” they’re not only helping the planet, but they’re also volunteering to get on your email list.
Offer a Discount in Exchange for an Email Address
If you’re running an e-commerce site, you might offer people the opportunity to check out quickly without the hassle of filling out numerous form fields.
That’s awesome. But you can still use the checkout process to dangle a carrot in front of your customers so that they give you their email address. Just offer a discount on the current order or an item similar to the one that they’re purchasing free of charge in exchange for the email address.
Grow Your Email List Now
I just gave you 30 days, good luck growing your email list! If you need help, let us know or subscribe to Ignite Visibility university for more advice.