You might have heard the saying that the “money is in the list” but not really understood what it means or why it is so important.
Simply put, having a mailing list gives you the power to contact people again and again, promoting your products, your services, your website…whatever you like and it’s for free, and now that people receive their emails on their phones rather than having to log on to their computers at home, it gives you the power to be able to contact them anytime and anywhere.
Despite being so easy to do, email marketing comes with so many responsibilities. A poorly executed email campaign is a dangerous thing: Get it wrong, you will enrage 90% of your email list; get it right and you will be able to engage with your subscribers, building a relationship based on trust and respect that not only encourages them to keep on buying from you, but also to tell their friends.
If you have any pride in your business whatsoever, then you are going to benefit greatly from the key list building strategies contained in this article.
Follow these rules and create a loyal following of subscribers who will be eager to buy from you:
1) Start Close To Home
It is a great idea to start building your mailing list close to home. Start by getting your friends, family and existing customers on board first. Why? Because they already know and trust you. They won’t have any second thoughts in trusting you with their email address as they know that you won’t abuse it. Some businesses have a form and a pen right by their cash till and ask their clients to fill in the form just as they are making a purchase.
2) Hand Out Business Cards
Don’t underestimate the power of this small card. Make it a point to leave one with anybody who buys from you, makes an enquiry or shows and interest in what you do. Over time you will soon going to collect hundreds of email addresses in your mailing list.
A lot of companies don’t use cards to their full potential and in most cases when they hand their cards out, the recipient generally adds it to their pile of hundreds of other business cards that they have received.
Your card should have a call to action on it. Make it clear why they should subscribe to your mailing list. Offer an incentive or a time limited offer. Once they are added to your mailing list you will be able to keep them up to date with special offers, promotions or new products and services.
3) Opt-in Boxes
Smart online businesses always include an opt-in box on their website. This is where customers and visitors voluntarily give you their name and email address when they visit your website. They usually do this because they want to receive updates, a free gift or news about your new products and services. These opt-in boxes can add hundreds of new subscribers to your mailing list every day. If you don’t have one on your site please contact us immediately so that we can add one to your web site and build up your mailing list.
4) Give Away Free Stuff
People always like to receive things for free, so throwing in an incentive every once and while is always good for your list building activities. You could offer samples and discount coupons but there are also lots of things that you could give away that would not necessarily cost your company anything to produce.
For example you could produce a downloadable ‘tips’ booklet for your product or service, or a newsletter, “how-to” booklet etc
By offering these gifts your list will eventually be huge and you will be able to generate extra sales day in day out simply by keeping in touch with your list. We can give you more advice and even create the gift and automate the process so that the customer receives the gift as soon as they sign up even if it is 3:00am on a Sunday morning. Give us a call with any ideas that you have or for more advice.
5) Cross Promotion
This involves looking for another business willing to promote your offers. In return, you agree to do the same for his list. In other words, you are working together to promote each other’s lists. This is a win-win situation for all concerned as both sets of subscribers receive valuable free content and both marketers build up their mailing lists and get new clients and more sales as a result.
How would this work in practise? Well, let’s imagine that you run a wedding dress boutique. You could team up with a wedding photographer or a florist….a business that complements but does not compete with your services.
For the promotion to be a success both parties need to have similar sized mailing lists. It would not be fair if one of you had just a few dozen names while the other person had thousands of subscribers. You also need to be sure that both parties fulfil their end of the bargain. Apart from that, it is very easy to set up and is free to do, yet it could be potentially worth thousands in extra sales and new clients.
6) Keep Things Simple
Getting people to your opt-in form on your web site is one thing but it is quite another to get them to actually fill in the form even if you do offer a great incentive. There can be many reasons why visitors don’t go through the process. Some companies make the mistake of asking for too much information from the client or they don’t manage to convince the visitor that they can be trusted not to share their address with anybody else.
The trick is to keep the opt-in process as simple as possible and to use the right wording that will reassure the visitor that not only will you not bombard them with spam messages but you won’t share their email addresses with third parties.
We specialise in creating high converting opt-in pages that will make a huge impact on your mailing list so don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance with yours.
7) Use Social Media
If you are a regular reader of our magazine you will be familiar with how important social media is. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube are among the most visited sites on the Internet and people, including your customers are active on these sites.
It is imperative that you have a strong online presence by becoming an active member of the social media community.
By doing so you will be promoting your business to a wider market and you will be able to add thousands more subscribers to your mailing list.
We can’t stress enough how important it is that your business gets involved within social media and we can help you to do this to full effect.
8) Hire An Expert
List building is such an important activity to Internet marketing that there are experts like us who specialise in online marketing. If you are struggling or don’t know how make good use of the internet for your business then we strongly advise to get in touch with a service provide who you feel you can trust. You need an expert dedicated to setting up a strong online presence that will attract thousands more customers, build up your mailing list and significantly increase your profits. It will be the best investment you will ever make.
9) Create Visual Appeal
The power of imagery can encourage lots many more sign-ups to your mailing list. With this in mind, you want to put more images on your site where appropriate. The goal is to make your site more appealing. You don’t want your web design to look tacky or overdone as this will have the opposite effect on your visitors.
Videos also add valuable content to your site that visitors will love. You can share messages about your company and services with your subscribers by providing how-to videos, news, showing them round your premises and any other information that you think that they would like to know in order to engage them and get to know and trust you. We provide some great images and videos for our clients. Why not contact us and we will help transform your web site.
10) Keep In Touch
After you have built up your mailing list, your next task is to keep in touch with your subscribers. It is pointless if you go to all of that time and effort to build your mailing list if you let it go cold and don’t communicate with your subscribers.
Keep them updated on the latest news, events and products relating to your business. The frequency you send out the information is entirely up to you but it needs to be consistent. You will soon look forward to sending out these emails as you will find that every time you send a new one out it will usually end up in lots of extra sales that you would not normally have had.
Setting up a large mailing list would be a nightmare if it wasn’t for autoresponders. They are a life saver and make the process of managing your list and sending out emails so much easier. We could not do without ours.
There are many on the market but we use the best one. Feel free to contact us and we will let you know what it is. We will even set it up for you if you get stuck.
12) Offer Value
When sending out information to your subscribers always keep in mind what it was that your visitors signed up for; value information. It is worth investing time and effort into providing good information so that your subscribers will want to read what news you have in each edition. Never make your subscribers regret ever signing up to your mailing list.
It is best to review your newsletter or any other content before submitting it. A little proof-reading goes a long way and helps establish credibility and trust with your subscribers.
If your information is useful and high quality then your subscribers will be more than willing to spread the word and share your information to their friends and social networks. Word of mouth marketing is a valuable method for list building and this will only happen if you provide good content.
We can advise you what to include in your content or if you just don’t have the time to do it yourself we can write and manage your mailing list for you.
13) Serve Your Customers
Most people will sign up to your list because they want answers and genuine information. They don’t want to read a long sales pitch or they will simply unsubscribe.
Your priority should not to try and sell them products and make your newsletter into one long advertisement. You need to concentrate on providing value and useful content. In return they will trust you.
When they begin to trust you, they will be more likely to recommend your business to their friends and family. They will also be more inclined to buy your goods rather than go to your competitors. Remember, you reap what you sow. Invest in looking after your customers and it will pay dividends in the future.
So now that you have list building methods it is now time to implement them.
A lot of business owners either decide that they don’t have the knowledge or the time to learn how to put their email campaigns in place.
If that is how you feel then please don’t stop at the first hurdle. List building is one of those Internet marketing strategies that you cannot ignore. If you do then you are literally missing out on sales. Every day that goes by without you having a list building structure in place is going to cost you money.
There are many resources online that will help you to put a successful campaign in place. Alternatively, talk to us. We specialise in email marketing and will be able to turn your business around online and bring you lots of additional sales that you would have missed out on. Call us today.