Want to know how to grow a big strong list of email subscribers?
If you are looking to grow your email list, these 12 great posts will give you important insights on how to build and maintain an enviable collection of subscribers!
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How to grow a rock solid email list
Jeff, Chief eMail Officer at the eMail Guide, discusses how to grow, promote, and integrate your email list through offline, online, and social media. This is the show of shows, the time and place for you to learn how to get started making your list growlonger and stronger.
It’s happened to all of us. You hit an “I Agree” or “Subscribe” or “Buy” button without reading the fine print, only to discover that you’ve inadvertently signed up for a monthly newsletter, weekly promotional flyer, and daily deal alerts, all without intending to. When the first email arrives, you franticly click the unsubscribe button only to be told that your request may take up to a week for processing and that in the meantime you will continue to receive daily emails until your request is processed.
While you can hope that these experiences don’t happen to you on a regular basis, they should spur you to think about your own email marketing practices. With a little effort, you can create an experience that lets your subscribers know you care about their preferences by giving them the right to choose.
Email is a unique marketing channel because it is permission based. That’s one reason email has a high return on investment: If consumers raise their hands and say, “Please market to me;” they are likely to purchase in the future.
But building a large opt-in subscriber base takes dedication, strategy and time. Here are seven tips to help with that process.
1. Use Strategic Sign-up Locations
Your email sign-up box should be easy to find and obvious on your home page. Additionally, allow visitors to sign up from other pages, especially on the most popular pages of your site. Many top retailers are moving their subscription boxes to the bottom of the page. But I disagree with this. If gaining subscribers is a top priority, the sign-up box should be above the fold, and perhaps in more than one location on the page.
If you run an online community, good for you, probably means you like to get closer to your customers! We have one here at VerticalResponse, it’s called the VR Marketing Lounge, a Cool Spot for Hot Marketing. We have it so that we can interact with our customers and have other customers chime in on everything from email marketing, to how to market their businesses better. We use Ning to power the VR Marketing Lounge, it’s about $30 a month, but there are other solutions available too. Rsitez is another to check out.
So you build a community to get engaged with your customers and want them actively participating in conversations, right? But if you don’t market it, it won’t grow quickly. Here are a few things to do to get it going.
What do email marketing and romance have in common? Plenty, in my opinion. For one, reaching out to a customer or prospect online is a lot like being on a first date, where you’re not sure if there will be a second. Except, if you’re running an email campaign, you could possibly be on your last date every single time, because, let’s be honest, it’s not that hard to click “unsubscribe.”
So here’s what we’re suggesting today – take a few minutes to get out of your marketing mindset. Instead, imagine how you might engage someone on a date, and you might come away with some new insights on how to keep subscribers committed (i.e. subscribed) to your email newsletters. Here are seven ideas to get you started:
Last week, I spent three wonderful days (four, really) on Captiva Island in Florida for the Email Insider Summit. Overall, I thought the event was great—especially for networking purposes. The sessions themselves were like any other conference: some solid, and some not-so-solid. Content overall was pretty good.
The Insider Summit, in particular, is more intimate given that there were about 130 people in total for the conference, and many of them are higher-ups and thought leaders in the space. (I would highly recommend the conference for those who want to meet the industry voices you read on a weekly basis.)
But it got me thinking about what a conference would look like if I were asked to design the agenda…
It can be hard to come up with fresh ideas on new ways to build your email marketing list each month, so here are 5 innovative ideas you can put to work for your business
1. Sandwich Board – If you’ve got a retail location like The North Face (pictured), why not use that valuable sidewalk to advertise your newsletter sign up. Create an offer to get them in the store joining your list and you might make a sale along the way.
The money is in the list. Whether your list is a list of RSS subscribers or email newsletter subscribers it pays to have an audience of readers eager to eat up the great content you produce. The following tips are targeted towards email marketers, but are also useful for any bloggers who are looking to significantly grow their subscriber base.
1. Produce a video telling people to subscribe
This technique is being implemented with great success by internet marketer Yaro Starak on his blog Entrepreneur’s Journey. Having a video is a great way to show people who you are and literally tell them to subscribe.
When healthy discussions take place in the email marketing industry, they tend to give birth to new ideas. Collectively, we reinforce these ideas by sharing them with our peers through blogs and commentary. One such discussion covered the collection process of email addresses. Specifically, the topic was discovering more efficient ways to streamline the collection process among disparate legacy collections systems (many of which have been in place for years). Morgan Stewart of ExactTarget delivered an excellent piece recently, aptly Three Rules for Email List Growth and Simms Jenkins of Brightwave Marketing penned two articles on ClickZ that may interest you. Those articles inspired me to share a few thoughts on “future” email marketing list growth strategies; enhanced and accelerated through financial institutions.
Every time you buy an email list a puppy dies.
Not only does the Email Guide feel strongly about the topic of buying email lists, so do industry experts like DJ Waldow and John Caldwell. But why? Why exactly is purchasing a list of email addresses such a bad thing? Let me count the ways:
– Some purchased lists include harvested email addresses, which is illegal.
– You’ll get little to no recipient engagement; therefore, your deliverability will decrease.
– You are greatly increasing your chance of being blacklisted as well as put on URL block lists.
ed note: Please welcome guest poster James Trumbly, Co-Founder and Marketing Director of eConnect Email
Arguments for purchasing email lists and why they don’t hold water
Purchasing an email list can sound like an easy solution to the problem of how to begin a new email marketing campaign or how to breathe new life into a campaign that’s not performing well. But the truth is that email lists are more likely to undermine your marketing efforts and your company’s customer relations reputation. If you’re trying to justify a list purchase with any of the following arguments, it’s time to rethink your strategy.
A first step in creating email marketing relationship with your (potential) customer is the sign-up process. In most cases a web or sign-up form is used to get the information needed to get the email relationship started. You are not there by simply adding a sign-up form to your website.
Walk through the funnel
Not everyone who starts the sign-up process for your email marketing newsletter will complete it. Some might not even make it to your website but that’s a whole other discussion. Once the subscriber is interested in signing up, they need to walk through the process and complete it. You can visualize this as a part of a sales funnel. At the top, the interested people, at the bottom, the ones that buy from you. Each (mental) step will cause extra defection. The signup is in the very top of the funnel, so this is a very important part if you want them to buy from you.
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