Top 10 Ways to Build an Email List
Top 10 Ways to Build an Email List
For most people, the phrase "email marketing" conjures up visions of spammy, nasty looking emails from spammy, nasty looking companies. These days, that's just not the case. Like the web around it, email marketing has evolved. Nowadays, it might just be the best digital-arena marketing tool you could use.
But you've got a Twitter follower list three miles long that does your marketing work, huh? Well, good for you! Just out of curiousity, though, what happens when your text-only tweet flies undetected through their feed while our big, beautiful HTML email is sitting patiently in their inbox knowing it's going to be seen?
So while you've been busy punching out 140-character toots, we've been putting together this list of the Top 10 ways to build a rockin' email list that'll take you to new heights.
- Look Professional - If you look trustworthy, people will be more apt to follow along. The last thing you want to do is come across as one of those spammy, nasty email marketers. So whatever you do, don't send from your personal email. Especially if your personal email address is something like email@example.com. Instead, Google "email marketing" and start clicking on the sponsored links to find a reputable HTML email marketing company or software. To save you the trouble, though, just give us a shout and we'll hook you up with MagneticMal, our own professional email marketing software. Check out our eNewsletter archives for an example of what you could be using.
- Sound Professional - If you're gonna walk the walk, you gotta talk the talk. Proper grammar and all that is important, but sounding like an expert is even better. And even better than that is actually being an expert. So study up and sound like you know what you're talking about. People will jump on your list if they like what you have to say.
- Engage Current Readers - You can't build a list if the people who are already on it start running for the hills. Ask them what they want from time to time. Then give it to them.
- Frequency and Dependibility - True story... Just yesterday I unsubscribed from an email list because the sender, who hadn't sent me anything in months, hit me up with an email out of the blue. If I'm not important enough to be talked to regularly, she's not important enough to be listened to ever. Take our emails, for example. We send out an eNewsletter once a month at the very end of the month, and have for over two years now (month #25 hits inboxes today). You don't have to send something everyday or every week or every other week, but get in a rhythm and stick to it. Readers like that.
- Be Honest - Tell your readers and potential readers who you are, what you do, and how often you're going to hit their inbox with an email. And stick to your word.
- Ask for Email Face-to-Face - Next time you're in a business meeting, just straight up say, "Since you're already interested in our business, would you mind if I added you to our email list?" If they shoot you down, add them anyways because they're jerks who deserve unsolicited emails... Kidding. Kinda.
- Forward to a Friend - Most HTML email software lets you drop a little piece of code into your email that generates a forwarding feature. This lets your current recipients send it on to someone(s) they think would also enjoy it. If those someones dig it, they'll probably want to sign up. Which means you should also have a....
- Subscribe to This Email option - Just like the Foward to a Friend code, you should have the ability to drop an Opt-in option right into your email. If not, then at least link to your subscribe form.
- Leverage Social Media - Back to that three-mile Twitter list we talked about. You've got it, so you might as well use it. If you're sending HTML emails, each one should have a public link or "view in browser" option. Take that link, shorten it, and Tweet it. Or post it on Facebook. Or both. And if you wanna get really crazy, use the power of Facebook tabs to your advantage, i.e. a Newsletter Signup tab, or an Incentived Giveaway That Capture Emails tab (it's not yet the first Friday of the month, so don't fill it out until next week!).
- Global Signup on your Website - If you're leveraging the power of email marketing, you probably have a website. If you don't, you need one now. If you do have a website, you should definitely have an email signup option on every stinking page. To see what we're talking about, scroll down to the bottom of this page and every other page under this domain.