The strength of your email list equates to the strength of your email campaign. But building your email lists is a craft in and of itself. It takes creative thinking, great branding and a few tips and tricks from the pros. The key is to make the user want to sign up for your emails. Here are my top ten favorite ways to increase those email sign ups without feeling like a pushy used car salesman.
1. Make it Pay Off
Give the user a reason to join your email list by creating lead generating tools. This could include anything from a helpful checklist to an intriguing eBook. Make sure these tools are visually appealing and full of information your target user craves. Having an email requirement on this type of high quality content is a sure fire way to bring in new users.
2. First Time Sign Up Discounts
How many times have you given over your email to save 15% on your purchase? I’ve already done it today. And though not everyone has as much of an online shopping addiction as yours truly, people love a good deal. That’s why offering a special offer for first time sign ups is such a common occurrence for digital marketers. It works. Try offering a slight discount for first time users and see those subscription numbers soar.
3. Hold a Contest
This is a great way to build brand awareness and gather emails. By holding a contest that revolves around your brand and offering a unique prize that directly relates to your company, you build excitement around the business. As an entry requirement, ask the user for their email. This way, they’re excited about giving you their address and they’re excited to hear from you because of the prospect of winning a prize.
4. Don’t Hide Your Opt In
This seems like an obvious point, but it’s one that’s often missed. That balance of asking and annoying is a hard one to maintain. It often mistakenly encourages marketers to tuck their opt in way in the corner of their site. If you want to build your email list, you need to prominently display your opt in so people don’t have to hunt for it. Try including a pop up right when the user accesses the site. Then, if they exit out of that, let the opt in remain as the header on the site so it’s easy to find when they’ve fallen in love with your content.
5. Keep It Simple
Most users access sites from their mobile devices. Typing on your phone is significantly more difficult than typing on a keyboard. If the sign up process involves the user typing full sentences, chances are they’re going to give up before they complete the sign up process. Ask for as little information as possible and include button options where possible. Keep typing to a minimum so that the user can get through their opt in as painlessly as possible.
6. Give Them a Sample
Have a well performing blog post? What about a newsletter that has sky high click through rates? Let potential readers get a sneak peak of what they can expect when they opt in to your email list. Make sure the product you’re sampling is high-quality and attention grabbing. Only let the reader engage with a quarter of the content and then ask for an email sign up to see the remainder of that great piece of work.
7. Sharing is Caring
Make sure each piece of content you send out includes social sharing buttons. Your current loyal readers are your best assets. Use them. If the user loves a piece of content, make sure they can easily share it with their whole friend list. Make sure that share link includes an email opt in form so that these new readers can become loyal followers too!
8. Feed on the FOMO
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is stronger than ever in our digital age. People are obsessed with what other people are doing. I know more about random bloggers than I know about most family members. Sorry grandma, but it’s the age we live in. Use it to your advantage. Next to your opt in form, include how many people are already subscribed to your email lists along with a clever line about how anyone who isn’t subscribed is missing out.
9. Use Sign Up Forms
You may have noticed that I often refer to where people opt in as “forms”. There’s a good reason for that. Forms are a significantly more effective way to collect emails for your email lists. Like I said before, more people are browsing the web on their phones than they are on their computers. That means, if you use a link to redirect to a separate sign up page, you’re relying on their cellular coverage and the user’s patience. If the page takes more than ten seconds to load, the likelihood is that the user is going to exit out of the page. These missed opportunities are eliminated when you use a form to capture emails.
10. Promote Across Social
Don’t let your email opt in just remain on your site. Use all types of social media to your advantage by sharing promotions and snippets of well performing emails. People are constantly skimming through Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Pushing email list building opportunities across all your social platforms opens your list up to your full range of possibilities. Just because someone follows you on Twitter, doesn’t mean they’ve signed up for your email list. Make sure they know what they’re missing!
Building out your email lists is a vital part of any digital marketing campaign. Using these tips will help you surge your list numbers. As those emails roll in, it’s important to validate emails before you send out campaigns to protect your business and your customers from dirty data. With these tips and smart data hygiene processes, there’s nothing standing in the way of you and digital marketing success!