When you are building an online brand, most people immediately focus on their website – and that’s a good thing. There are other important things besides it though like a clean email list that you should include.
While your website is the hub from which all of your marketing efforts will launch, and it has to be optimized not only for engagement and optimal search engine utilization, it also must be prepared to document and catalogue those users that come to your site and want more engagement from it.
Sure, you can start a Facebook page or group, and a Twitter account or an Instagram account will help as well.
But how do you really reach your audience on a consistent (or persistent) and on a more in-depth, persuasive level?
Through growing your opt-in email list.
What is an clean opt-in email list?
An opt-in email list is a newsletter or daily sent by your organization to those users that have found your website (whether through search engines or from one of the above mentioned social media outlets) and have LOVED your content so much they’re willing to sign up for an email subscription service your site offers.
You do offer an opt-in email service, right?
If you don’t, you should. Here are 7 tips on how to grow your email list and watch your traffic (and revenues) soar.
1. Opt-in lists are the only lists you need to focus on – and the only type you should deploy.
Back in the day, marketers could buy lists of people and their information so that the savvy marketing directors out there could craft tailored campaigns targeting these individuals based upon the self-reported information they had given to a firm or another company.
Those days are over and any email list you buy is likely worthless.
You read that correctly – now buying an email list is one of the worst things you can do for your site’s reputation and your sender score (the ratio of recipients that mark your email as spam upon receipt). This can be damaging to young companies starting out.
Opting in means that the user has to accept the terms of their subscription and give you permission to market to them. This is called “permission-based” marketing and it is essential to a successful email marketing effort. No matter what email distribution service you use, you must utilize opt-in signups if you wish to see success.
2. Use sign-up forms to opt-in subscribers.
Sign-up forms help the user speed up the process and also hone in on the information that is useful for your marketing purposes. You won’t want to ask too many questions, however, as this can deter signups and lower your signup rate. Keep it short and sweet and entice your subscribers to give more information later with a limited time offer or free giveaway to those that complete further surveys. In the beginning, it’s important to get them in the door. Keep this in mind when designing your opt-in forms for subscribers.
3. Tailor your data to your company’s needs.
Just as you monitor the signup form’s content to insure that you get the information you want from your subscribers, pay attention to the other ways you obtain information about and from your subscribers to make sure you are receiving the most pertinent and actionable information for your firm.
4. Consider gated content to drive email signups.
Gated content is that content which is hidden behind a password or login, requiring the user to complete an action before receiving the information requested. Signing up for a website account is an action, but signing up for an email distribution list is also an action. No matter how you define the action you want to use to drive user signups, make sure your funnel is effective and enable funnel testing through Google Analytics to see what is the most effective method for obtaining subscribers for your website.
5. Watch your engagement metrics.
Monitor your open rate, click through rates, and conversion rates – the actions your subscribers take while reading your emails that fulfill your organization’s goals. Keep your list healthy and routinely prune it of inactive accounts. You can monitor account activity and determine what thresholds you wish to deploy to limit your email list.
6. Cleanse your list.
After establishing the criteria you wish to use to manage your list’s engagement metrics, then you can set up processes that will automatically remove email addresses from your database that fall outside of your parameters (such as “has not opened an email in 6 months”). Clean your email list at least quarterly.
7. Put value in your content.
Offer your readers valuable, timely content that compels them to continue to participate or take the next step and make a purchase etc. Too often marketers think that simply obtaining the email address is all that is needed to achieve market success. In reality you have to consistently offer value to your subscribers and your content is your front-line for doing this.