Email Marketing in the 21st Century: Building a Top-Notch Email List
Now that you’re well on your way to building great email marketing content, you need to figure out who you’re going to send it to. Building the right list is crucial to an effective email marketing campaign.
But where do you start? How do you pull a list of solid email addresses together that actually reflects who you’re trying to sell to? How do you ensure your list is composed of people who want to hear what you have to say? And how do you do it without spending huge amounts of time, energy and money?
These are questions I’ve faced in my own business, and as a company-of-one, I’ve had to get creative in building my own email lists. Here are some tips from what I’ve learned along the way:
Build a landing page for signups. Getting recipients to opt-in is infinitely more powerful, effective and ethical than randomly harvesting the open Internet for addresses. Create a landing page on your website or social media presence that lets visitors sign up for your emails.
Spread the links. Include the signup page URL on all of your online marketing collateral, your email signature, and your About and Contact pages.
Leverage social media. Use postings on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to point members of your circle toward your signup page. Update your social media circles every time you have something new to share. Use lists and circles to refine your messages so you’re not blasting everyone every time you have something to share.
Spread the content joy. Consider building your own collateral – white papers, e-books, podcasts, etc. – to reinforce your brand as a trusted source of guidance.
Give something away. Once you’ve got a library of great content, give it away in exchange for signing up. Everyone wants something – like content, subscriptions, podcasts, or anything else you can think of – for free, and this is a powerful means of building loyalty. For bonus points, give extra freebies for personal referrals.
Build a survey. Use services like Survey Monkey to pull together quick online surveys that serve a double purpose. In addition to collecting valuable information that can be used to create new, primary research-based content, you may also have the opportunity to add to your mailing list.
Blog it. Once an email message goes out, consider archiving it on a blog to give it a second life online. Use search engine optimization techniques to make your content easy to find and include opt-in links alongside each entry to maximize retention.
Don’t buy lists. While it may be tempting to buy a prepared list of email addresses, resist the urge. Successful email-based marketing has nothing to do with quantity. A huge blast to people who’ve never heard of you and never agreed to hear from you won’t drive any significant returns. Instead, focus on building targeted lists using opt-in and other efficient online techniques to maximize conversion and engagement.
The bottom line
Email-based marketing can be a powerful marketing tool, but you need to target the right people if it’s going to work for you. Use a focused engagement approach to build the right email lists for your business.
What tactics have you used to build a killer email list for your business? Let us know in the comments section below.