Whether you already have an email list, or you’re starting from zero with a new business, you’re probably well aware of the power of email. After all, 44% of email users check their inbox between one and three times a day, while 18% check their inboxes between four and nine times a day.
This is a massive opportunity for businesses to reach their customers. Email is the best business tool, with the highest ROI for marketers. It’s easy to see why you would want the ability to connect with your leads and customers in their inboxes. But first, you need to convince your target customers to hand over their email addresses.
Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done. Most of us get far too many spam emails as it is, and people are becoming increasingly hesitant to sign up for yet another email newsletter. Luckily, we have 5 easy ways you can cut through these objections and grow your email list:
1. Give Away Something Great
No one wants to sign up just for your business updates. But they do want something that will help them solve a problem they have, entertain them, or teach them something new.
The best way to do this is by creating a lead magnet. This is basically a piece of content that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. Popular examples include ebooks, whitepapers, infographics, webinars, discount codes, product trials, or anything else that will make your leads feel like they simply can’t miss out.
The right type of lead magnet will depend on your target audience and your business. Here is a list of options to get you started:
- Cheat sheets or checklists
- Comprehensive lists of resources or tools
- Step-by-step guides
- Creative prompts
- Email courses
2. Use Your Email Signature
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You probably send hundreds of emails each week, and it’s likely that some of the recipients of those emails are not yet on your email list.
One of the easiest ways to grow your list is to add a compelling call-to-action in your email signature (and encourage your employees to do the same).
You can even A/B test your CTA by using a Bitly link so you can see how many people are clicking through and compare your conversion rate with different copy. You can also add eye-catching images and logos in your signature and change your formatting so your CTA stands out.
3. Add Some Opt-ins
While you may have subscribe boxes in your sidebar, most people tend to ignore these. Instead, add some new opt-ins to grab their attention in multiple ways.
Lightbox popups are especially popular right now, and it’s easy to see why. These are the opt-ins that cover the entire page, meaning your site visitors must pay attention to them. You can also use popups that appear whenever someone lands on your site or when they seem to be leaving your site.
When creating your opt-ins, make sure you use compelling copy and call-to-action so you can achieve the best possible conversion rate. You can also A/B test these to see which colors, copy, and design get the best results. Remember to only change one thing at a time and then test.
If you’re running a business, you’re probably well aware of the importance of a solid call-to-action. But it can be easy to forget to add a CTA to encourage readers to sign up to your list.
Every blog post should include a CTA, and you should also make sure your guest posts include a byline which links back to your website (where you’ll encourage visitors to join your list). If you’re not great at writing a compelling CTA, now’s the time to learn. Every popup, opt-in form, blog post, and floating sidebar should encourage visitors to give you their email addresses.
4. Run a Giveaway
Giveaways are a great option for both B2B and B2C businesses. They also work particularly well for brand partnerships, since you can collaborate and offer a variety of different prizes. This means you’ll get even more entries and each business involved can all add those email addresses to their lists.
Giveaways can include products, VIP experiences, free consulting or coaching sessions, and more.
Once you’ve created a giveaway, you need to promote it like crazy. You can do this by using tools that create sharing codes for entrants. This means that when someone shares your giveaway through email or social media, they’re given extra entries into the giveaway.
It’s a good idea to reward entrants who don’t win with a discount code, free content offer, or something else they’ll find useful to thank them for signing up.
5. Use Gated Content
When you’re building a following online, it’s crucial that you’re providing helpful, interesting, and free content to readers. But there’s no reason why you can’t ‘gate’ some of your best business blog posts to help grow your email list.
That means that your visitors need to sign up to your list if they want to access premium content. The great thing about this is that you can use content you already have, and simply update it to ensure it’s highly-valuable and informative so users are happy to sign up for it.
Your gated content should be your best, most in-depth content. It’s a good idea to show visitors a small part or ‘teaser’ of this content so that they’ll be curious enough to want to read more. If you’re not sure if a piece of content is exceptional enough to be gated, run it past a few people first. The last thing you want is to have visitors signing up for your list only to feel disappointed or ripped off by your gated content.
While growing your email list can be challenging, the ability to reach your target audience makes the effort well worth it. The above tips will not only help you grow your list in the short term, but they’ll help you keep that momentum going so your list of potential leads will continue to grow in the long-term as well.