Most businesses understand these days the necessity of having an email list. No matter what type of business you operate, having a list of targeted prospects is an ideal way to build trust, increase engagement and develop relationships – and ultimately increase revenue
But first you have to build the list. Fortunately, it’s not hard to do. Here are seven stages to get your list up and running.
Create a Lead Magnet
First of all, you’ll need something that will tempt people to sign up to your list, often referred to as a ‘lead magnet’.
Telling sign-ups that they will get notifications of your latest blog posts may well be enough to encourage sign-ups, but only if you have a fantastic blog. Instead, most businesses choose to rely on a more compelling offer, which can come in the form of:
- A free ebook, white paper or report
- An email course
- A free video
- A discount on their first order
- Notifications about the latest special offers
Here’s a list of 69 lead-magnet ideas from OptinMonster for some more inspiration.
Of course, you can have more than one lead magnet to attract different types of prospects to your list. But while you are getting your first list up and running, let’s start with one.
Create a Sign-Up Page
Once you’ve decided on your free offer to encourage sign-ups, create a page on your website dedicated to getting more people to part with their email addresses.
These pages are called landing pages, and they are focused exclusively on getting people to ‘convert’ by signing up to your list.
Pack the page full of benefits and make it easy for prospects to sign up by entering their email address and perhaps their name (but no more than that).
Choose Your Email Service Provider
While you don’t need an email service provider to build a list, you really want one. These are powerful tools that will make it considerably easier to set your list up, track your results and optimise them over time – and they are relatively affordable, especially when you are starting out.
MailChimp, Constant Contact, AWeber and GetResponse are just a few of the most popular options. Take a look at a selection and try out their free trials to get a feel for which one is right for you, then you’re ready to start creating your emails.
Create an Autoresponder Series
Next up, create your emails. An autoresponder is where you create a series of emails that send out automatically in sequence. You can have as many emails as you want in your sequence, but the average is between five and 10.
Use these to introduce subscribers to your company and the people who work there, highlight the main benefits they can expect from your services, provide a one-time special offer, explain how often you will be sending emails, send some of your best blog posts and whatever else you want to.
The aim is to start building a relationship with them that will, over time, convert them to customers.
Here’s a guide from CrazyEgg that goes into detail about how to create your autoresponder series.
Create a Sign-Up Form
Before you start sending your emails, you’ll need people to sign up to your list. On your landing page, create a sign-up form using the tools provided by your email service provider.
These are usually easy to make yourself, or you can hire a designer to put one together for you instead.
As well as including your sign-up form on the landing page, you can place it anywhere else it makes sense to do so. This could be at the end of your blog posts, on your home page, or in pop-ups that appear when people land on your site (entry pop-ups) or are about to leave (exit pop-ups).
Direct Traffic to Your Page
Now you have everything set up to build your list. You have your emails, your lead magnet, your sign-up page and your sign-up form – now all you need is traffic.
There are many ways to direct traffic to your sign-up page. You could invest in PPC advertising or set up an advertising campaign on Facebook. This will involve a cost, but it’s one of the quickest ways to direct targeted traffic to your landing page.
However, if you already generate organic traffic to your website blog posts, you will probably start to generate sign-ups fairly soon without doing much else.
Keep Building Your List
This is the basic process to building a list. Of course, you can take it a lot further if you want to. For example, you can then create other lead magnets for different types of customers if you want to get more sophisticated, and you can then segment your list so you can target prospects with different content and offers that may interest them more.
Building a list is one of the most important things any online business can do. Keep on building it over the months and years, and it is likely to turn into your most important marketing asset.
Over time, as you send offers, discounts, valuable content and more to your list, you will build a relationship with your prospects and encourage them to become customers. Then you can keep on marketing to them to encourage them to continue shopping at your store or using your services.
It all starts with a simple email list.
As digital marketing consultants, we provide clients with a wide range of complimentary digital marketing service and solutions, from conversion rate optimisation (to increase sales and enquiries from client websites) to PPC management and from SEO marketing to social media marketing – talk to us to find out how we help organisations like yours improve site traffic and, most importantly, revenue!