Building an email list is imperative for a growing business, and this article explains why. It’s true that an active email list is a powerful asset because an email list it can help a business owner generate sales and keep subscribers up to date on the latest blog posts, product releases, or upcoming events, for example. Some business owners have a hard time envisioning the profit they may make in the future, but their hard work should pay off. When it comes down to it, an email list is a powerful way to build a business, and it’s also something you have 100% control over.
According to Optin Monster, the secret to an out of this world campaign is building a targeted email list. Below are three main priorities to keep in mind while creating your email list:
However, you can’t just start emailing people randomly and expect to see great results.
The best campaigns start with the best lists, so building a targeted email list should be your number one priority. Even great email campaigns, with brilliant design, engaging copies, and unique value propositions can fall short if your list isn’t in order.
You should have three main priorities for building a quality list. In order, these are:
Quality. You want real information from real people who check their email frequently.
Relevance. These people should be genuinely interested in your brand and industry.
Volume. If the first two priorities are squared away, you can start focusing on quantity.
It’s true that email subscribers buy products, which is precisely why you need to build a list, as Marketing and Growth Hacking blog suggests. Email is super useful and can help you make a lot of money, so use it to your advantage.
OK, so you’ve surely heard this one when being told you need a list. But, the point is, it’s true. The statistics prove it.
Email is at least 4 times more effective in reaching your audience than Facebook
Email 20% open rate
Facebook 5% talking about this
20,000 fans 1,000 > talking about this
5,000 emails 1,000 opened and 300 to 400 clicks to your site
In 2016 every dollar spent on email is projected to bring in $35.02 –US Direct Marketing Association
When you use email, although it might not seem like it, judging from the number of emails you receive per day, there are less competing messages and updates in the feed. Believe it or not, there are many less emails in your inbox than an average day of status updates and tweets.
Additionally, when someone gives you their email address, they have given you permission to talk directly to them. People hate getting spam! If they manually opt-in to something you have offered, then they truly do want to hear from you.
People are a lot less picky with who they follow and allow to follow them on Facebook and other social media.
Did you know that email lists outperform social media? Of course, a lot of the people on your list will likely come from social media, but after building a solid list, you should focus on building that up more, as opposed to solely focusing on social media. Beautiful Dawn argues why this is the case with her thoughts on email lists.
In the beginning, you may want to put your focus on building your social media following. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, as long as you’re putting more focus on building your email list.
This is because email outperforms social media when it comes to bringing traffic to your blog or website.
Think about Twitter and what happens when a tweet is sent out. Twitter moves so fast that it’s not long before your tweet is buried underneath a bunch of other tweets.
Can you imagine how many people will never even know your tweet existed?
Now, think about email, and the odds of someone seeing your email. Your email won’t fly past their page like a tweet will. It will sit in their inbox, patiently waiting to be opened.
Campaign Monitor mentions some excellent email list tips from several experts in the field and, in particular, a few are below. They confirm how relevant email lists are and why they should be a top priority.
Founder of The Blog Tyrant
“Two words: protection and promotion.
Protection: Google is constantly changing its algorithm and, sometimes, you can end up with a penalty without even knowing what you’ve done wrong. In that situation, your mailing list is the only real protection you have. Even if all of my search rankings disappeared tomorrow I’d still be able to promote my blog to tens of thousands of people via email.
Promotion: Nothing gets engagement like email. Twitter, Facebook, etc. is almost irrelevant by comparison. If someone has given you their email address they are ready to engage with your content or products. And, best of all, they’ll help you promote it so you can get more email subscribers.”
Founder of Content Marketing Institute
“An email list is critical because you can’t build your content on rented land. So many brands and companies build their audiences on Facebook and Google+, which is fine, but we don’t own those names – Facebook and Google do. If we are thinking like real media companies, the asset is in the audience. Getting an email address is the first critical step to figuring out who my reader is, and hopefully in the future, my customer of some sort. If our goal is to drive sales or keep customers happy in some way, we first need to get them as part of our audience.
After you have many subscribers and you’d like to target those who aren’t engaging as much, consider putting together a series of campaigns that will help you reconnect with them. Similarly, Inc. also recommends doing an email list exchange (use caution with this one), and pitch yourself to podcast hosts for extra exposure.
Reconnect with inactive subscribers.
Some email service providers are able to generate a list of recipients who haven't opened your emails. Consider these your low-hanging fruit since they've opted in to receive your information. Ask them if the information you're sending doesn't appeal to them anymore or if it's hitting their Spam box. It doesn't do your company any good to boast a high number of subscribers if they're not opening your emails. Having a cleaner list is more important.
Do an email list exchange.
This can be tricky because it largely depends on how you acquired the emails. You don't want to sell your list to another business since that's often foolish and might be violating the terms with which you gathered those emails. However, you can offer to send an email from another business to your list (and encourage your customers to sign up for their emails) in exchange for the same courtesy by the other business.
Test this with a few businesses that complement yours and see if your list bump is worth exploring more of these opportunities. I've done this with a handful of business with great success, especially when our core target market is similar.
Pitch yourself to podcast hosts.
Podcast hosts are always looking for great people to interview and it's often easier to get air time since there are so many great podcasts out there right now. While on, remind listeners they can sign up for your emails. Ask the host to include that information to their show notes online so customers can find you long after the podcast airs.
HuffPost provides an excellent summary on where to begin when building an email list, and why honesty and doing your homework ahead of time will put you miles ahead of other business owners who are trying to build a quality email list:
With a solid base of emails, you can sell just about anything that comes your way that your audience will be interested in.
You can experiment to see if your email list audience would like new types of products and services.
You would watch the stats on this to better tailor your promotional campaigns. Remember, you’re servicing the public, and you must do your homework.
Never offer a product or service you haven’t checked out thoroughly for quality and assurance. Even if a big name celebrity is part of the promotion, it means double duty in verifying quality.
You want to avoid the get-rich-quick schemes and ‘overnight successes’ and focus on the real and equitable.
You’ll generate such a solid reputation for honesty and care that you’ll build up revenue faster than you can believe.
You must also grow your email list by getting more surfers to opt-in. You do this by expanding and getting organic traffic instead of standard run-of-the-mill search engine traffic.
Nowadays this is done easier via social media. Having that Facebook and Twitter account sure comes in handy in building an email list.
Now that you know why building an email list is a no-brainer, before we conclude the article here’s one quick tip from Forbes on how to hold a giveaway, which may help you generate more followers.
When done right, contests and giveaways can be a great source of new, targeted leads. This strategy works best if you already have an existing audience on social media, but there are other ways you can attract entrants.
Your best bet will be to give away something that’s valuable to your target market; for instance, a high-value digital asset on a niche topic. You can give away products (we’ve all seen contests where the prize is a free iPad or gift certificates), however this strategy often leads to entrants who are more interested in the money than in what you have to offer.
AppSumo regularly holds giveaways as a way of building their list, and estimates that each one generates an average of $.083 gross profit per subscriber. And their best giveaway results? $6.90 gross profit per new subscriber.
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