In the old pre-internet days of sales and marketing, there was only one way for somebody to go out and generate leads for their product, face-to-face networking. The process was time-consuming and expensive. To top it off, it wasn't very profitable either.
• Today, email is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have at your fingertips. The benefits of email make it far more effective than the days of knocking on doors and making phone calls.
• Email has few geographical boundaries. You can reach people on the other side of the world with your message.
• You can contact inaccessible people through e-mail. Anybody with an email account can be reached with email marketing. So, people who are outside your usual market base can learn about your product or service.
• Email is inexpensive. You don't have the usual high cost of traditional advertising.
Most important email is effective. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, email:
• Is the most profitable way to market for the past ten years
• Email marketing offers a high return on investment
• Is 40 times more effective than social media marketing
Your email marketing plan is only as good as the quality of the addresses you have in your database. There are plenty of companies who will sell you email mailing lists. However, these are the addresses of people who have never heard of you or your product. Using these lists makes you a spammer, and nobody likes a spammer.
So, your challenge is to grow your email list with people who have a genuine interest in your product or views. Here are the best methods you can use to do that. There is no set order for the steps, but there is one thing you should do before you begin growing your list.
Your website is your business card to the world. Before you begin growing your site make sure you like the way it looks and content. I'm not saying you should do a complete rebuild of your site, but make sure you still want the content and it's still relevant to your message or product.
• Close pages you started but didn't finish building
• Make sure your security is top-notch, especially if you're selling directly off your site
Later, we'll go into a couple of steps you can take to collect e-mails from visitors.
You need to let people know about your site. Target the following people in this order.
Friends and family. Yes, this is a touchy subject because many people are afraid of their friends and family considering them a nuisance. However, they are probably interested in your endeavor. The key is not to "sell" to them. Tell them about your new site, business, etc. and ask them if you can keep them updated with exciting news, specials, or developments. Write a short e-mail specifically for these people.
Now, contact people from your professional side, your business contacts, and acquaintances. Write a short, email explicitly directed at these people. Again, ask them if you can add them to the list.
When I say add them to your list, I don't mean to ask the question. Depending on your response rate, you could end up having to add hundreds of email addresses. There is a better way to collect them.
In the body of your email add a hyperlink to your sign-up page. This way you don't have to deal with individual responses unless you want to, and the reader will provide their best email for contact.
However, just because you know somebody doesn't mean they will automatically want you to send them information. Also, this step only covers people you contacted before.
How do you develop new contacts from total strangers?
"Offer people something useful."
People Will Like You More If You Give Them A Gift
You probably know the number one technique you can use to grow your email list is give your readers something useful in return for their email. For this reason, companies put up contact pages and forms for people to add their address for some form of helpful information. Often, this is an e-book or whitepaper.
The problem is how do you get those people's addresses if they don't know to go to your site in the first place? Well, in all the emails you send out, add a link for your e-book or paper, or whatever you are offering, in the email body. This links to your sign-up page where the respondent enters an email.
Then, to make sure the email address is legitimate, send the download link automatically to that email. The respondents have to open their email to download the item.
With this method, you know you are getting a quality email address and, using analytics, you'll know who downloaded the offer. The fact they downloaded the information signals the people are genuinely interested in your site and product.
Earlier, I suggested you make some adjustments to your site, so you are comfortable with people visiting it. Here are some quick changes you can make to encourage people to leave their email.
• On every page, have a link or sign-up form at the bottom or upper corner of the page. If possible, let them know about your offer.
• Have a floating sticky bar on each page with an offer to sign-up. As people scroll on the page, the bar will travel with them. For politeness, you might want to allow them to close it at will. However, if they visit another page on your site, it can reappear with the same offer.
• Add an exit-intent page pop-up to your site. This pop-up activates when the user moves the cursor to close a page. The pop-up offers a sign-up form and your offer to them before they leave. Always be sure the offer if part of the form.
There are steps you can take to lead people to your site.
• Consider guest-blogging on other sites and leaving a link to your sign-up page.
• Reach out to people on social media
• Leave a link to your sign-up page in your email signature
• If you are a regular participant on forums, place a link in your posts (if allowed)
• If you have an e-commerce site, add a sign-up link option during the checkout.
• Collect the emails from people who comment on any of your posts
Remember, the idea isn't to have a long list of email addresses. You want a long list of quality email addresses. This requires two things from you:
Patience and Persistence
Even if you take all of these steps, it doesn't mean you're going to get a tidal wave of email addresses. They will begin to trickle in, but if you remain persistent that trickle will build to a steady stream on contacts.
Enginemailer helps our clients grow their email lists and market in an orderly and efficient manner. After all, we don't succeed unless you do. If you have any questions about how we support you and your email marketing efforts, contact us here.
Or, if you are ready to begin the most powerful marketing campaign you've ever started, sign up here! We don't even require a credit card.