It doesn’t matter how good your email marketing campaign is if you don’t have anyone to send emails to.
But how can you build a high quality email list that will actually drive traffic, and ultimately revenue?
Hey everyone, I’m Ian Campbell, CEO of Mission Suite. Before we jump into today’s video, do me a favor and hit the subscribe button and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos.
I’ve been helping businesses with their marketing for over 20 years now and, in that time I’ve seen a LOT of email campaigns. Some have been great. Others…well…not so much.
Every time I talk to someone about email, though – whether that’s a Mission Suite client trying to get a campaign launched, a new business owner trying to figure out how they’re going to start marketing their business, or even a well established business trying to attack a new market – I get the same question.
How do I go about building out an email list?
Email marketing is awesome, but in order to make it successful, you need a list to send those emails to…and it has to cast a wider net than just your friends and family.
So let’s dive into some ideas that you can explore as you’re trying to grow your list.
Make sure you’re providing value
First of all, and above all else, make sure you’re providing value in your emails.
If you’re not providing value, not only will you not be able to find new subscribers, you’ll lose the ones you already have.
And when you’re thinking about all of this, remember that value is different to different people. What your prospects look at as being valuable content is going to be VERY different from what your sister looks at as valuable content.
The important thing here is to provide content to your list that is valuable to your target audience. And I know I’ve said this in the past, but it’s important to keep in mind – it’s ok if people unsubscribe from your list.
Remember that building up a QUALITY email list is more important than building up a large quantity of emails that don’t really care about what you’re offering.
But if you are providing value, you have a solid and targeted list, and you have a page set up for people to sign up for your list, you’ll see your list grow as people share your content and other targeted folks start to sign up for your email list.
Making an Offer
Making some sort of offer is probably the most well known method of building up an email list.
The idea is pretty straightforward – you create some sort of downloadable content offer and post it up to your website with a form in front of it so that people have to give you their email address in exchange for access to it.
In practice, though, this can be a bit more challenging. Sure, it’s pretty simple to create the form, but finding content that’s actually valuable enough to interest people in giving you their email address in exchange for it, is a whole different story.
On top of that, getting people to even see your offer is easier said than done.
So let’s dig into these a little bit deeper.
First of all, creating valuable content
This is the easiest way to start this is to listen to your current clients and the leads and prospects you’re working on.
Listen for common questions that you’re hearing over and over again and find a creative way to answer them.
You can take the time to write up an entire ebook or a big in depth blog article, but I like to start out a bit more simple.
Start with something like a checklist, a Top 10 style list, or some sort of downloadable reference card that people can print off.
Make it valuable enough that people don’t regret giving you their email address for it but simple enough that it doesn’t take up a ton of time or break the bank to get it made.
Now let’s talk a bit about getting the download “opportunity” in front of the right people to get them to actually download it.
So this can be a bit more of a challenge.
Social advertising is typically the easiest answer to this dilemma because you can pretty easily target the right audience and pay to get your form in front of their eyes. It works even better now that Facebook and LinkedIn both have lead gen forms so people don’t even have to go to a landing page to download your content and give you their email address. Of course, it also requires a budget to work with.
If you don’t have a budget, you can still use social media – find LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups that you can interact with and make this offer to people as they express interest or a need for that information.
You can also interact on places like Quora and Reddit and, depending on your industry, even some online forums and take a similar path.
Just make sure that you’re not just spamming people with your landing page link but rather are actually providing value, engaging in conversations and only providing these links when it’s actually relevant to the conversation.
Have you ever tried to build an email list? If you have, give us a thumbs up. If you have any ideas you think other people should try, let us know in the comments below!
Find a Partner
Partnerships are one of my favorite ways to build my email list because, if you do it right, you can really create a pretty effective rising tide to lift all of the members of that partnership.
There are a lot of ways that you can create these partnerships. The two that come to mind immediately to mind are collaborating on content development and distribution and working together to get people to register for an event you’re hosting.
For example, Dean Isaacs and I work together on a monthly online panel style event called The Community Table. It’s something that we work together to coordinate, plan and promote. We’re also both front and center on the panel so everyone knows that it’s a collaboration between the two of us.
When people RSVP for one of our Community Table Sessions, Dean and I both get the RSVP list. Webinars and virtual events are a great way to add people to your email list, and because we’re both working to promote this together, our reach is much greater than what either of us would see on our own and, as a result, so are the registrations and names that are added to our email lists.
You do want to be careful with this type of a list building practice, though. If your brand isn’t closely associated with the content you’re offering people aren’t going to connect the dots and you’re just going to end up with a bunch of unsubscribes or spam complaints.
You need to make sure that anyone who is going to be added to your email list in this manner can connect the dots between what they’re registering for and anyone involved in the partnership to make sure that it’s a quality list building exercise for all involved.
There are a lot more ways to build your email list, but the last method that I’ll include in this list is through sponsoring events.
This is something that, again, can cost a little money but, if you choose the right event and manage your follow up right, it can pay out HUGE dividends.
Most events, when you sponsor them, either give you access to their registration list to send out one or two emails after the event or will send out an email on your behalf either before or after the event.
This is a huge opportunity to build your list, but most people that I’ve seen try to take advantage of it waste it with some sort of a pitch to “swing by the booth” or “check out our demo”.
That’s a HUGE waste!
I get the idea – you have the opportunity to get an email directly in front of highly qualified leads so let’s try to get them to convert in some way!
On its face it makes sense, but what if they’re not ready for your conversion? You just wasted a great opportunity to collect some highly targeted leads for a little bit of brand awareness that they’ll probably forget about in short order.
Think about it from a long term perspective – if you have one shot of getting into those people’s inboxes, wouldn’t it be better spent trying to get them to join your email list so that you have continued access to them?
If you can get that person to fill out your form, then you don’t have to rely on the event organizers to send emails for you or stop emailing them after one email. Once they’ve filled out your form, they’re now YOUR lead that you can pursue as you please.
So how do you do this? Well, think of a SUPER relevant content offer that you can create for these folks. Maybe do some sort of a giveaway that people can enter by filling out your form. This follow up is probably worth spending a little bit of money on because the leads you’re working with are so targeted so get creative.
Again, once they’re on your list you’re free and clear!
If you want to check out how Mission Suite can help you build and manage your email list, drop down to the description of this video and click on the link to register for a demo!
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