Despite the experts battling it out, the fact remains: email is still one of the most effective ways to convert subscribers to customers. It’s how businesses work to get those conversions that makes a difference.
In a recent report from Ascend2: Email List Growth Survey Summary Report, we learn that businesses have a few objectives when it comes to email marketing in 2015:
- Increase conversion rates: 57%
- Improve lead generation: 54%
- Increase email list size: 48%
- Increase open/click rates: 40%
- Improve email relevance: 22%
- Improve list hygiene/accuracy: 21%
- Improve brand loyalty: 19%
- Improve social integration: 9%
All are worthy objectives, but how do these brands plan to get there? It’s getting harder and harder to get people’s attention via email, and companies are up against obstacles like keeping their content relevant and valuable to recipients, developing an effective strategy, and keeping unsubscribes down.
Strategies to Steal
The report lists the following as the most effective techniques for growing an email list. I’ve provided tips under each to help you use them in your small business.
1. Website Access
It’s important that you have access to offers on your website so that you can collect emails and grow your list. Realize that your website and email can work together to attract targeted leads, so make the most of signup forms. Also: make sure your website is responsive in its design so that people can sign up for your special offers from their mobile device.
2. Content Downloads
People love free stuff, but they’re getting smarter, too. They’re only willing to give you their email addresses in exchange for something great. You do have to to provide something of value to them, otherwise people feel scammed if that “free report” is nothing more than a sales tool for you, and they won’t bother to give you a second chance.
Come up with great research, whitepapers, or tips that people can’t easily get elsewhere, and set up your email system to automatically send it when they sign up on your website.
3. Upcoming Events
Webinars, conferences, and sales are all events that people want to stay informed about, and email is the perfect vehicle to do that. On your event landing page, include a signup form, front and center, and let people know they can get updates that way.
4. Social Media Sharing
Your website isn’t the only place you can solicit email signups. Let your social followers know of all the benefits of joining your list, or promote that content offer. Also, don’t forget to include social share buttons in your email so that others may share that content.
5. Purchase Process
The purchase process is another opportunity for you to get an email signup. Again, make it so that customers have to deliberately check a box if they don’t want your emails, and you’ll see your list grow even faster.
6. Paid Search Campaign
Don’t let your paid search go to waste. Make sure that, at a minimum, you send your visitors to a tailored landing page with a special offer or report. Even if you don’t get the sale on that visit, by getting their email, you increase your chances of getting it later in the buying cycle. You can advertise it on Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn to boost subscriptions.
7. Email Forward-to-a-Friend
Most email marketing templates include a “forward to a friend” option. You’d be surprised how many people take you up on this option, essentially doing your marketing for you.
8. In-Store Email Capture
For those of you who run brick-and-mortar, ask for those email addresses at the point of sale.
There are so many opportunities to capture your audience’s email address. It’s just a matter of asking for it.