Email Marketing is one of the most actively used marketing channels. But every now then, we get queries that question the effectiveness of email marketing. Many feel its passé while others equate it to spamming. The truth is email marketing has never been more alive than it is today.
The dynamics of emailer marketing is changing fast but basics shall always remain the same – if you share something valuable with your audience, they are likely to engage with your content. Purchasing a database does not work anymore. Brands need to develop their own database of interested customers or potential customers who are more likely to engage with your email. Emails to your curated database is a personal, dependable and a direct way of reaching out to your audience.
‘Out of all of the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them’
– Neil Patel (Co-founder, KISSmetrics)
In this article, we have listed down useful ways in which you can develop your own email marketing database.
1. Newsletter Sign-Up
Make your email sign-up form visible on relevant pages on your website, more importantly the Blog page. Use either an embedded form or a Call-to-Action for people to click through to a dedicated sign-up page. Make sure that it’s in a prominent spot above the fold. The info about the possibility to sign up for the newsletter can be also placed in a pop-up window.
2. Make the email sign-up easy
If you have a sign-up form on your site, make sure it’s easy to fill. Make it straightforward and resist the temptation to collect lots of demographic & lifestyle information at this stage. It will get in the way of collecting those email addresses. Always remember Short and Sweet is the King!
3. Create great content for your subscribers
Good email content deepens the connection with your audience – it could be a powerful subject line (which get your messages opened); your unique voice (which gets your messages read); or niche-specific content your subscribers would find useful and shares with others (which inspires referrals and word-of-mouth). What works is “value exchange” — your valuable information for your prospect’s valued time. Your subscribers need to know they can trust you and that you’re not a self-promoting spam-bot.
4. Multiple Call-To-Actions: Give readers a good reason to subscribe
We all need a little incentive to hand over our email address, but we don’t need too much if we feel an affinity with the brand. Try these…
– Offer a discount off their first purchase
– Explain what they’ll get: special offers, private sales, hints and tips, magazine articles…
– Show them what they’ll get (see our recent articles, news, reader offers etc)
5. Placement of the sign-up form
You’ve built the perfect form. Now where to place it? Will more people see it on the ‘Contact’ page or ‘About us’ page? Should you keep the newsletter signup on your homepage? Or put it in the sidebar too? Decisions, decisions! Here are some top places to try placing an email signup form (or two or three) on your site:
- Top menu bar
- Header of your site
- In your top performing page
- At the end of a Blog or Tutorial
- Footer of the content
- Your bio/About Me page
6. Improve your website speed & user experience
Like a lot of other issues when it comes to websites and e-commerce, speed matters because Google says that it matters. On 09 April 2010, Google’s Webmaster Central Blog announced that, “We’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.” In other words, faster web pages will rank higher on search engine results pages (SERP) than slower sites.
7. A Gated Homepage
A gated homepage is when a person has to enter their email address on the homepage in order to gain entry to a website’s content. One a person does so, a cookie is kept on their browser so that they don’t have to fill in their email address again to get access. But it is not always appropriate to Gate your homepage. You should have a lot of in-depth content which people are dying to read for them to give their email address. The right time is important too! To find the right moment, you want ‘yes’ answers to questions like:
- Will the lead benefit from having a direct conversation about this?
- Have you earned the right to contact this lead about your products?
- Does A/B testing show a stronger conversion rate requesting lead info now?
- Does the content on your site address product implementation?
- Does the content answer a question we usually get while engaging prospects?
- Does the content answer a question we get often from current customers?
8. An exceptional Landing page
Your landing pages should focus on one main detail and that’s converting visitors into subscribers. Whether you’re asking for contact details in exchange for a discount, a free webinar or something else that the subscribers would like to have, you are bound to get more to sign up. The Design of the Landing Page has to be exceptional too. Your subscribers are only as great as the landing page that get them.
9. Add Social Sharing Buttons
If you don’t have social sharing buttons there’s a likelihood that your content won’t get shared. Someone might want to share the content with a friend but by the time they open up a new window and sign in to their social network, they will get distracted and forget about it completely. Don’t take the risk. Add share buttons so that blog visitors will stay on your site longer. Support your present subscribers to share and forward your content by including an “Email to a Friend” button. That way, you’ll access a fresh network of new people who sign up for your emails. Do not forget to incorporate a “Subscribe” button as well in the footer.
10. Correct usage of words – A/B Testing helps
“Subscribe” is up there with “Register” as an Internet no-no! Remove the words “subscription” and “subscribe”. The term implies a commitment and worse, money. Do away with any “Submit” or “Sign up”! Use first-person language instead – Try out phrases like “Sign me up” or “Send me updates.” Tell people exactly what they are getting by subscribing. Hint: It’s not a weekly email.
11. Lead Generation Ads on Facebook and Twitter
Online networking and social media marketing are useful tools to improve your online leads from which you can derive the email addresses of your potential subscribers. Build relationships with your target market via some of the popular social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.
12. Facebook Offers to the Rescue
You can host a Facebook contest or giveaway either on an application tab or on your Facebook timeline. However, if you’re hosting the promotion on your Facebook timeline, it’s next to impossible to collect emails. Hosting your promotion from a Facebook Offers App is the best approach since your target audience will have to fill in their email address to redeem the offer.
13. Create Engaging Social Content
A combination of audio and video marketing using rich media can greatly improve the number of subscribers you get. Studies have shown that people like and share content that is mostly Emotional or Funny. You can share the content on your social media pages and drive fans to your website.
Do not miss the opportunity to showcase your website / content links at the right place – for example, your video on YouTube can have your website link in the description. You can also create Cards to drive more traffic. The Subscription part then depends on the last mile conversion on your website.
14. Try and leverage the following Power Tools
a. List Builder by SumoMe
List Builder by SumoMe is for those individuals who want to seriously build their email list at a fast pace. The List Builder uses an email popup form to invite new visitors to join your email list, thus helping you get more subscribers. List Builder contains many features that help make it to the top of our list of email building tools. It’s A/B testing, no branding policy, fantastic templates, display controls, conversion tracking and multiple-popups will easily help you take your email list to the next level.
b. Welcome Gate Plugin
Welcome Gate is another great tool for building a list but this one works a bit differently. Why? That’s because it directs every new visitor to a well-designed landing page without showing a popup. Visitors are only redirected to the Welcome Gate page when they go to your home page. So if someone comes straight to a blog post through social media or any other source link, it would not be shown. A cookie keeps a track of this so the visitor will only see the Welcome Gate page once in their lifetime. After quite a lot of testing we came realized this plugin is more effective and powerful than other similar plugins.
ManyContacts is an easy to setup pop-up bar that sits on top of your website and helps to convert visitors into qualified subscribers. It was designed to help owners of all kinds of websites to increase their conversion rate through the collection and qualification of contacts. It also has a platform where you can easily export emails with details of each of your subscriber (email, device used, location, etc.), which you can add to your email archives.
OptinMonster utilizes opt-in forms as a part of an endeavor to transform your visitors into subscribers. The plugin gives out of the box integration with a popular email marketing service which makes the setup exceptionally easy. The business page of the plugin brags a 1 minute setup time and we can definitely acknowledge that. But you will need to spend more on customization and creation of forms based on your site design and goals.
A WordPress plugin that pops up in a place on your blog that grabs the attention of your readers without blocking their view of your content. Your visitors can open and close the pop-up whenever they want. It works well with any WordPress theme and is integrated with all of the popular email services: Mailchimp, Aweber, GetResponse, Office Autopilot and Infusionsoft.
f. Zopim Chat
There are probably thousands of visitors that come to your site every year and that never contact you. Increase the chances of gaining a new lead by using live chat to automatically reach out to your potential customers that visit your site. The best part about Zopim is that you don’t have to lounge around on the PC throughout the day. By utilizing a programmed trigger, Zopim can naturally send every guest a message following 10 seconds of being on the site saying something like “Hey – do you have any inquiries I can help with?” In the event that they react, they will also be asked for their name and email address which is a win-win situation.
Numerous people have Facebook pages where they engage with fans by posting offers, running contests or uploading photographs. But this can be a pretty can be tedious task for an individual. That is the place an online networking promoting plugin like Woobox can offer assistance and help you take care of all this engagement seamlessly with its page tags. For marketers there is a twofold advantage here. Not just are you enhancing your online networking presence, but you are getting the email address of all those who redeem an offer or take part in a contest.
Digital Marketing Experts around the world have reiterated the effectiveness of emailer marketing. So you should not miss an opportunity to effectively connect with your audience. Get going!