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Despite the massive growth of social media over the past few years, the lowly email is still the best marketing tool for 90% of businesses.
An email list is the simplest way to get your message out, increase brand awareness, share your story, find customers, and create a community of people that’s
Why your email list matters
Every single study shows that email is by far the most efficient and cost effective way to communicate with your customers.
The return on email can be as high as $44 per dollar spent, which is almost double the effectiveness of every other forms of marketing. More people are reading emails than ever, with most people using their phones, rather than computers and tablets, meaning that your emails can get to them wherever they are.
Finally, conversion rates are massive. In 2020, email was responsible for 19.8% of all online transactions, which is only narrowly beat out by paid searches and organic traffic. i.e. people literally searching for something they need.
So how do you take advantage of this?
Identify your target
A key part of an effective offer is creating it with a specific person in mind. This means knowing your customers, inside and out, then creating marketing material that’s aimed directly at them.
The smart play is to design your ideal customer, then use this as a launching point for what you should be looking for, and who you should be targeting with everything that you create.
Bare minimum, you should know:
- Basic demographic data like
- Rough salary
- Their location
- Whether they have a family
You should also try to understand:
- Where they work
- What their goals are for being online
- How you can help them solve their problems
Possibly the most important part of creating a customer persona is understanding why they are online, what they’re looking for, and where they tend to hang out.
Once you know where the type of people that are interested in your products go, you’ll find it much easier to get them on board.
Create a landing page
We’re going to assume that if you’re reading this, you already have a website. Which means you already have the basics in place for creating your own landing pages.
For the uninitiated, a landing page is a page created specifically as the starting point for people who are ‘landing’ on your website, hence the name.
Everything on that page is designed to push your customers to a certain outcome, whether that’s buying a product, moving somewhere else on the site, or, as with our goal, getting the all important email address.
The simplest method, and one that you’ve inevitably already experienced, is the ubiquitous pop up box.
Essentially, after spending a certain amount of time on page, or navigating to a certain area, (say, the end of an article) a pop up box appears on the screen, with a solid call to action explaining the next steps, and a clear benefit for the reader.
Sites that run on common frameworks like WordPress have readily available plugins that help you quickly create pop up boxes like this, and they’re also very simple to code from scratch.
Creating your offer
No one is going to respond to a box that just outright asks for their contact details. You need to give them something in return. Here’s what you need to know:
Offer something for free
People are only going to sign up for a service that they think is useful to them. But you obviously don’t want to offer something that’s going to cost you too much to produce.
There are multiple options for what you can offer, including:
- Exclusive articles or reports
- Discounts or special sales on products
But the most common thing on offer, and possibly the easiest thing that you can create, is a weekly newsletter that combines all of the above.
A newsletter can be anything. Industry news. Current special offers. Product releases. Links to articles that your company have published. Relevant articles from anywhere else.
And a newsletter is the sort of thing that people don’t mind popping into their inbox, even if it’s something that they’re not interested in that day. Rather than being bombarded with offers or adverts that might seem spammy, your newsletter is packed full of useful information. Even if it’s got just as many sales pitches in it.
Give your CTA some character
A lot of people are so inured to pop ups that they click past them almost without thinking.
One way to get people to click is to sign up is to put a little humor in your calls to action.
Some personality in your offer reminds people that there’s an actual person behind your marketing plans, and increases the chances that people will 1. Pay attention to what you’re saying, and 2. Enter those all important details.
Install an exit intent pop up
An exit intent pop up is a box that pings onto your screen as you move to navigate away from a site. They might feel intrusive, even irritating, but the statistics don’t lie. They’re an incredibly effective as a last ditch attempt way to grab attention.
Users of Sumo products, one of the most popular email capture tools, have experienced up to 60% increased conversion rates just from using this simple tool.
When you’re building an exit pop up, the same principles stand. Inject some character into your marketing, target it to your specific customers, and offer something valuable, and you’ll see conversions skyrocket.
Use an email marketing service
If you’re trying to use a standard email address, an email lists quickly becomes unmanageable.
Instead, we recommend using a dedicated service like Mailchimp.
These services are specifically designed around helping you to create and manage your email lists, and offer help when it comes to creating emails, scheduling them to be send out, designing marketing campaigns, and more.
Most services offer a cut down free version, which is perfect when you’re just starting out. As your email list grows, you can decide whether it’s worth investing into the benefits of a paid version.
Make sure to advertise
As you build up your email list, you should be using all of your channels to push it to everyone who might find it relevant.
Options include social media like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn, and online publications like Medium. Hopefully, you’re already using these channels to drive traffic to your business, and you can easily shift gears and start pushing people towards your email list.
Remember. An email list is just a part of an effective marketing strategy. It should tie seamlessly into your existing marketing channels. But hopefully now you’ve read our guide you have a much better understanding about how you can use this fantastic tool to benefit yourself and your business.