What we will cover
Offer something of value
If you want your customers and prospects to impart their email addresses, it’s only fair that you give them something in return. In fact, if you think about it, it would actually be weird if they gave it to you without right? Offering value in exchange for information is the way we build rapport.
The question is then, what is reasonable? If you have something unique to say then that may be enough by itself to warrant an email from the masses and build your email list.
If not then you may need to offer a reward, like 10% off your first order – don’t pretend you’re doing anyone a favour, we are used to seeing this. If the lifetime value of a client is worth it, give away 20, 30, 50% – A B test it!!
The good news is that there are dozens of ways to provide value and the only cost to you is usually a little time. Freebies that entice casual visitors to become leads are known as ‘lead magnets’ and can include anything from an e-book on a topic of interest to a printable cheat sheet for carrying out a process.
The golden rule is to make sure that whatever you are providing is valuable to your core audience.
Be smart with your signup form
The easiest way to add new leads to your expanding list is to get people to fill in an online signup form. There are a few different ways to do this (e.g. scripts, plugins, hosted services, etc.) but they all require connecting your website to your email marketing platform provider.
It is a good idea to experiment with the way your signup form appears to visitors. Will you use a pop-up with a time delay? A lightbox on exit? A static form on relevant pages? A form that sits in the corner of every page?
It is usually best to stick to two to three fields on your form. If you ask for too much additional information, you will reduce the likelihood of a visitor signing up. In fact, a Hubspot study found that reducing a form from four to three fields led to an increase in conversion rate of nearly 50%!
The design and positioning of your signup form is totally up to you but there are some important post-GDPR requirements you will need to comply with.
First, anybody signing up to your email list must actively opt-in so don’t pre-tick any checkboxes or otherwise deceive your visitor into providing their details. You should also spell out exactly what they are signing up to receive and how often you will be communicating with them.
Things are a little more complicated if you are collecting emails offline (e.g. at events, speaking engagements or from telemarketing campaigns, etc.) However, as long as you can prove that opt-in consent was freely given, you should be OK.
So many businesses go to the trouble of creating a valuable lead magnet and embedding a nicely designed signup form into their website only to miss one vital ingredient: the call-to-action (CTA). Just because there’s a box to put an email address into, it doesn’t necessarily follow that your visitor will realise that they are expected to fill it in. You are familiar with the design and intended purpose of your signup web pages but your prospect isn’t.
There’s a reason why so many successful internet marketers plaster their webpages with bold arrows and clear instructions in gaudy red letters. It leaves their visitors in no doubt as to what to do next.
Integrate with everything
Don’t think that your signup forms have to be limited to your website. It is now possible to add native signup forms to your Facebook pages and you can even use hosted services to connect a third-party form to a range of social media platforms.
Think creatively! Perhaps a non-competing business whose audience overlaps with yours will place a signup form on their monthly newsletter if you do the same for them. Maybe you could promote your email-only special offers on your till receipts, invoices or product packaging. Whenever and wherever you communicate with your customers and prospects, think of it as an opportunity to solicit them for their email address.
Offer a referral bonus
You can even use your list to build your email list! When marketing to your customers and leads, consider offering them a free gift or a special discount if they can get their family, friends and colleagues to sign up.
There are several ways you can track their activity from providing customised affiliate links to sending out a unique code that new members must enter into a box on the signup form.
Choose the right provider
Where do you keep your valuable list? If you are using a simple spreadsheet or database application you are giving yourself a lot of work and missing out on some cool automation and personalisation features.
Our Email Marketing Training course is based around the popular freemium email marketing provider Mailchimp. This service allows you to build and organise your list while also providing a handy email marketing campaign process with a selection of drag and drop templates. You can also use segments, tags and custom fields to divide up your list based on demographics and user behaviour.
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