Looking for some tips on expanding your email list? You’re not the only one. At Create My Newsletter, we get asked about this a lot, especially from some of our smaller business clients. The good news is that we have a number of ideas that can help you grow your audience organically.
The first tip is more of a “what not to do”—we know it’s tempting, but you should never purchase an email list. First of all, Create My Newsletter and any other reputable email marketing company won’t send emails to a bought list. Second of all, you won’t be talking to an audience of people who want to hear what you have to say; you’re talking to a list of people who may not have the slightest interest in your product or your company. In essence, buying email lists is expensive, a waste of time and it can even hurt your credibility.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s look at ways that you can grow your opt-in email list, which will be one of your most valuable marketing assets.
USE THE INTERNET FOR EVERYTHING IT’S WORTH
- Ask your web team to include an email sign-up window when people land on your website. Simple is best—just ask if the user is interested in hearing about news, promotions and discounts from your business and have a box to add their contact information, along with a “No Thanks” button. You can also assure sign-ups that you will never sell their information or send spam.
- Add a link to your employees’ email signatures that leads to a landing page where they can sign up for your mailing list.
- Partner up with another complementary business and run a promotion on both your websites or email newsletters that targets a new, but appropriate, audience to collect email addresses from a fresh source. You can swap leads at the end of the promotion.
- Do you suspect that your current email list isn’t as useful as it once was? Have you stopped seeing many click-throughs? This may sound counterintuitive to expanding your email list, but you can reinvigorate a stale email list with an opt-in campaign. With an engaging “opt in” message, you encourage current contacts to re-sign up and then remove all email addresses that don’t respond. You might not have as many people on your list in the short-term, but you’re making your overall list more valuable by ensuring that everyone on the list is interested in what you have to say. This will improve delivery stats and increase the chances that people will share your content with others.
USE SOCIAL MEDIA
- If your business has any presence at all on Facebook or Twitter, hold a contest. The prize can be a discount or a gift card, but people will have to include their email addresses when they enter. Just make sure you ask them if they are interested in receiving other news and promotions from your business as well.
- Add a sign-up button on your business’ Facebook page, giving friends and followers the option of signing up for your email newsletters.
- Run a Facebook or Twitter campaign asking people to sign up for your emails. Post “teaser” content and then ask followers to sign up if they want to read the rest.
- If you don’t have much of a social media presence, or you just prefer to kick it old school, hold a raffle at your business to win a discount or gift card and have customers fill out their email addresses to enter.
- Use a paper form to collect email addresses at point of sale, trade shows and other events, and add them into your database.
- If you already use paper mail for direct marketing, why not encourage that list to sign up for paperless promotions? Include a short URL to a landing page where customers can sign up for email and opt out of snail mail.
- Host in-person events like meetups, conferences, speaking panels, or an open house and collect registrations online using email addresses.