As a blogger and online business owner, I am constantly researching ways to gain more traffic and reach more people. Over and over again I see people stressing over the importance of an email list. Ask anyone and they will tell you that building an email list is absolutely necessary for long term success. Your email list will one day evolve into a loyal following, containing some of your best customers. Online marketing whiz William Holeksa from Internetum agrees, stating, "As one of the most traditional marketing mediums, email still offers the best return on your investment"
Building a list is easier said than done, however. There are many different ways to do it, but it will not happen overnight. It takes a lot of planning, implementing, and promoting to get a decent amount of people to join your email list. There is no "right" way to do it, and what works for someone else may not work for you. Depending on your niche, and how you go about it, you might find that you have to tweak your technique more than once.
Create a "Freebie"
This may be arguably the most used and effective way at building an email list. The kind of freebie you create depends totally on your target audience and what your site is about. If you run a healthy living blog, offering a weekly meal plan or workout guide would be one way to get your readers to hand over their emails. People love getting quality printables, guides, and cheat sheets for free, so just decide what your audience would benefit from.
Offer a Discount on Products or Services
This kind of goes hand in hand with the previous technique. Many stores use this technique; they offer a discount or price reduction on their products if you provide them with your email address. This is a great way to get people to join a list, because everyone is looking for a good deal. This helps them get in your inbox with all of their new products and sales, and if you ask me, it's genius. I can't tell you how many stores send me emails that sooner or later entices me to order something from their website.
Send a Weekly or Monthly Newsletter
If you have a well-defined target audience, and you deliver great content, this would be a great fit for you. There are many bloggers that I have followed for years, and I love getting their emails because I know I will be inspired and informed every time they show up in my inbox. I look forward to their monthly income reports, their success stories, and their advice, because I value what they have to say. Find out what your audience wants, and deliver. If you have something that will help them, don't hold back.
Host a Giveaway
This is just reiterating on the idea that people love free things. Giveaways are all about free things, but only one (or more, depending on what you choose) person will get it. Oftentimes you can find sponsors who will contribute to your giveaway, making the prize even bigger. Most bloggers rule that you must share the giveaway on social media, and enter your email. This helps reach more people, and builds your list at the same time.
There are so many ways to encourage your audience to join your email list. Engaging with your readers and making genuine friends is a sure way to create your own "community." Once your readers feel like they know you, they are more likely to join your email list- and stay. It's not all about sales and leads and funnels, but it's about reaching real people who have real similarities, and learning from each other. Treat your email list like your close friends, and they will treat you the same.