If your business has an online presence then the opportunity exists to build a very effective email marketing list. A targeted email list allows you to constantly nurture prospects by providing them with information and offers in order to eventually turn then into a revenue producing conversion.
If the thought of building a targeted email marketing list from the ground up seems to be a challenging task, then use the following tips to help you get started.
Attract and interact with your audience using quality content.
Before you can even think about building an email list, you need to focus on creating useful content that your website visitors will enjoy and interact with. Using content and engagement can help you convert your visitors into opt-ins to your email marketing list. There are three main pieces, including website content, social media content and giveaways.
Website (Blog) Content
Every website should have a dedicated blog that is easily visible and accessible from each page of the website. Creating new content gives your visitors a reason to come back to your website, and each time they are on your website is an opportunity to get them to join your email marketing list.
Focus on providing useful information that your visitors will enjoy reading. Avoid blog content that is overly self-promotional and reads like an advertisement. Provide content that is updated on a regular basis and your visitors will continue to return for more.
Social Media Content
Social media is everywhere these days and the majority of your target audience is more than likely active on the popular social networks. You can share your blog posts on social media or create social specific content. Just remember the goal of your social media content, and that is to drive additional visitors to your website.
Spreading your blog posts across social sites, such as Facebook and Twitter is a great way to push social media traffic to your website that wouldn't have interacted with your brand without that social introduction.
Content doesn't just have to be blog posts and social media content. You can use how-to guides, reports or anything else that the target audience will view as useful information. When you offer a high quality giveaway, your visitors will be much more likely to provide their information in exchange for your giveaway.
Present your content to your visitors and build your list.
Once you have your content strategy mapped out, it is time to leverage that content and use it to help you grow your email list.
Your blog posts should have your opt-in form visible either on the sidebar of the page or within the actual blog post. Different audiences will react to each placement differently, so it is definitely a good idea to split test different locations for your opt-in forms.
The social media sharing should drive that traffic back to your blog posts, so make sure that your opt-in forms have an eye catching call-to-action. Test different headings, styles, fonts, colors and locations.
Visitors that read the blog posts are not required to opt-in to your email list in order to access your website content, but many naturally will provide their name and email if they feel the content was valuable. Quality content makes visitors want to continue to interact with your brand.
When you use content such as eBooks, reports and guides, it is possible to request that the visitor opt-in to your list prior to providing them with the information. When the information is enticing enough (and perceived as valuable) your website visitors will have no problem exchanging their information for your offer.
Build and manage your list using a professional email marketing solution.
You want to make it as easy as possible to build, nurture and manage your email list and email marketing. There are several email marketing platforms available that will help you easily generate opt-in forms, create lists, manage subscribers (while complying with the CAN-SPAM Act), deploy emails and track performance.
Every business is going to need different data from their target audience in order to market to them effectively, but remember that less is always better. The less information that you ask for, the higher your chance of the visitor submitting the form.
Asking for their name and email address is the bare minimum, and if you can utilize just that data effectively then go for it. When you start asking for more personal information, such as addresses and phone numbers, it will drastically reduce your opt-in rate.
The majority of email marketing services will allow you to create multiple lists and manage them separately. This is great for businesses that want to develop extremely targeted email lists. For example, an electronic superstore might want to separate their list into categories and have a different opt-in form for each section, such as computers, televisions, digital cameras, etc.
This allows them the send targeted offers. If a visitor completes the opt-in form on the webpage that features televisions then there is a very good chance that they are interested in purchasing a new TV, so sending them targeted emails about TV specials and promotions will be more effective than just a general email.
It is very important that you build your email list correctly and within the CAN-SPAM Act. Using an email marketing platform that has built in subscriber management insures that your email marketing is compliant.
When a visitor completes your opt-in form they will receive an email asking them to click a verification link, acknowledging their request to be added to your list. Each email that you send out will also have an "unsubscribe" option at the bottom of the communication. This not only keeps your campaign compliant, but it also saves you time from manually removing contacts from your list.
Within your email marketing platform you can compose emails and send them to specific lists or all of your contacts. Using the electronics superstore example above, let's assume the business has a lot of new promotions. If they built extremely targeted lists they can present their prospects with offers that best fit their interests. In the event of a major store wide sale or holiday special the business can send a message to all of the lists within their email marketing platform.
One of the most beneficial features of an email marketing platform is the ability to track the performance of each message sent. You can view the open rate and click through rate of each message. This allows you to see how your lists are reacting to each mailing.
If the open rate is low then there is possibly an issue with the subject line of the message. If the click through rate is low then the body of the email message was not effective.
This data allows you to continually improve the performance and effectiveness of your email marketing effort. Analyze each mailing and try to learn something about your lists to use in your next mailing.
These simple tips can help your business create an email marketing list of subscribers that will look forward to your communication, engage with you brand and have the possibility of converting into sales and revenue. As your list grows and you continue to nurture it, the possibility of subscribers that turn into repeat purchasers increases as well.
If you would like more online marketing tips then click here to request your free copy of "The Complete A-Z Online Marketing Strategy Guide."