Rock your list – it's your biggest asset
Do you have a strategy for growing your email list and using it to communicate with your target audience on a consistent basis? If not, you’re missing a huge opportunity.
Email isn’t a sexy topic, but it represents the backbone of nearly every successful content initiative and digital marketing success story you’ve ever heard about. There is no better tool for building your online community and communicating with them on a regular basis than email.
Why is email vital to your company?
Email amps up trust. When someone signs up for your email list, it’s a sign of trust and interest in your brand. They’re intrigued by the content they’ve seen so far, and they want to learn more about how you think and the solutions you offer. Even if they aren’t ready to buy immediately, they’re thinking about it.
You own this. Your email list is an asset that you own and control. In contrast, the owners of the social media channels you use tend to change their rules on a regular basis, as they explore various models for monetizing their audiences. If you don’t own the platform, you’re at the mercy of someone else. That’s a huge plus for email. You own that. Plus, this asset can be valued if you ever sell your company.
Repeat traffic. An enewsletter, published on a regular basis, keeps prospective customers returning to your website to engage with your content. It’s essential to educating and nurturing your target audience down the path to a sale or other desirable action.
Email enables you to communicate with your audience in a creative, personalized way that blog posts or tweets can’t. Considering that research shows that people buy based on emotions and then backfill with logic, then it’s essential that you include this tactic in your marketing mix.
How to jump-start your email list
Even if you have an anemic email list, it’s not too late to transform it into a powerful marketing tool. Here are some “bodybuilding” tips for your email list:
- Deliver your best content to your audience. Always. Audience attention is a fickle thing. Make a commitment to deliver real value with them on a consistent basis, sharing information that is tailored to their needs. Make them feel COMPELLED to sign up for your enewsletter, just so they won’t miss your NEXT big insight!
- Place an e-newsletter subscription form prominently on your website. Many companies treat this as an afterthought. It should actually occupy a key position on your website. Here are some recommended locations for it:
- Above the fold, on the home page
- Above the fold, In the right-hand column of content
- Centered, between your website’s masthead and its primary content area. This is a can’t-miss location.
- In a pop-up window. Many people don’t like pop-ups, but they work. Make sure you select one that plays well with mobile devices – otherwise, Google may penalize you.
- Make sure it’s clear and easy to understand. Limit the number of fields – the more you ask for, the less likely they are to fill it out.
- Provide them with a compelling reason WHY. Be very clear about what you’ll provide them in return for sharing their email address with you. What will your enewsletter contain that is unique and valuable? How often will you send it out? What will they miss if they don’t subscribe?
- Exchange something of great value for their email address. Offer them an ebook, a checklist or other exclusive content. But remember: This is a two-step process. Just because they gave you their email address to get your latest content asset doesn’t automatically give you permission to email them on an ongoing basis. After you get them to sign up for your free goodies, make a separate ask for the newsletter subscription. Get permission – always!
- Publish consistently. Just like your blog, your enewsletter needs to be published on a consistent schedule. Your readers will become conditioned to receive your communications at a set date or time of day, increasing engagement.