Email lists are fantastic tools for keeping in contact with consumers, sharing information and generating leads. But putting together an email list and figuring out how to attract customers to your list can take a lot of time and effort if not done thoughtfully.
So how does a company go about creating an email list that will yield a good return on investment? What’s the first thing an entrepreneur needs to do to ensure that the list is successful? Here, 11 experts from YEC look at some crucial first steps to setting up an email list that will offer a good ROI, and why these steps are so critical to the list’s (and the entrepreneur’s) success.
1. Understand Your Ideal Target Market
Understanding your ideal target market is essential. This is the key to creating an email list or any other marketing strategy. Once you understand your ideal target market, from there will come the marketing messaging, the content and the engagement.
2. Establish Your Goals
Before you start building, you need to establish your goals. Think about how you plan on using email marketing to reach your audience. The software you need could vary depending on what you hope to achieve with your strategy. Once your goals are set in stone, you can start thinking about investing in the right tools for the job.
3. Get Inside Your Customers’ Heads
To build a growing email list that produces ROI, you need to start a conversation with your customers and get inside their heads. Getting their feedback will give you valuable information on how to cater to their needs and produce more conversions. Sending them surveys regularly will help you gauge how they feel about your brand and how you can improve to cater to them better.
4. Constantly A/B Test and Curate
Constantly A/B testing and curating the content within the email to be personal to the recipient’s business is key. Spending time learning about the business and how you can provide value is the most important aspect to a success email campaign.
5. Create Audience-Specific Content
To build an engaged email list, the first step is to create content that is specific to an audience. I find that it’s better to have a dozen opt-ins over having one generic opt-in. Specific opt-ins will be more likely to attract subscribers who have a specific problem and need a particular solution than having one generic opt-in that is abstract. We have over 50 opt-in entry points on our website.
6. Aim for Clear, Simple Messaging
Create an email that is simple and to the point. If your email goes on and on with a bunch of tasks for the reader and is overly fancy in design, it will doom the success of your email campaign. It needs to be the first step because if you don’t get the messaging right, little else will help you.
7. Create a Relevant Lead Magnet
I think it largely comes down to creating a relevant and appealing lead magnet. It’s important to have an offer that entices people to subscribe, but it’s equally important to get the right kind of subscribers. If the offer is good enough, you’ll get sign-ups but probably not many converting customers. Keeping the offer highly relevant to your products or services helps you build a responsive list.
8. Create a Great Piece of Gated Content
If you are going to build an email list, then you need to have something of true value for them to want to give you their contact information in exchange for. Starting with the white paper, e-book or template that you’ll be offering as the incentive to sign up for the email list allows you to build the content for the email campaign from there.
9. Use RFM to Segment Your List
Segment your email list using RFM analysis. This refers to recency, frequency and monetary value. When you do this, you’ll be able to craft emails that attract customers who bought from you recently, ones who buy often and the ones who bought high-value products. You’ll identify your top customers and offer personalized emails that will induce them to keep buying from you.
10. Leverage Social Media
Like anything else, you want your email list to grow, and nothing does that better than social media. Social media can help you find even more of your target audience. Be sure to incorporate call-to-action (CTA) posts that invite people to join your email list. If you’re a local business owner, you can take this a step further by setting your post to target people in your town, city or state.
11. Use Engaging Pop-ups
A great way to build an email list effectively is to use engaging pop-ups. Pop-ups catch visitors’ attention and bring it back where you want it. It can be difficult to keep users engaged, but pop-ups make it easier to stay focused on your marketing message and encourage users to take action on your website.
How to Get the Most Out of Your List Building Efforts
One of the most important things to remember when building a mailing list, is to not get discouraged by your sign up rates. Every website, blog and brand started from ZERO at one point. And it’s actually this beginning phase of growing a list, that it’s the most fun and exciting!
If you are stuck in your list building efforts, or just starting out, but sure to read through each of the expert tips and recommendations above.