It can take some time to build up your email list, but it will be worth it. So take a little effort to give your readers a good reason to subscribe to your emails. Make your offer a gift. Here are 9 Expert List Building Tips for you to get started with.
1. Send out an appealing, worthwhile newsletter
This may sound pretty simplistic, but it is surprising how often business owners forget that your newsletter can be a great way to reach out. You know your business so well, that you forget that there are people who don’t know it all and would be happy to get even a monthly update with tips on how they can do things more easily, efficiently, cheaper, or better. Get into the mindset of your target audience and decide what they would really want to read each week or month. Make your communications a combination of education, solutions, and entertainment, with a little product promotion tossed in for good measure. If your subscribers truly enjoy reading your newsletter and get benefit from it, they will be likely to forward it to their friends and colleagues who are of the same mindset or work in the same arena.
2. Trade advertising and promotion with other businesses
Approach other businesses who publish a newsletter and who sell a relevant product, and suggest that you each advertise the other’s newsletter. This is an effective way to increase your list and both parties benefit.
Remember the motto, Rising Tides Raise all Boats. Work to build a coalition of people who have the same goals in mind and the same target audience.
3. Make subscribing easy and accessible
This is so important. If a reader of your blog has to go through extra steps to subscribe, they are less likely to follow through. Make sure you have a subscription form on every web page of your site. There are now special custom themes for WordPress that are designed with list building in mind. Look at StudioPress.com themes Balance and Generate. Make your form attractive and simple to use. Read my recent article, “6 Best Places for the Email Opt-in Form on Your Blog”
4. Don’t ask too much
Don’t ask your customers for too much information upfront as this may put them off subscribing. A name and e-mail address will be enough to start your e-mail marketing campaign. Do ask them for further details at a later date if you want to make your marketing more specific. Some forms now ask for a cell number but it is not mandatory. Email and Name are the most important in the beginning .
5. Make your request compelling
Give your subscribers a quick one-line summary of what they will be getting in return for their e-mail address. Keep it short and simple, and make sure it is clear. You don’t want to leave any room for misinterpretation.
6. Sharing is caring
Everyone is in the same situation when it comes to content creation. We all are searching for quality information that we can share with our readers and we only have so many hours in the day. Give permission for your subscribers to reprint your newsletter content for their own sites, on Facebook, or in their own emails, as long as they give you credit for it, do not change it, and include a link to a page where people can subscribe themselves. Your newsletter will need to be informative and reasonably entertaining (vs. dry and boring) for your customers to want to do this,
7. Swap Newsletter articles and expert information
Increase your exposure to potential clients and customers by working with other internet marketers in your field that are related to your business without being direct competitors. Offer to trade articles so that you are each printing the other’s article in your newsletter with a link to their opt-in list. Since you are being promoted by someone whom they already are familiar with, your credibility will be enhanced from the beginning. Free advertising is always a nice thing.
8. Ask your subscribers to forward your info to a friend
Encourage your subscribers to forward your emails and newsletters to members of their network that they feel would find it interesting. They may not even think of this unless the see a subtle reminded. Word of mouth is still your best form of publicity, even in an online environment. Make sure to include a subscription form in your newsletter so it is easy for people to subscribe when your newsletter is forwarded to them.
9. Give them something to look forward to
Give them a reason to stay on your list. How about entering your list subscribers into a monthly competition or prize drawing? Make it something that relates to your particular business to keep your list well targeted. Announce the winner of your latest prize draw near your opt-in form or on your squeeze page to show another added benefit of signing up with you.
Craigslist.org receives thousands of visitors each day and you can post a powerful ad announcing your list, some simple details, and a link to your website or squeeze page – for free. Reposting your ad to different cities every few days will keep the response you get high.
I’m sure there are other ideas out there, and my readers include some of the experts in the field of Social Media Marketing. I’d be interested in hearing your ideas on List Building.
And before I forget, Photo Credit goes to Ken’s Oven: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35323150@N02/3389668627/