There’s a reason why most websites you use want to get their hands on your email. Once they know how to reach you and have your consent to do it, they have free reign to contact you down the line. That kind of reach is something you can’t buy cheaply.
The great thing about email lists is you don’t have to pay for people to sign up for them. All it takes a is a little prodding. The larger your list grows, the more opportunities you have to convert subscribers and get them to return to your website.
In this article, I’m going to talk a bit more about what subscriber lists and email marketing are. We’ll also discuss how building an email list compares to traditional advertising and what you need to to do build one. Finally, I’ll leave you with a few tips to ensure your list keeps growing. Let’s talk emails!
What Are Subscriber Lists (And How They Tie Into Email Marketing)
When a website asks for an email address and you give it to them, it goes into a subscribers list. This is basically a list of emails – alongside some other basic information – they can use to send you promotional messages and news.
Generally speaking, you only give your email away to a site when you’re interested in its content. That means your subscribers, in turn, are probably more receptive to hearing from you than a total stranger would be.
When you’re growing a blog, one of the best things you can do is to start collecting emails right away. I’m not the only one that says this, either. You can create a successful blog without using email marketing. However, that’s like playing basketball with a hand tied behind your back. There’s no logical reason why you should not use all the tools at your disposal to succeed. With that in mind, let me break down why email is such a fantastic tool.
Why Subscriber Lists Are Better Than Other Marketing Methods
There are a lot of ways to get more traffic to your site and market your products. You can work on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), pay for advertising, get backlinks from other sites, and more. An email lists’ power isn’t in helping you get traffic in the first place, but in making the most out of your existing audience.
For example, if you want to promote your latest post or try to get people to download an eBook, your marketing choices are more limited. You can share your content on social media, pay for advertising, or reach out to your subscriber list.
Your email subscribers have already proven to be more interested in your content than other people. All you have to do is gently remind them now and again when there’s something they might want to check out on your website. The best part is you can send as many emails to your subscribers as you want for little to no cost.
Sure, a lot of email marketing platforms will charge you a monthly fee depending on your plan. However, most of the major services also offer robust free plans that support thousands of subscribers and emails for free. If you take cost out of the equation, then there really is no reason why you should avoid email marketing.
What You Need to Build an Email List
You don’t need much to build an email list. It all starts with choosing the right email marketing service. I recently wrote an article with some of my top choices but if you want a quick recommendation, you should go with Constant Contact.
This platform offers a free 60-day trial(if you are in US), so you can test it without breaking the bank. More importantly, it includes all the tools you need to create and grow an email list. That includes, among other things:
- The ability to create email signup forms (the ones that ask your visitors for their emails!).
- A drag-and-drop editor to build stylish email campaigns.
- Analytics so you can check how well your emails are doing.
- Automation features so you can schedule emails in advance and create triggered messages.
- Targeting capabilities, so you can send unique emails to segments of your subscribers.
Once you sign up with your platform of choice, you’ll need to create a sign-up form and add it to your website. Here’s a quick guide that will teach you how to integrate Constant Contact with WordPress, so you can start collecting emails right away.
What the Best Way to Grow Your Email List Is
Once your email list is set up, you shouldn’t just wait for subscribers to fall into your lap. The more emails you get, the more powerful your campaigns can become, so you need to be proactive when it comes to collecting emails.
Some websites go a bit too far in this regard and throw signup forms in your face brazenly. When I enter a site and it hits me with a pop-up signup form, I’m more likely to get angry than to share my email with them. The point is, there are plenty of less intrusive ways to increase email signups, such as:
- Making sure your signup form is easy to spot, by placing it in your sidebar, for example.
- Using contrasting colors to make your signup button stand out.
- Gently reminding visitors why they should sign up within your posts.
- Enticing subscribers with unique content if they leave their emails.
- Using A/B testing to improve your conversion rates.
That last technique is incredibly popular. For example, a lot of blogs use eBooks as a way to hook you into their mailing lists. Naturally, the content must be enticing enough for you to join and then you have a few emails to seal the deal and have them stay around.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m not a fan of popups. However, I’d be remiss not to mention that, in some cases, they can be extremely effective at increasing email signup rates. However, if you decide to take a walk down the dark side and use them, you need to do your best to make them as unobtrusive as possible. One decent option is to use exit popups since they’re not as annoying to most users.
Email lists are powerful tools. The more subscribers you have, the more chances you get to convert some of them every time you send an email. What’s more, some email marketing tools enable you to have thousands of subscribers and send campaigns using free plans, so you have no excuse not to do it.
Once your email list is set up, you can focus on growing it. In most cases, the best thing you can do is ensure they can find your opt-in form without difficulty. Including it in your sidebar, for example, is a great start, but you can also try using exit popups and A/B testing to increase conversions.
Do you have any questions about how to build an email list? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Email credit: Pixabay.