Chris is the Head of Operations and a Growth Marketer at Lean Labs who enjoys strategizing and writing content that drives results. When not typing away, Chris is exploring nature with his two daughters, wife, and dogs.
Are you struggling to add emails to your list?
While many businesses fight to increase engagement rates, there are still those who don't have enough members for the data to even be meaningful.
Some companies will purchase lists, but that does no good. Without customers wanting your product or services, they're not going to engage. All they'll do is inaccurately lower your engagement rate.
You see, to get your list growing is one thing. To get it growing with an active audience is another. But, if you can follow some proven techniques, your email marketing will take off.
Grow Your Email List And Engagement Rates Together
If you want to grow your list, you need to build a strategy. Throwing one together and hoping consumers will flock to your sign up form is a wasted prayer. The only way to get after it is with a plan.
How creative you get with that plan is up to you. Some companies develop extensive offers to draw in subscribers; others just provide so much valuable material that people feel a need to join. The plan is yours, but without following these critical techniques, you're going to have slower growth than if you did.
1. Create Awesome Lead Magnets
The lead magnet is what's going to entice someone to join your list. For many, this is put on the "squeeze page," so whether someone buys your product or not, they've subscribed to your list, so you'll be able to readdress them later.
Finding the best lead magnet for your audience can be tough, but if you've put thought into your buyer personas, it'll be easier. By addressing what problem your audience has, you'll be able to generate countless ideas. For example, if you're selling dog grooming supplies, a good lead magnet could be "The Owner's Guide to Dog Coats" where you discuss the various breeds and the types of coats they have. Compared to the old fashioned, "here's our catalog," this offer is sure to attract more subscribers because it focuses on the customer, not your product.
You can also make multiple offers, so you have material that appeals to everyone. Some of your customers may care more about nail maintenance on their pups, so you could create a guide for that, or even a video showing them how to safely manicure their claws. The more specific the offer, the better it will perform.
The most important thing to do when having multiple offers is to segment your list. It's exciting to gain a lot of new subscribers, but if they're not segmented and start receiving emails that aren't relevant to them, they'll quickly unsubscribe. Provide value to get them on the list, and continue to do so after they've given you permission to market to them.
2. Develop an Epic Landing Page
While a landing page doesn't necessarily get you traffic fast on its own, if you promote the page on different platforms, it can be a huge benefit to your speed strategy. It's also necessary for encouraging your audience to sign up.
Landing pages give you a chance to show what you actually provide, so the people who find it useful are more likely to join and engage with your emails. Because your offers are going to be specific, you can adjust each to be aesthetically pleasing, concise, and valuable to a set audience.
Simply titling a page, "Free eBook," isn't as effective today as it was five years ago. Some people will still want to download the offer, but by adding a story to the hook, you'll be far more successful because they can connect with the emotional reasoning. Also, that connection encourages them to be part of your list for more reasons than the single transaction, increasing your engagement rates per customer.
If you can maintain a customer-centric marketing approach, you'll find your email list explodes in growth.
3. Focus on Your First 100 Subscribers
The first 100 subscribers are the hardest to get. To start, reach out to your friends and acquaintances who are familiar with the industry you're working in. You could also include people who you think would benefit from your product. Either way, the idea is that asking Mom to join your list doesn't do anything for you. Her feedback will be biased and uninformed, and therefore, useless. Sorry, Mom.
For everyone else, ask for their thoughts on the first few emails. Tell them to be brutal. You want to get as much critical feedback as you can so that the emails you're sending out really hook your audience, leaving them wanting more. As a side benefit, those who assist with feedback are going to feel more connected to your brand and may support you by encouraging others.
That's the ultimate goal with this group. Build a share-worthy email, and if they like it, ask them to share. Just be sure to make the email worth them blasting out to friends, so they're happy to share and not embarrassed.
4. Have a Strategy for Your Next 1,000
Once you have your first 100, you're in business, but the next 900 still won't be easy. This is where you need to work hard at driving traffic to your landing pages. The approach shifts from a "burst capture," where you're trying to get any individual you can, to a steady growth approach, where you're able to increase your list without going out of your way to entice a single person.
Every blog post should be outfitted with a CTA that drives them to one of your offers. A priority with this strategy is that the content has to be relevant to the offer you want them to subscribe from. If the offer doesn't match the content, no one is going to click the CTA, and if for some reason they do, your segment is going to say they prefer a topic they're not actually interested in.
Adding links around your site and social profiles is another way to gain subscribers. A pop-up on your homepage or a CTA in the sidebar of other pages can grab someone's attention, and if they're interested, you may catch them at the right time.
5. Create a Mind Blowing Newsletter
We've touched on how the newsletter needs to valuable, but after your list starts on the growth path, it's more important than ever. Organic marketing requires word of mouth for a lot of things, and your email list is no different. If you can create content that's so valuable that your audience has to share, your list will grow exponentially.
To make it valuable, it has to be relevant, and your audience needs to gain something from the interaction. If you're pitching a product every email, they'll quickly lose interest. It's ok to offer a product every so often, in fact, your audience expects it. They understand you're a business. But, if you treat them only like sales opportunities, they won't be happy.
Because it can be hard to come up with new email ideas for your audience, consider repurposing the content you've already created. A blog post or video can be an excellent way to offer material without spending loads of time generating new content.
You also have the option of curating. Take Tim Ferriss's Five Bullet Friday email newsletter. It's published once a week and has five topics from things in his life. He writes a small bit about each, but if the audience wants more, they can click the link to explore it. You can easily fit this style to any niche you work in.
6. Promote Your List
At any time during the process of growing your list, you should have a sharing strategy.
In your list's starting stages, the easiest method is to share on social media. This can be invitations to subscribe, of you can publish the actual email inside a post so people can decide for themselves if it's something they're interested in. Similarly, you can blog about your list and share those posts where ever your audience congregates.
Morning Brew's referral system.
Often underused approaches include referral programs and giveaways. These are excellent ways to quickly boost your list's numbers and reach new members. Depending on how the programs are set up, however, could leave you with a lot of inactive members that actually hurt your engagement rates.
Build an Email List You're Proud Of
While you're focused on growing your list as fast as you can, keep in mind, you're playing the long game. The initial jump in membership is nice to get the ball rolling, but your approach has to be sustainable, otherwise, your other marketing efforts may fail.
By focusing on providing value to your audience and delivering relevant content, the odds of them sharing your list grows dramatically. From there, it just takes patience and consistent effort to maintain your membership rate. If you can do that, you'll have a list that's engaged and looks forward to your emails.
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