As a small business owner or entrepreneur, email marketing can be your bread and butter. Sure, social media marketing is flashy and trendy right now. But good old-fashioned email is THE most effective online marketing technique. The Direct Marketing Association reported that in 2012, email marketing had an ROI of $40 for each $1 spent.
“Yeah, yeah,” you say, “email marketing is great, but there are two huge challenges… building a list of prospects and figuring out what to say all the time!”
And you’re right, building a great prospect list isn’t always easy, but here are eight quick tips to take the edge off (and we’ll get to the content issue in a future newsletter).
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many signup forms are waaaay down at the bottom of the page with no striking graphics or clear call to action. Get your form up at the top of the page (so people don’t have to scroll down to see it) and make it distinguishable!
Remember that guy who bugged you enough that you finally went out with him? Take something valuable away from that experience: persistence and repetition pays off! Don’t just put a trigger on one page, put it on every page. Put it on your blog, put it on your “About You” page, put it on your shopping page and your checkout page and… you get the point.
From Powerball to Bingo to throwing business cards in a fishbowl for a free lunch, people love contests! Offer a prize for anyone who signs up for your email list. It doesn’t even have to be something big – people just like the possibility of winning.
Instead of just awarding one contest winner a prize, EVERYONE GETS A CAR. Well, maybe not a car, but 10% off a product or a free widget or ebook will do nicely.
Ask for forwards
If you’ve been sending out quality content, and you ask very, very nicely for people to send your emails on to their friends and family, chances are they will. You could even explain that there will be an incentive when they pass it on to their network. Everyone likes sharing a good deal with their friends.
Be on Facebook
Put your signup form on your Facebook business Page. If you’re engaging with your customer base on Facebook (and you should be!), encourage shares (nicely). Other good networks: Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Keep it simple
Don’t make them give you their mother’s maiden name, social and date of their first kiss; potential contacts will quit signing up midway through the form. Just ask for first/last and email. You can get the rest later.
Let them preview past newsletters
Put your past email newsletters on your website – it will assure people that they won’t get self-indulgent, overtly promotional crap from you. They’re getting email gold! This also gives potential subscribers a chance to preview and be tantalized by the awesome content you’re about to lay on them.
OAP User of the Week – Cindy Laverty
Cindy Laverty left a lucrative career in marketing to nurse her dying father-in-law. She used that unique experience to begin a business coaching family caretakers. In the beginning, she had a “crappy website,” no online products and a tiny email list. Within a year, she had an awesome website (full disclosure: designed by our Concierge Services Department), ebooks and a membership site. AND she grew her email list 1000%. Now that’s smart marketing.
ONTRApeep of the Week – Sam Flegal
Concierge Services Manager Sam makes sure clients are 100% taken care of during their full-service account building and management experience. In this video, one of ONTRAPORT’s first employees shares what he loves about ONTRAPORT, what he’s excited about for the future… and that he has a gigantic head. Literally (and maybe metaphorically, too).
Tell us: what techniques have you found effective to build your email list? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, find us on Facebook or tweet @Ontraport.