How To Build a Newsletter Audience
Beginning an email marketing campaign can be somewhat tricky, since you need two things to get started. The first is a solid email strategy, the second, a good list of email subscribers. It’s crucial to have the two factors together; a good strategy without a list will stagnate in no time, while a list of subscribers without a solid strategy only causes people to unsubscribe to emails.
Most marketers concentrate on designing email campaigns, focusing on how to code and send campaigns to subscribers, but not too many people many consider the importance of building a list effectively through a set of techniques.
Here are some tactics you can employ to build your newsletter audience to actually put your email strategies to good use.
- 1. Offer an opt-in option at the purchase stage
Your customers are most interested in what you have to offer at the purchase level, that much is obvious So it definitely makes a lot of sense to make it easy for new customers to sign up to your newsletter when they’re about to check out. Fortunately, there are many web apps and buttons designed for this sole purpose, so just take your pick.
- 2. Want signups? Offer high quality content
When it comes to sending and receiving emails as part of a business-to-business campaign, the webinar has shown to be one of the most effective tools to grabbing the attention of business people and turning them into solid contacts.
Yet even for the average Internet users, high quality Web content is one of the best ways to send as much relevant information as possible to an audience. Videos are by far the most popular medium, but don’t be limited to them.
- 3. Don’t forget the basic subscribe form
Having a subscribe form on your website may seem too obvious, but there’s a good reason behind its popularity. Research shows that around a 3rd of email marketers swear by subscribe forms, and they claim that it’s the most effective in acquiring new newsletter subscribers. The key here is to make the form subtle yet grabbing enough to warrant a click.
Tactic #1: Catch new subscribers at checkout
If you’re selling a product or service on your site, providing the option to join your email list during the purchase stage may seem like a bit of a no brainer, but it’s often overlooked. Web apps like Lemonstand and Digital Delivery App make it super-easy to prompt paying customers into signing up, as do these e-Commerce integrations for WordPress, Shopify and more.
Considering that ”90% of email marketers say adding an opt-in request to the purchase process is at least “somewhat effective” at growing email lists”, shouldn’t it be a tactic to make sure you have place in 2012?
Tactic #2: Offer valuable content, get email signups in return
If you send or receive business-to-business (B2B) campaigns, you’re probably aware of the power of the webinar when it comes to educating customers and making contacts. MarketingSherpa’s research backs this up, with 90% of email marketers saying they are at least “somewhat effective” at building lists and 41% saying they are “very effective”. For the rest of us, offering great online content can substantially lift email subscribe rates. In one A/B test, it was shown that featuring a video demo on a contact page could result in 80% more responses!
Keeping in mind that not everyone is a webinar or YouTube star waiting to happen, there’s always the option of having your customers sign up for exclusive content, or a sneak-peek of an upcoming product.
Tactic #3: Slap a subscribe form on your site
Thankfully, one of the most obvious and easy-to-implement tactics is also one of the most effective. It’s no surprise that “75% of email marketers” use a subscribe form on their, or their clients’ site to collect new subscribers. They don’t have to be as subtle as the customary ‘subscribe to our newsletter’ in the corner of a page, as this round-up of inspiring subscribe forms illustrates.
To get started with adding a subscribe form to your site, grab our ready-to-use code in your Automailer account, or check out our collection of subscribe form plugins. We’ve even got a neat little AJAX subscribe form which you can use!
What else can I do to grow my subscriber lists?
As you can see from MarketingSherpa’s results, list-building isn’t limited to the 3 tactics above. Collecting signups in-real-life through events or in-store promotions still ranks highly in the effectiveness stakes, as does collecting email signups through a Facebook page.
Don’t forget that the cornerstones to growing your lists are to stand out, offer value to subscribers and respect permission - once you have these sorted, the sky’s the limit!