A large, quality mailing list is often one of the most valuable assets that any small business can have. It takes a lot of time and effort to build such a list, but the rewards make it very much worthwhile. There is no substitute for building an engaged audience for your email marketing campaign whereby you achieve a situation where your subscribers actually look forward to hearing from you.
Ask for Less
It’s no secret that the average Internet user is short on patience and has a very low attention span, particularly once they see that you are trying to sale something. No one is going to want to fill out a long-winded form just to sign up to your mailing list. Instead, you should initially ask only for the email address and the name of the subscriber so that you can address your emails in a more personal manner. Don’t ask for any additional information, unless it is essential to do so.
While you should never attempt to pressurize your target audience into signing up to your email newsletters, it is important to integrate email into every area of your digital marketing strategy. Provide a clear and convenient signup form on your blog and website as well as on any other online portals you use, such as social networks or public forums. Don’t forget to seek out subscribers offline as well, at events such as trade fairs or business meetings.
Being surrounded by advertising everywhere they look, no one wants to voluntarily sign up just to have yet more promotional content flood their inboxes. You’ll need to make every effort to offer an outstanding value proposition that makes potential subscribers stop and think and decide that they want to hear from you on a regular basis. Whether it’s a special offer targeted towards new subscribers or excellent content that either helps or inspires your readers, a clear value proposition is a must.
Social media is one of the core elements of any digital marketing strategy and, as such, you should integrate social features into your email newsletters. Just as you should do with your blog or website content, make sure to include social sharing and forwarding buttons in your email newsletters. Any decent email marketing service should provide this feature for you, and you’ll be able to track shares and forwarding to garner essential insights into the performance of your campaign.
If your business has a fairly broad reach, you’ll need to segment your target audience so that the right content gets to the right people. After all, sending irrelevant content will quickly lead to people unsubscribing. For this reason, you may want to have multiple email newsletter campaigns, in which case you can provide a list of options, accompanied by checkboxes, when people sign up for the first time. These options will allow your visitors to choose what sort of content they want.
Building a quality mailing list is only a part of the battle when it comes to succeeding with email marketing, but it is the most important step of all. However, in order to hold on to your subscribers, you’ll need to strive to provide excellent content in the form of exclusive promotions as well as interesting and engaging material that is not solely promotional in nature.