Have you ever come across the expression “The money is in the list”? You probably have if you’re running an online business. Emails are probably the best channel out there when it comes to marketing. We know that email marketing is not the shiniest new toy on the scene, but believe it or not, it is still the most potent way of engaging with your prospects, and it’s likely not going anywhere anytime soon.
Although social media may seem like a better option, when you put all your efforts into that, you’re basically building a house on somebody else’s land. You probably remember, on March 13th, 2019, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down across the world. Thankfully those platforms were only shut down for a day, but I believe that the day alone serves as a massive reminder to a lot of business owners and content creators the importance of having an email list.
So, in this article, I’m going to give you all my secret tips, tactics, and strategies to build an email list either from scratch or from a tiny list you have right now.
What is Lead Magnet? Before I explain lead magnet, keep in mind that creating a lead magnet, opt-in, or a freebie is the number one way of building an email list from scratch. Those three words are interchangeable, but the concept behind the idea is – you’re giving away something for free in exchange for someone else to give his or her email. But the first thing I want to address that newsletters are no more relevant in 2020. A newsletter, in most cases, doesn’t really promise anything of value. So, what should you do? We want you to create a flagship opt-in that most of your core audience would care about. That’s your lead magnet or freebie. Your lead magnet or freebie has to be very specific, and it has to answer a question or solve a problem your audience is likely facing. It can be as simple as a PDF – could be a guide or cheat sheet – or you can get more involved with audio or video training. And if you run the kind of business where you can offer a discount of some sort in exchange for an email address, that can work great as well.
Once you have your flagship lead magnet or freebie, it’s time to start thinking about Content Upgrade. Wondering what Content Upgrade is? It’s an additional value you’re adding to your content. It’s a proven method that helps you to grow the email subscriber list by allowing your audience to get a free bonus download directly related to what your readers are consuming from the article or video content. Content Upgrade works when it’s valuable and worthy of your audience’s interest.
You must come up with a buzz-worthy title that’s good enough to entice the audience, and it should offer either a deeper dive into the content or something that complements the content. If you’re applying a content upgrade with a video, you would probably want to talk about it in the video and give the link in the description. If it’s a blog post, you’ll want to have a link within the first few paragraphs of the blog post, so they don’t have to get all the way through it before they find it.
Let’s say you have that flagship opt-in or these content upgrades, but what do you do if you’re not getting enough organic traffic to your site to make it worth? In most cases, if you get a hundred people a day, maybe only one or two of them are going to download it, but that’s not a way to build your email list fast. So, what I would recommend in this case is putting a budget aside for social media ads that’ll go right to your lead magnet.
There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to social media. You need to pick a platform depending on your audience as different demographics tend to use different social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and all other well-established social media platforms come with varied features and characteristics, which separate one platform from the others. You can do some research or consult with experts to find what works best for your business.
Before we get off of the social media ad train here, I want to talk about something that’s cool – Facebook lead ads. It allows you to get the lead without the user ever leaving Facebook. If a user clicks the sign-up button of your lead ad, it automatically pre-populates the user’s name and email. Pre-populated forms enable people to submit their contact information with ease, even on a small screen. Plus, you get to pay a little less for the lead as the user doesn’t have to leave Facebook to submit the email.
However, if you don’t opt for that route and want people to come to a landing page for your lead magnet, you need to be sure that it’s set up in the right way so that it actually converts.
To ensure a higher conversion rate, you need to keep things as simple as possible. It would be best if you only ask for what you need to send those emails. In most cases, that’s just the first name and email address. If you ask for much more than that, they’re much more likely to abandon it, and you don’t get anything.
Another way of ensuring a higher conversion rate is by introducing Exit-Intent Popup. Whether or not you think these popups are annoying, these are known for high conversion. On top of that, it only appears when someone is about to leave the page. So, there is no harm in using an additional technique to retain a visitor who is leaving the site.
You’d want to make it clear that whatever you’re offering to your readers or viewers, it is going to be sent through an email. In this way, you’re much less likely to get a fake email address. Because many people do try that, but if they know it’s being emailed to them, they have no choice but to give you their actual email.
If you want to scale up your business, I would recommend you to use an email marketing software. The most popular email marketing software that many people use, especially beginners who are on a budget, is MailChimp. But there are other excellent email marketing software platforms out there like ConvertKit, Aweber, GetResponse, ActiveCampaign, ClickFunnels, and Kajabi. You may use a few of these tools on trial before you finally purchase one that suits your business goals best.
If you expect great results with your email subscriber list, you must put much effort into building a great one. Don’t hesitate to explore new and creative ways. You have to try and test many approaches before you come up with your email growth strategy.