Though email has been widely used for well over 25 years, it continues to remain one of the most powerful marketing tools in existence. It may not be as “sexy” as some of the newer marketing techniques, such as push notifications and social media, but it continues to be incredibly effective at converting people into paying customers.
We may ignore notifications on social media and screen our phone calls, but we still pay attention to our inboxes. If you can gain access to someone’s inbox, then you have access to their attention, and there are few things more valuable than a person’s attention.
Simply put, if you have a business of any sort, you should be building your email list. Every address on that list represents potential customers and potential dollars in the bank.
The larger your list grows, the more you’ll be able to directly interact with those who are truly interested in your business. Because really, that’s what an email list is. It’s a list of people who have expressed interest in your business.
But building an email list is no simple task. After all, people aren’t just going to give you their email address for no reason. In this eBook, you’ll discover 13 techniques that will help you build your email list rapidly.
Tactic #1: Create Valuable Content
When talking about building an email list, it’s easy to start with tactics like using pop ups. But if you start with tactics, you miss the big picture, and when you miss the big picture, you won’t be able to build your email list very effectively.
So what is the big picture? It’s essential to give people a compelling reason to give you their email address. In other words, first create value. They want to know that the emails they’ll receive from you will add value to their lives.
So how do you show people that you’ll add value to their inbox? By consistently creating compelling content on your website and then promoting that content via email. The content should solve their biggest pain points, dive deep into specific subjects, and answer their biggest questions.
Yes, there will be times when you send out promotional emails about your products or services. But people will be much more likely to sign up for, and stay on, your list if they know they’ll be receiving incredibly valuable, non-promotional content from you on a consistent basis.
In order to create high-value content, you must know your audience. What are their biggest pain points? What sorts of quick fixes and permanent solutions are they looking for? How can you serve them most effectively? How can you guide them and help them through their challenges?
Tactic #2: Create Pop Ups
Email pop up forms are one of the most basic ways to capture email addresses. When you’re on a website, a box pops up, asking you if you want to sign up for the email list. You can either sign up or close out the box. They can be a bit intrusive, but they tend to have relatively high conversion rates.
There are some relatively simple ways to make pop ups less intrusive. First, you can have them only pop up every so often. Second, you can have the email box pop up after a certain amount of time so that it doesn’t immediately interrupt the reading experience on your website.
On your pop up, tell people why they should sign up for your email list. Don’t simply say, “Please sign up for our email newsletter.” Tell them what they’ll get in exchange for signing up for your newsletter.
There are numerous software out there that make it really easy to create beautiful pop-up boxes, including:
Tactic #3: Create A Landing Page
Landing pages are different from pop up boxes in that they are entire pages that exist solely to capture email addresses. In other words, they’re not a box that pops up when a person reads one of your blog posts or visits your home page. They’re a single page designed for the specific purpose of capturing email addresses.
There are several advantages to creating specific landing pages:
You can send people directly to them when they ask how to sign up for your email list.
You can include more information on them than you can on a pop up.
You can create different landing pages for different purposes.
There are numerous ways to create landing pages. You can have someone code one for you. This is probably only necessary if you need very specific customizations done. Or, you can use landing page software to build a landing page. This is the most common and easiest way of building landing pages.
Like pop up boxes, you need to give people a compelling reason to sign up through your landing page. Always be sure to answer the question, “What do they get out of it?”
Tactic #4: Give Away Lead Magnets
A lead magnet is something you give away to people in exchange for their email address. The people are “leads” and the giveaway is a “magnet” that attracts the leads. Almost anything can function as a lead magnet. It simply needs to be valuable enough to convince someone to give you their email address.
Examples of lead magnets include:
Several things to keep in mind regarding lead magnets. Be sure to send the lead magnet as soon as someone gives you their email address. If you make people wait, they’ll probably be upset.
Lead magnets need to be highly valuable. If they’re not, people simply won’t give you their email address.
When writing the copy on the pop up or the landing page, focus on all the benefits that people will get if they download the lead magnet.
Tactic #5: Do A Giveaway
If you’re looking to supercharge your email list building, it’s hard to beat a giveaway. The way it works is really simple: in order to sign up for the giveaway, people must first give you their email address.
You can give away just about anything, from physical products to consulting sessions to digital downloads to anything in between. Really, you’re only limited by your imagination.
The bigger and better the prize, the more likely it is that people will sign up. So when creating your prize package, think bigger and better.
You can use a giveaway platform to make it easy for people to enter and to choose winners. There are numerous giveaway platforms available, including:
Be sure to consult an attorney for the legal wording in your state or country. Each jurisdiction has specific laws regarding prize giveaways.
Tactic #6: Run Facebook Lead Ads
Facebook Lead Ads allow you to give away lead magnets and collect email addresses directly within the Facebook platform. In other words, people can fill out a form and download a lead magnet without ever having to leave Facebook. This can be a tremendously powerful way to build your email list.
Facebook has over 2.5 billion active monthly users. Your can be absolutely sure that you audience is using Facebook on a regular basis. Also, their advertising platform allows you to get hyper-specific in your ads, meaning you can target very specific audiences.
This ability to target very specific audiences allows you to connect with your ideal customer. Instead of filling your list somewhat randomly based on who visits your website, you can fill your list with highly interested prospects.
By using Lead Ads, you minimize the amount of work someone must do in order to get on your email list. They don’t have to go to your website, encounter a pop up, and then enter their email address.
Tactic #7: Utilize Content Upgrades
Content upgrades work like this. First, you create a highly valuable piece of content, such an in-depth blog post. Then, you create an “upgrade” that accompanies that blog post. In order to access the upgrade, people have to give you their email address.
The reason content upgrades work so well for list building is that you’re not interrupting the content experience, like you do with a pop up. Instead, you’re offering something valuable that supplements what they’re already reading.
When creating a content upgrade, it’s critical that the upgrade add additional value to the content they’re already reading. In other words, you need to:
Come at the subject from a different angle.
Cover additional material you didn’t cover in the original content.
Create something that supplements the original content.
One of the easiest content upgrades to create is a checklist that essentially summarizes everything you wrote in the blog post in a concise, easy-to-digest manner.
Tactic #8: Create A Free Tool
Creating a free tool can be an incredibly powerful way to get thousands of new people on your subscriber list. It’s a simple, yet effective, technique. In order to use the tool, people simply have to give you their email address.
For example, CoSchedule created their “Headline Analyzer” tool, which analyzes a blog post headline and then grades it for you. But here’s the catch: In order to access your score, you need to first sign up for their email list.
Many SEO firms will provide a quick SEO audit of a website in exchange for a person’s email address, and many real estate agents will provide an estimate of how much a person’s house is worth.
If you don’t have the technical know-how to develop a tool yourself, you can easily find someone to do it for you on Upwork or Fiverr. When creating a tool, you’re only limited by your imagination. It simply needs to provide a valuable service.
Tactic #9: Create Quizzes
People absolutely love quizzes. It’s why sites like Buzzfeed constantly create quizzes like “Which Harry Potter Character Are You?” Quizzes are also a fantastic way to build your email list. You create a quiz and people simply need to give you their email address in order to get the results.
But here’s the thing with quizzes and list building: the quizzes need to be related to your business in some tangible way. If you create a “Which F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Character Are You?” quiz, you may be able to get a lot of people to take it, but most of these people probably won’t be interested in your business. Your quiz should be closely tied to the objectives, desires, goals, and pain points of your ideal customer.
The main point is that your quiz needs to attract those who are also interested in your products or services. Your goal isn’t just to get as many people as possible to take the quiz. Your goal is to get the RIGHT people to take the quiz — people who want to work with you.
Just as with lead magnets, you want your quizzes to actually add value to the person who takes it. Your goal is not just to get their email address. Your goal is to give them something valuable in exchange for their email.
Tactic #10: Promote Your List On Social Media
Regularly promote your email list across your social media channels. However, when promoting your list, don’t simply say, “Hey, come join my email list!” You probably won’t get many signups if you promote it this way. Instead, give your social media connections a compelling reason to join your list.
How often should you share about your email list on social media? Enough that people know about it but not so much that it feels like you’re spamming. The more value you create on social media, the more likely it is that others will listen to what you have to say.
When your ideal prospect sees you constantly creating valuable content on social media, they’re much more likely to sign up for your email list when you finally ask them.
Tactic #11: Add Social Sharing Buttons To Your Emails
Almost every Email Service Provider (ESP) makes it possible for you to add social media sharing buttons to your emails. You add these to your emails so that people can share your emails with their social media contacts.
By giving people the option to share your emails, you expand your reach beyond just your email list. If people love your content, they’ll share it with friends, coworkers, and more.
Assuming that you’re linking back to your website in your emails, more shares equals more web traffic. And by providing social media sharing buttons, you provide a better experience for those on your email list, making it much more likely that they’ll share.
Craft your emails so that people feel compelled to share the content you’ve created. Most people don’t think of emails this way. They simply bang them out and then send them off to their list without a second thought. However, doing things this way won’t generate many social shares of your emails.
Tactic #12: Add A Link In Your Email Signature
Every email you send is an opportunity to build your email list. The trick is simply to add a link to one of your email list building tactics in your signature.
For example, you could…
Add a link to your signature that invites people to take a quiz you’ve created
Add a link to a landing page where people can download your free eBook
If you have employees, consider having them add something similar to their email signatures. The more people who have it as part of their signature, the more email signups you’ll generate.
Tactic #13: A/B Test Everything
When seeking to build your email list, A/B test everything. A/B testing is simply testing two things against each other to see which performs better. Once you’ve identified which one works better, use that one.
For example, instead of using a single pop up on your website, you could create two and then test them against each other to see which generates the most email signups. Once you determine which one leads to the most email signups, use that one.
With A/B testing, your goal is simply to find what works best and then focus much more heavily on those versions.