Email marketing has been tried, tested, and proven to be an effective and cost-efficient means of connecting with prospects and existing clients.
According to a study by the Direct Marketers Association, "for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42".
That is music to the ears of any business. But, if this is the case, why aren't all businesses using this goose that is laying the golden eggs? And if they are using email marketing, why do they still run into losses? The answers to these questions could very well lay on their mailing list, which is the basis for any email marketing campaign.
Building one's mailing list can be a grueling process. An email list is a list of names and emails gathered by a business for purposes of marketing through newsletters containing information, promotions, updates, discounts, and any other details concerning your business.
Once you get a hold of any email, you need to ascertain its validity and you can do that through tools such as Finder.io. What's more, such tools enable users to gather data about the owner of the email address, which will help you send personalized emails to your audience. This is an important aspect of email marketing as email blasts are no longer an option. Today, savvy marketers are aiming to deliver targeted and personalized email campaigns to optimize the experience of their subscribers.
It's recommended that you clean up your mailing list regularly. This cleanup, as the name suggests, entails removing clients that are disengaged with your emails for one reason or another. Such emails work against your marketing efforts as they will cost you time and money, you risk losing your reputation as subscribers are likely to report you as spam and you will run campaigns that will yield little to no conversions.
Benefits of building an email list
It gives you direct access to your prospects without limitation, and a chance to generate leads and work on converting them to your brand.
Email is personal and private and will allow you to engage on a personal level in your prospects' inbox. Since it is one-on-one, your subscribers can ask questions and make inquiries, helping build trust and connection.
Email is targeted. The fact that your audience has signed-up shows their level of interest, and you now know what they like. Armed with this data, you can tailor and deliver highly relevant targeted content.
More people use emails than any other platform and check their emails about 15 times a day, every day, making it the most effective mode of communication.
With a list of people interested in your product, you can use email as a platform to conduct surveys to collect data about their preferences and level of satisfaction with your product and services.
More effective marketing schedule. It is daunting to try to create marketing campaigns when you have no idea whom you are communicating with, and how to reach them. Armed with an email list, you control who, when, and how to contact your prospective leads.
Focus on potential leads. Email subscriptions enable you to segment users according to their demographics and preferences through the information you collect from sign-up forms. This way, you can focus on each according to their areas of interest and develop a strategy to keep them engaged and convert them into loyal customers.
Increase in revenue. Every entry on the email list is a potential lead. Personal communication through email gives you a higher chance of converting them and making them purchase your products.
Tips for building an engaged email list
You do not need a large list, but a healthy, powerful engaged list that wants to hear from you and will eventually convert.
To ensure your list is engaged, consider the following tips:
Ensure that every subscriber explicitly requests to be on your list and chooses to be on your mailing list. This is known as permission-based marketing. As tempting as it is to use shortcuts and purchase lists, you will not achieve your desired results.
2. Using sign-up forms
Sign-up forms are permission-based and the easiest tactic for collecting email addresses. Since is it permission-based, subscribers are giving consent to receive emails from you, and you are therefore assured of their interest and engagement.
3. Correct information
Collecting the right data about your potential subscribers right from the beginning is crucial to how you will communicate with them. Ask the right questions in your sign-up forms but keep it short because form fills decrease when there are too many fields to be filled.
4. Valuable content
By asking the right questions, you can collect the right data about your subscribers and therefore segment them. Segmentation is the practice of separating email lists based on their demographics such as geographical location, age and gender, and preferences as newsletter topics, discounts, and events.
5. Check the health of your list
Keeping an email list healthy means ensuring all your subscribers are verified and are engaging with your content.
To do so, you first need to validate their email addresses which can be done using an email verification tool like Finder.io or using double opt-in, requiring them to click a link in their email for verification. Another way to keep your list empty is to monitor key engagement metrics such as open rates, click-through rates (CTR), and conversion rates, and also keep an eye on where you acquire your most engaged subscribers and boost your efforts there.
6. Re-engage old contacts
It costs five times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. Instead of continuously sending emails to inactive subscribers, and not getting a response, take a different approach and launch a reactivation campaign by sending re-engagement emails. Ensure re-engagement emails have different content than before containing a relevant offer. Re-engaging old contacts is 50% cheaper than investing in the conversion of new visitors into your email list.
Actionable tips to find an email address to build an email list
1. Develop and Optimize CTAs
Collecting relevant information is important, you, therefore, need to design a subscription form that will help you collect this information. One way of optimizing a CTA is by personalizing it. Personalized calls-to-action doubles your subscription and has a higher view-to-submission rate than calls-to-action that are the same for all visitors.
Placing content in your CTAs that your audience can relate to, like an e-book relating to their interest, will feel helpful and valuable, which are key aspects in customer retention.
Another way to personalize your CTA is to include humor and personalize it. For example, instead of using "yes" or "no" links in your CTA, try using "no, thanks, am all right" or "yes please, sign me up now.". These will incentivize the audience to hesitate before automatically clicking no, to avoid being spammed with emails.
A better way to optimize your CTA is to describe the value in them. Attach value to your customers giving up their email addresses like an ebook, access to a new product, tutorial videos, unique content, downloadable reports, and many more. Your audience needs to feel you are offering something exclusive and that your emails will be delivering unique content. Instead of using "Sign-up now" which is common and spells junk mail, try "Access all our exclusive offers" OR "Download our exclusive ebook now".
You can optimize your CTA by strategically including it in your landing pages, blog posts, and about us page. About us page is one of the most potent pages which has high conversion potential. A well-designed about us page will prompt visitors to want more, and having a CTA right there will encourage them to sign up. Landing pages are discussed in detail below.
2. Leverage robust email finder tools like Finder.io
With a powerful email finder tool, you will have access to hundreds of email addresses at the click of a button. Such email finder tools come with best-in-class technology to help you not only find email bulk addresses, but also verify the details of your prospects, including their email address, company, job title, etc. Such details will complement you sales efforts as well as get the conversation started with your prospects.
3. Provide lead magnets
Effective lead magnets are a good way of attracting subscribers and raising brand awareness. They are incentives or offers you give to potential customers in exchange for their email addresses. The lead magnets should be perceived as so highly valued that the audience will be curious to attain them and therefore not hesitate to sign up. Most of your audience will sign-up for your lead magnets as a quick fix for their problem but unsubscribe if you do not deliver or after getting what they want. To keep their interest alive, be sure to deliver on your promise and continue to offer more high-value content.
“According to Shounak Gupte, "A lead magnet is at the center of a brand's #emailmarketing strategy. By offering a useful resource that helps solve a problem, you attract the right prospects.”
4. Use pop-up forms
Pop- up forms are meant to grab the immediate attention of your website visitors and have a high conversion rate.
According to research by Sumo, the top 10% highest-performing pop-ups average a 9.28% conversion rate. They have a link prompting the visitor to subscribe with their name and email address. They are most effective when they accomplish the goal of catching the interest of the visitors, otherwise, they will be perceived as annoying.
To make them less intrusive, make your visitors invested in your content first before presenting them with a subscription or survey pop-up. You can employ the use of automated timers and lightbox models so that they appear only after a visitor has been on a page for a specified amount of time. The University of Alberta used a timed pop-up survey to grow its email subscription list by almost 500% in one year alone. While creating pop-ups, you have to learn what your visitors are interested in and where they came from in their browsing history, then create a pop-up with an appealing offer. This is known as onsite re-targeting, a conversion optimization technique.
5. Create more landing pages
Landing pages are CTA pages developed as part of a marketing strategy to collect email addresses. Creating several personalized landing pages that cater to the individual interests of everyone visiting your website will get you more subscriptions. Adverts and lead magnets are considered top-of-funnel activities while landing pages are the bottom-of-funnel which could either lead to conversion or abandonment. To make their design captivating:
- Use a single prominent CTA button.
- Use a minimum number of links to maintain attention on the CTA button.
- Use white spaces and contrast to increase focus on the CTA.
- Use a customer-centric copy.
- Use clear language to explicitly state the value of the offer presented.
- Group similar elements together to improve the user experience.
- Split-test landing pages to attain the best results.
After creating your landing pages, you can re-route your adverts on Facebook or Google to direct visitors to these landing pages from where you can build your email list.
Other actionable ways to collect email addresses include:
- Gating your content. Gating content is an age-old lead generation technique used to collect email addresses. Gated content includes webinars, guides, and ebooks. When creating gated content, consider assets to the gate, at which stage of the funnel to gate and how to use them to grow subscribers.
- Leveraging your social media channels. Aside from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Snapchat can be used to build an email list. You can pitch an email newsletter on any of these platforms where you have a following and start to receive subscriptions.
Building an email list should not be a daunting task especially with robust tools such as Finder.io that help you to find and verify the validity of the accumulated mailing list. Once you have your mailing list, it is recommended that you do regular clean-ups.