One of the biggest hurdles you’ll have starting email marketing is building a good subscriber base.
When set up properly, email marketing is a highly effective way to communicate with people interested in your business. With its famously high return on investment and reliable, affordable email marketing software making it more accessible than ever to businesses of all sizes, it’s no wonder that email enjoys such a prominent place in the digital marketing landscape.
But it’s hard to justify using email marketing to grow your business if you don’t have a valid list of subscribers to send your messages to.
So how can your company organically build a list of responsive email subscribers?
First off, you want to make sure you’re asking people to join your list during every interaction. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, it’s common to put up a signup form near the register, then train employees to invite buyers and browsers to fill out the form before they leave. You can also ask clients over the phone if they would like to sign up. Every interaction with your business is another opportunity to get a subscriber.
Do you email a lot of people every day? If so, you should include a link to your signup page in your email signature. The effectiveness of this subtle tactic multiplies when your recipients forward emails from you to colleagues, business partners and other potential subscribers.
If possible, offer an incentive to subscribers to encourage them to sign up. Potential incentives might include free samples of your product or access to some information not widely available, such as a whitepaper, report or MP3 audio of an interview. The best incentive to build your email list will depend on what’s relevant to your audience. People like getting something for free, and incentives have been used to increase signup rates for many businesses’ email lists.
Advertising on printed media is another option. While print media is expensive, there are still some essential printed materials that leave your office that you can advertise on. Whether it’s your business card, a brown paper bag or a receipt, a physical reminder of your website could be the push someone needs to visit your site and fill our your web form. If you send any postal mail to prospects, you can also surprise them by including a handwritten note asking them to join the mailing list, and they’ll appreciate the personal touch.
Finally, don’t forget to utilize social media. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great places to advertise for your mailing list. Share links to your form or to web based versions of the messages you send out, so that interested fans and followers can easily subscribe.
Using any or all of these methods will get you well on your way to developing a strong subscriber base for your business. A strong subscriber base will allow you to use the widespread reach and viral potential email marketing has to offer, allowing you to connect with people in ways that no other marketing medium can.