Category : Digital Marketing Consulting
Building email lists for small businesses is an inexpensive but effective strategy to grow your business. Here are eight ways that you can build email lists to grow your small business.
1. Create compelling content
Why would anyone want to give you their email address, especially in a time when inboxes are bombarded with tens of hundreds of emails daily?
People only give away their email addresses when they believe you add value to their life. And one of the greatest ways to add value to anyone’s life is to give them content that resonates.
Think about it, have you not signed up for newsletters from publications like The Washington Post, Forbes, or maybe Medium?
We do this because we value the news these outlets provide, and we want to stay informed.
Similarly, if you want to build your email list, you have to create content that people care about, content that makes their life easier, provides solutions, and even entertains.
The first step in creating compelling content is having a clear picture of who you’re writing for. For example, if your business revolves around selling digital design solutions, you have to know what sort of people want design solutions, are they college students or small businesses? Do they want a quick fix or are they looking for permanent solutions? Where do they live? What sort of income do they have?
Asking such questions lets you create buyer personas: an ideal fictional person who represents your target customer. And when you have that image in mind, you can design content which is suited to their lifestyle and their problems.
Now when you know who you’re writing for, you should create content that caters to their lifestyle, interests, and problems.
You’ve basically set-up a basic funnel where the top of funnel journey starts when a visitor reads your compelling content. Those who fall in your target audience bracket will naturally relate with your content, taking them down the funnel, and increasing the chances of people subscribing to your mailing list.
2. Run a promotion or contest
Again, getting email addresses is all about providing value and offering incentives. One of the easiest and most straightforward ways of incentivizing people to share their email addresses is to run a contest. People love winning, especially when all you need to stand a chance to win is share an email address.
There are a lot of formats you can use to hold a contest:
- A photo contest where people share their best travel/food/pet/selfie photo.
- A video contest where people share funny fails/their best skating tricks/a song cover etc.
- A contest where people share their favorite poem, a short story, or a funny anecdote.
- A sweepstakes format where people just have to enter email addresses to participate.
Once you’ve settled on the format, you need to decide what prizes you’ll give out.
Cash giveaways are an obvious option, but you will benefit more from setting up a contest that directly relates to your business. That way, if a participant is interested in the prize, they’re likely to be an ideal customer.
If you know your target audience, you can set up the prize in a manner will be most appealing only for that segment. For example, if your business sells eco-friendly sneakers, the obvious option would be to give away a pair of the latest sneakers from your line of products. A cheaper and still relevant prize could be recycled coffee mugs, handcrafted jewelry, or organic cotton activewear.
3. Provide lead magnets
Lead magnets are, as you can guess from the name, offers that you give to potential customers in exchange for personal information like email addresses. Lead magnets are a good way of raising awareness and connecting with prospective customers who haven’t heard of your brand.
Prize giveaways, mentioned in the previous section, are one example that fall under the umbrella of lead magnets. Here are a few other examples of lead magnets:
- Cheat sheets
- Product samples
- Discount coupons
- Free trials
- Case studies
- Premium content
While creating lead magnets, there are couple things you should keep in mind to design an effective lead magnet:
1. Most people end up signing up for lead magnets when they are looking for a quick answer to some problem they have. Make sure that as soon they give you their email address, you send them an email with the promised content or an email that confirms that what you committed is on its way.
2. Your lead magnet should be perceived as highly valuable or people will hesitate to provide their email addresses. Make sure the copy surrounding the lead magnet is sharp and it succinctly explains the promised value.
Read more How to use email to get customers
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