No matter how big social media grows, and no matter how good your content, there is nothing quite like a clever, targeted email campaign to grow business. Email marketing is great for getting specific, detailed information out there, for introducing customers to a new product line, nurturing leads, or providing excellent after-sales service.
In our last article, we spoke about making sure your targeted email campaign is crafted in such a way as to make sure it reaches the intended inboxes – but that all hinges on having an up-to-date, relevant email marketing list. Let’s take a look at how to collect email addresses for email marketing campaigns that work.
1. Signing up
This is one thing that both social media and building your online content are amazing at – enticing people to sign up. Offer people as many opportunities as possible to subscribe – your blog, YouTube channel, Facebook page, at the end of your online order form, or a regular newsletter (among others) – and they will give you their email addresses to start an email marketing list. When getting them to sign up, though, make it super clear that they will receive email marketing and give them the option to opt out; nothing gets you sent to spam faster than unexpected and unwanted email marketing.
The reason this works for email list building is that people are effectively opting in. They understand what they’re doing and they are actively choosing to participate in your marketing efforts – in other words, they actually want to hear from you because the recognize that you have something to offer them that they want.
NB: If someone clicks that “unsubscribe” button, make sure their name is removed from your database. There’s nothing wrong with keeping a record of reasons for unsubscribing, or monitoring how much drop-off you get following a campaign, but do not send that same person any more emails.
2. Offer freebies
Collecting email addresses legally and ethically, not to mention effectively, involves gathering addresses of people who have expressed an interest in your company or industry, and keeping the list up to date. One of the quickest ways to grow your email address lists is to offer potential clients something useful for free, and ask for their email address to send it to them. These kinds of freebies can be anything from tutorial videos to short e-books to joining you for a live webinar. Any email addresses you gather this way will be hot leads, as well as being up to date.
3. Make your content exclusive
Giving away some enticing content for free is a great way to reel people in, but to really get them actively interested and involved – and help you build an email list – is to gate some of your content. For example, if you write a how-to blog post with a few tips, you could include a link to a more detailed article on your website that goes in-depth into the information, but which requires the reader to sign in.
4. Use social media to your advantage
Facebook ads, Twitter links and promos, and even LinkedIn content can be used to your advantage in generating email lists. By creating interesting and engaging content that grabs their attention and also asks them to register, you are creating a solid, hot database of leads. Remember, though, you need to be active on social media to generate interest. If all you do on social media is fish for leads, people won’t be interested enough to click through.
5. What not to do
Nobody wants spam. People hate spam so much that there are laws in place around the world to regulate how email addresses may be collected. Nobody likes it, nobody reads it, and using techniques that end up spamming your potential customers will irritate them and drive them away. Even worse, the more people add your emails to spam boxes, the more easily servers all over the world start recognizing your domain as a spam sender, and suddenly nobody is receiving your emails, no matter how legitimate they are.
So here are a few don’ts:
- Don’t send people email unless they’ve agreed to receiving email campaigns.
- Don’t buy or rent email lists that haven’t been checked for relevance and legitimacy.
- Don’t make your unsubscribe button as tiny and difficult to find as possible – this will land you in the spam folder.
It may seem like there are hundreds of ways to collect email addresses for email marketing, but all of the legitimate ones break down into one of two methods – either convincing people to opt in, or by maintaining good, clean data. In fact, it’s often a combination of both. Whether you’re collecting email addresses on a sign-up sheet in your retail locations, getting people to opt in online, or collecting business cards, your database always needs to be up to date and include people who want to hear from you.
Have you had any bad experiences with email lists that ended up being more trouble than they were worth? Let us know in the comments.
Want help gathering clean data and keeping it up to date? Enter your details below and we’ll be in touch.