What marketing channels do you think deliver the most return?
You might be surprised that Email Marketing is right near the top.
Email is kind of the old kid on the block when it comes to online marketing.
But when you think about it just about every Internet user has an email address. And they usually check it fairly often.
And the other nice thing about email is that it’s pretty straightforward. It’s not complicated to understand. Most people know how to open, view and act on an email.
That’s why it’s still important to work on building your email marketing list.
Now, I know you probably have a sign-up form for the email list on your website or blog. Maybe you have a popup (be careful with these).
But is that enough?
Here are some out-of-the-box ways to build your email list.
1. Connect at Industry Events
You probably meet a number of people at industry events. You probably connect later by phone or by email.
It’s common for people to offer email addresses to each other at events. You have to be careful with these relationships, but they are opportunities to grow your email list.
Start by connecting with a personal email. Follow-up on a conversation you shared with the person.
In your email signature, or directly above it, include a link to your email newsletter landing page where they can read more about what to expect and sign-up. This is often a missed opportunity.
If your a vendor at an industry event, set up a tablet where booth visitors can sign up directly to your list. A paper sign up form works great too but will add more work for you and your team after the event to input.
2. Social Media Profiles
New followers or those that are just checking you out will check your social media profile page.
Normally we just have a sentence or two describing ourselves.
But the really good marketers will add links to their profiles. They might create some kind of content like an ebook and in their profile they’ll put something like:
Want exclusive information on the NFL Draft? Checkout my new ebook.
It’s a great way to build your an audience.
3. Create a Tool
Let’s say you’re a design firm and you have some great photographers on your team.
Well, one thing people online are always looking to use is a great photo.
You can create a “tool” that allows people to use photos you and your team upload for free. The only catch is they have to sign up with their email for full access.
Perhaps you offer small versions for free, but for larger versions the person needs to sign up with their email address.
4. Partner Promotion
Find a complementary business.
For example, you sell shoes. Another person sells shirts.
You have the same target customers.
Talk to each other. Suggest some type of content that each could create that would be appealing to the customers.
You email your list saying that the other business has a really great guide that they can sign up for.
Then have the business do the same for you.
5. Direct Mail
Come on…direct mail is dead, right?
Not even close.
Postcards are pretty cheap and you can buy or rent lists of very targeted businesses and individuals.
You might not get a sale right away (although you can do that too), but you might be able to really entice them with some kind of content.
Send them to a landing page where they can sign up for exclusive content.
People have been using the snippet strategy for a long time.
The idea is that you give people a little sneak peek for free, but to get the full version they need to sign up for something or pay for something.
It’s like seeing a movie trailer on TV. You get a snippet. Then you have to pay to see the full film.
You can do this with all kinds of content and different channels. For example, I’ve seen people put snippets on YouTube and they put a link in the description offering more content if people subscribe to an email list.
7. Create Ebooks Using Existing Content
I just signed up for an email list recently. The reason was that the site was promoting an ebook. I wanted to read the ebook so I signed up.
The tradeoff, which I understand, is that I’ll be on the list and receive future content. And I’m cool with that as long as I always have the option to unsubscribe.
The really cool thing about this ebook was that it was created from existing content.
In this example, the person has a regular podcast. They collected about five transcripts from episodes on the same topic and boom…they had an ebook.
You can do that with all kinds of content: blog posts, videos, podcasts and more.
8. Paper & Pen
That’s right. This is especially a great way for local businesses to increase subscribers.
You probably get lots of foot traffic if you own a local business.
Let’s say you’re a restaurant. Have your staff ask for email addresses from each customer. You will need to offer something like offers or news or something to entice people.
Have them write their emails and you can enter them.
Or you could take it to a more modern approach and have them sign up on an iPad that your team can take around.
9. Signature Link
You probably send a lot of emails each day. You send them to colleagues, partners and more.
These emails include your signature.
In that signature, offer something like an ebook or something that people will find appealing. Have that link go to a landing page where people can sign up for the piece of content and you’ll have permission to email them marketing emails instead of just business correspondence.
Guesting is a term I use for being a guest on other people’s content.
It’s common to be a guest on a podcast, video, blog, etc.
The trick here with getting more subscribers for your list is that when you guest usually are allowed to promote one thing.
Instead of just promoting your website, promote your email list.
At the end of your guest spot say something like:
If your followers like what they’ve heard then the best place to get more information like this is by signing up for my email list. That’s where I share all the best content.
There are the usual ways to get your email list growing. You want to do all those things, but you also need to look for more unusual ways to grow your list. We know it’s important to have an email program. The return on investment is typically high.
Hopefully the ideas above have sparked some inspiration!