Email marketing is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience, and even though some marketers claim that it’s dead, this advertising method is very much alive and kicking.
For every $1 spent, email marketing generates a $44 ROI, which makes it one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies. However, building a quality email list full of contacts that will find your offers relevant and interesting can be tricky.
Only a properly executed email marketing strategy can be fruitful, which means that buying an email list on the internet is a terrible idea. You’ll most probably end up with tons of corrupt, irrelevant data and defunct or incorrect email addresses.
How to build an email list
Here are a couple of tips that will help you create and grow your email list.
Identify your target audience
This is the most important step and the one that turns out to be the most complicated, as many business owners tend to fail at it. It’s crucial to understand your target audience, to know what their pain points are, and to know how to communicate with them.
There are various techniques that can help you, and creating a detailed buyer persona is one of them. The purpose of these generalized, fictional representations of your ideal customers is to provide you with a deep understanding of your target audience, as well as their problems and needs.
The more you know about your target audience, the better you’ll be able to understand how to attract and keep them. This knowledge is essential when it comes to product development, content creation, and customer service.
After you’ve identified your target audience, it’s time to obtain their email addresses in a non-annoying manner.
As you most certainly know, relevant and useful content is a must for attracting audiences. This means that you should produce lots of great content and offer it to your readers.
According to surveys, companies that publish four or more blog posts a week get almost three and a half times more traffic than those that publish zero or one. Still, this fact doesn’t explain how you can make your readers give you their email addresses.
For example, you can let your audience read only a section of a very interesting article and ask them to register and leave their email addresses if they want full access. Naturally, this can work only if your content is valuable, of high quality, and contains information that your readers will find useful. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, your business blog posts should feature images. Make sure to use high-resolution images — there are many free stock photos that will do the job.
An interesting study from 2005 showed that customers felt obligated to return the favor when offered something for free. This phenomenon, called the reciprocity principle, can be extremely effective for obtaining email addresses.
Although it might seem costly, giving your customers freebies in return for their contact information is actually a very lucrative investment. No matter whether you sell products or services, you can always reward people with discounts, free samples, or coupons.
Another good idea is to ask your existing customers to refer a friend and receive a prize. Creating a free tool is an excellent way to win over prospects. Many people are very eager to give their email addresses if there is an incentive. Building free tools can be a costly and time-consuming task, but you can be sure that it will pay off eventually.
Take advantage of social media
There’s no doubt that it’s much easier to connect with your prospects on social media, as they can simply follow you or like your page without having to provide personal information. So, maintaining a good image on all your social media channels, engaging customers through social media on a regular basis, and posting engaging content is an excellent vehicle for expanding your reach and attracting new prospects.
You can also offer prospects an easy sign-up option through Facebook or LinkedIn. The latter platform has recently become increasingly popular as a lead generation tool. LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms allows you to use its immense professional network to reach out to both prospects and important people from your industry.
You have to be prepared that many people will bounce without converting, which means that you won’t be able to obtain their email addresses. But this doesn’t have to be an ultimate no.
Instead of wasting your time and money on poorly compiled email lists created by means of scraping the internet, build your own list and reach the right people that will be willing to turn into paying customers that build your bottom line in business.
Emma Miller is a digital marketer from Sydney. She works as a blogger, Senior Editor for Bizzmark Blog, and is a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Emma is interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends.
These views are made solely by the author.