Marketers talk a lot about email. Why? Email has rapidly become one of the easiest ways to reach prospects, cultivate long-term relationships, and deliver the highest ROI across digital marketing channels. The beauty of email is that you can connect it with your social and search marketing efforts. While email is arguably a top marketing tool, it is only good if you have a viable business list of contacts, which can be a bit of a problem for startups.
Creating Business Lists From Scratch
Before your startup can capitalize on email’s best features, you will need to grow your business lists. How? Through the following five strategic tips you will be able to grow your business lists in both size and value.
Tip #1: Leverage The Power Of A Good Old Fashioned Opt-In Form
You spent the time creating a great website, now it’s time to put it to good use. If you want to grow your business lists, then you can’t downplay your email signups. Instead, you need to make your opt-in form a prominent portion of your site.
Your email opt-in form should have more digital Real Estate than your social media buttons. Why? Social media followers are an important part of growing a business, however you don’t “own” that list in the same way you “own” your email list. For example, Facebook often decides when your followers will see your content, Twitter is a constant stream, and unless you are running a modeling agency, it is easy to get lost on Instagram amongst all of the constantly updated celebrity accounts. You do “own” your email lists in the sense that you decide exactly when and how you want to contact those followers. So, place your opt-in form where it can be seen and used.
Tip #2: Make It Easy For Followers To See The Value Of Your Marketing Emails
If you want to grow your business lists, then you need to ensure that your emails provide value. Your visitors shouldn’t be left wondering, “to give out my email, or not to give it out, that is the question.” Instead, they should be thinking, “it’s definitely worth it to receive emails from <insert your company’s name.>”
Establishing the value proposition of your emails begins by publishing content on a regular basis. For example, your blog posts should deliver valuable content that entices visitors to sign-up for updates. Remember that when a visitor signs-up for your blog updates, you have added a new email to your growing business lists. Guest blogging and tying in your content creation efforts with the right social media channels can also help you to more effectively establish the value of your emails.
Tip #3: Write A Stellar White Paper
Building your business list can be a bit of an exchange process. For example, in return for an email address, your new customer, prospect, or website visitor might receive a white paper. Instead of offering an immediate download option for the white paper. Tell visitors that the white paper will be sent to the provided email as a downloadable PDF. In this way, you can use email tracking to determine the real-time actions of the latest additions to your business lists.
The white paper exchange tactic only works if the published work is worth the read. In other words, the white paper should help to establish your status as an authority or industry expert. It can also be used to show your prospects how they can resolve a problem or make an important business decision. Keep in mind, that your white paper should also be relevant to your intended audience. Whether you are focused on B2B or B2C sales, you need to ensure that your white paper is well-written, factual, engaging, and most importantly, worth the price of an email address.
Tip #4: Run A Contest For Readers
A well constructed contest is a great way to keep audience members engaged. Trivia, user voting, and user generated content are all great ways to encourage participation. The best part? You can run the contest on multiple publishing platforms, including social media. In addition, you should encourage your audience to share the contests with their networks. Just remember that you must provide value to your audience in exchange for their email addresses. Whether you choose to offer the reward of publishing that is inherent to user generated contests or you want to offer a more tangible prize, such as a gift card, your audience need to appreciate the value that the contest offers.
Tip #5: Strategically Use Social Networks
While it is true that if you want to be successful on social media, then you need to use more than one network, the same can’t be said for growing your business lists. You must understand your ideal customer before you can identify which social networks to use for business list growing. For example, LinkedIn is a great place to build a following and grow your business lists if you are in B2B sales. However, Twitter might be more effective if you are looking to target a niche industry that wants to receive more than your witty 120 character or less updates. No matter which social network you choose, remember to display your company URL in your profile. After all, if you successfully completed Tip #1, then your social media followers will visit your site and discover your opt-in form prominently displayed and waiting for those vital email addresses.
Through the above five tips your startup will be able to more easily grow its business lists. Remember that growing your business list is only step one. The final step is to create engaging content that resonates strongly with your followers, so that they will encourage their networks to sign-up and use your startup’s products or services.