Getting opt-ins for your mailing list on your website should be your number one priority for your website and your businesses growth. Having a mailing list gives you the option to have a captive audience in which you can entertain, educate, and market products and services to. If things such as ad revenue aren’t enough to satisfy your bottom line, email marketing could very well be the answer. You may hear internet entrepreneurs say “email marketing is dead” but nothing could be further from the truth, it’s only just getting started.
If you haven’t started setting up your email listing yet there are plenty of options to choose from. Some popular options are aWeber and Mailchimp. I don’t endorse either but they have free options which generally should be all you need to get started. Which ever service you end up using shouldn’t matter in the long run unless you have a feeling of huge success, in which case you’ll want to look at the mailing limits in their plans and compare prices.
The main way to get someone to opt-in to your mailing list is to provide something of value to them. This is why on so many websites there is a pop-up offering some kind of freebie to you for giving them your email address. You need to find your own way to replicate this.
Whatever you are offering them is worth less than their email address. Don’t forget this, yet also be encouraged by it. I’m not saying whatever you will be offering them isn’t worth it, I’m just emphasizing the value of an email address. In an internet structure where we throw around the term “funnel” all the time this should come as no surprise.
When you have an email list, you can send out a newsletter promoting a product or service. If you send this to 2,000 people, maybe only 600 of those people will bother opening the message. Of those 600 people maybe only 10%, 60 people, will actually click through to the promotion on your website. At this point, you will be lucky if 10%, 6 people, actually purchase your offer or product. This cycle is the magic of the funnel.
That is why it is so important to grow your mailing list. The more people that are in your audience, the more people in that audience will make a purchase from you. The funnel just happens to paint the whole process very simplistically. Makes sense, because it is a very simple theory, just hard to execute.
You need to make a plan and put it into action. The first step if you haven’t done so already is to sign up for an email service. The next step is to get serious and decide what you are going to offer for free for an opt-in and decide what your are going to mail out to build a bond with your audience.
Give yourself some homework if you want this to work for you. Draw up a blueprint of what you are going to offer users in exchange for their email address. Whatever time, energy, and/or money that you put into this now will pay off later. This can be a number of things, a guide, or maybe an app, or another type of download. The sky is the limit, just pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be discouraged if your first opt-in incentive doesn’t work, mine sure didn’t.
There are all types of freebies you can give away in exchange for an opt-in, get creative. PDFs or eBooks are a common choice, though they don’t always perform well. If it’s in the budget, some kind of app is a great option. If it’s a membership website you’re running you can offer a trial service. Leave it to imagination, many things will probably work for you, but a lot of things wont.
Now that your email list is hopefully growing, build it a regular schedule and commit to it. If you decide you’re going to send out an email to your list every Tuesday, do it, even if you only have nine subscribers. No matter the size of your list, you don’t want it come off as shoddy and half hearted, so make it consistent.
Some tips I can provide are that you do not want to be seen as a spammer. There are a few ways to avoid this, but the number one rule here is just don’t be a spammer. You need to build trust with your audience if you ever expect any of them to buy anything from you. The mailing services I have mentioned give you options as to who your newsletters are “addressed” to, giving you options such as including the receiver’s real first or full name! Use this in conjunction with sounding real.
It may sound corny, but when sending out an email to these people that you assume don’t care about you at all, tell them about what you are up to lately or how your weekend was. It might sound stupid but this is a trick most all of the most successful email marketers employ. They’ve learned that people don’t want to buy products and services from faceless entities, they want someone they can relate to and trust. It will truly make all the difference in the world.
Another huge thing you need to keep in mind is what you put as the subject of your email. Spam bots, what email services you use to mark your incoming emails as spam have become very sophisticated in flagging emails that have all the trace signs of traditional junk mail. Nobody can give you a perfect formula for what will or will not end up being sorted into an inbox or a spam folder but there are some tips you can follow to prevent it that are essentially common sense when reflecting on your own emails.
Don’t use flashy words or phrases such as “10% Off.” Think about it for a second. Do your close friends ever send you emails informing you of such amazing steals? Very rarely, if ever. Emails with these kinds of phrases in the subject are always going to go in their spam folder. Send them with casual subjects as you would a friend such “Hey [name], look at this great new thing I found.” That’s just an example, and not a stellar one, but I would avoid using word such as “offer.” This will, make them relate and feel closer to you, and not be nearly the risk of being put into a spam folder.
Another tip that email services like the ones mentioned above will give is don’t use common service providers in the return address. This includes but is not limited to free services such as Gmail, Yahoo!, or Hotmail. It raises red flags with these kinds of subscribers, which is the same providers most of your potential audience uses. Set up your own email on your own domain such as firstname.lastname@example.org as the return address. This will help you look a whole lot more genuine to the receiver than email@example.com.
If you liked this article, you should check out this free mailing list guide, complete with handy plugins. It is very informative and a good way to get started building a mailing list or to tweak the one you already have to perfection.
Speaking of mailing lists, if you found this article informative why don’t you throw yours into the box below? We’d sure appreciate it, and we’ll keep giving more tips and insight into building a list of your own.