Did you know that due to closed email accounts, employees switching companies and unqualified prospects opting out, your email list can decrease by about 22.5% every year?
That means if you have an email list of 500 subscribers and you’re not actively seeking new opt-ins, your list could completely disappear within five years, leaving you with nobody to read your killer email marketing campaigns.
To ensure your list grows at a steady pace to counteract ‘database decay’, follow these 7 tips for growing your email list:
1. Landing pages and lead magnets
Create a landing page and lead magnet: tools designed to entice people to surrender their email in exchange for a report, tips, look book, secrets and other valuable information pertaining to your products, services or industry. Include a link in your email signature that directs people to this landing page with your newsletter sign up form, and add a call to action like, “Sign up now to receive our free industry report: Wedding Photography Gone Wrong”. You can also promote your lead magnet across social media with a link to the sign up form and some shocking, compelling or entertaining teaser text introducing the contents of the report.
2. Facebook button
Add a newsletter signup button to your Facebook Page using Facebook’s Call-to-Action Button. This tab can be customised to a title of your choosing and direct visitors to a specified URL, such as the newsletter sign up page or other landing page of your website.
3. Social media giveaways
Social media apps such as ShortStack can be used to gate competition entry by email address submission. In short, if somebody wants to enter your competition, they need to surrender their email and any other mandatory fields you decide when creating your competition entry form. Just be sure that whatever your competition involves, it adheres to Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines.
4. Power of Pinterest
Pinterest users spend more money than any other users on popular social networking sites – isn’t that the kind of inbox you’d like your email marketing to end up? When marketing giveaways, discounted items or limited offers, promote them on Pinterest using a high quality image with minimal text overlay highlighting the offer. In the description, add relevant hashtags and include a link to a landing page designed to capture the entries. For more information on making the most of Pinterest for lead generation, check out Hubspot’s Pinterest Lead Generation 101.
5. Seminars, events and trade shows
If you’re hosting a product launch or exhibiting at a trade show, collect email addresses using an incentive such as a giveaway or welcome offer for new subscribers. This can be done with printed entry forms or asking prospects to drop their business cards into a bowl. If an exhibition stall is out of the budget this year, consider creating your own MeetUp, launch party or VIP event where attendants must hand over their email in exchange for an invitation or membership.
Ask people to forward your newsletter to friends who might be interested in your content by adding a “Forward to a Friend button“. If they like what they see and take the next step to signing up, you’ve got yourself a new subscriber at zero cost. Depending on your marketing spend, you could offer existing clients gift vouchers to give to friends, requiring the friend to email you first to redeem or activate their voucher code. Voila – you’ve got a new subscriber!
7. Guest blogs
When providing articles for non-competitive wedding businesses in your network, include a call to action in the byline with a link for readers to subscribe to your newsletter to receive more great content. You could even consider adding an incentive for subscribers who sign up for your newsletter by a specified time.
Don’t have a list or email marketing provider? It’s never too late to start! Check out some of the big names like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and Aweber for easy to use, drop and drag template builders and inexpensive (or even free) memberships for beginners with small lists.
Now before you go importing your 500+ LinkedIn contacts, check the Spam Act first – in particular the part about inferred consent. And whatever you do, resist all temptation to purchase a list; the fact that you can purchase emails means they’ve probably been bought, used and abused in the past, causing recipients to up their junk mail settings and send your mail direct to the trash.
Start with the seven tips above and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy database full of qualified leads ready to let you into their inbox with great offers and valuable content.