If the experts’ 2016 social media predictions come true, businesses should brace for a continuing trend in paying for traffic, with those that aren’t paying already hearing crickets on their once thriving Business Pages. This unfortunate (but clever) monetisation of social media happened because businesses don’t own these mediums, and unless you pay for attention in 2016, your content will come off second best to businesses investing in boosted posts. But what you can control is your owned media assets, including your email marketing list.
Nobody can take your email list away from you (bar the inevitable unsubscribe here and there), nor can you be denied the incredible return on investment offered by email marketing. But if you don’t have an email marketing list with qualified leads, then the place to start is building one. Here are five ideas to start growing your list today, for greater returns on your email marketing tomorrow.
1. Lead magnets
Digital Marketer coined the definition of a lead magnet as “an irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information”. Be it a physical item like a book or magazine, a digital PDF that can be sent via email or a personal in-store service, a lead magnet encourages prospects to hand over their email address, giving you permission to appear in their inbox occasionally.
You could offer a 56-Step Wedding-Ready Checklist, a Complimentary One-on-One Bridal Styling Session, or even free shipping on first-time orders. Promoting a lead magnet to start building your database is as simple as;
- installing or customising your newsletter subscription form on your website (refer to your preferred email marketing software for step-by-step instructions);
- building a landing page that you can promote across your social media accounts and website; or
- adding an opt-in form to your Facebook page and customising the call to action to match your lead magnet
If you’re willing to invest some advertising dollars into promoting a giveaway across social media, or you are particularly thrifty with hashtags to attract the attention of hopeful winners, a social media giveaway can be a great list building exercise. Remember, the key is to retrieve contact details (most notably emails), so using a competition software like KingSumo for sweepstakes or Strutta’s contest builder for photo contests will ensure you’re generating loads of buzz for your brand AND getting the emails you need to grow your list.
Other options could include an in-store fish-bowl competition where entrants are required to drop a business card or fill out a short form to be in the running to win.
You’ve probably seen little boxes popup on YouTube videos and wondered how on earth they got there. Well, Hubspot have made it really easy for businesses to take advantage of these sneaky call to action popup boxes with step-by-step instructions. These popups are designed to encourage viewers to click on the links below the videos and subscribe to newsletters or opt-in for tempting lead magnets.
Partnering up with complementary businesses to send exciting time-limited offers or giveaways to their database (who likely have an interest in your business as well) can help populate your database with fresh, qualified leads. In return, your business promotes the other brand’s giveaway or offer to your database (one that aligns with your company’s image and services), so it’s a win-win situation for all parties involved, including your customers.
As Formstack points out, quizzes are an age-old guilty pleasure that ask for so little, and give so much in the way of light entertainment and seemingly customised responses – making participants feel like quiz results were crafted just for them. With thanks to the digital age and online quiz creators like Formstack or Viral Quiz Builder, quizzes are also a perfect strategy for wedding businesses to grow their email databases. Who could resist a cheeky quiz like, “Are you at risk of becoming Bridezilla?”
Over to you…
What does your business do to build its database? Do you prefer offline tactics, like exhibiting at wedding expos, or are you discovering new ways to take advantage of online tools to help drive fresh leads into your email marketing machine? Leave a link to your list building lead magnet, giveaway, video, cross promotion or quiz in the comments so we can see your strategy in action!