Email marketing can be profitable for any business, no matter what kind of product or service you are selling. It is significantly cheaper than other advertising methods and it helps build credibility with your subscribers. As a result, you can generate more sales and profits.
The foundation for successful email marketing is a targeted, responsive and permission-based email list. If you have a list of subscribers that trust you and consider you an expert, you’ve completed the first step and are on your way!
Below you will find several list-building ideas that will help you make the most of your email marketing efforts:
- Provide useful, relevant and unique content. Your visitors will not give you their email addresses just because they can subscribe to your newsletter free of charge. You have to provide unique and valuable information that will be useful to your subscribers.
- Add a subscription form to every page of your website. Make sure it stands out so it is easy to find. If appropriate, you can also include it in more than one place. For instance, your opt-in form might always appear in the top-right corner of your site, while you also include an opt-in at the bottom of some of your popular articles.
- Show your first issue or other sample to your visitors. This lets potential subscribers review your newsletter before they sign up to determine if it is something they’d be interested in.
- Archive past newsletter issues. A “library” of past newsletters is both appealing and useful to visitors and builds your credibility as an authority. In addition, if your articles are written with good SEO techniques in mind, they can send additional traffic to your web site through good search engine positioning.
- Contact other newsletter publishers. Introduce yourself and explore ways you may be able to help each other. Perhaps you can introduce other publisher’s newsletters or print articles they have written to your list, with a link to sign up. When you contact them, be sure to tell them why you think THEIR readers would like what you have to offer and why YOUR readers would benefit from their newsletters. This is a win-win scenario; both of you will build your lists faster!
- Give away bonuses subscribers can use. Create an opt-in bonus for joining your subscriber list. You can write an ebook or PDF report, or even hire a programmer to create downloadable or web-based software. But don’t limit yourself to only a gift for new opt-ins. Remind your readers that the next bonus is coming soon. People hate to miss out on things. If you systematically pass on “goodies” throughout the year, your subscribers are unlikely to leave.
- Ask your subscribers to pass it on. Word of mouth is a powerful viral technique that works great with email marketing. If your subscribers find the content you share with them to be informative, they will pass your newsletter on to their friends. This can be a good source of new subscribers.
- Let others reprint your newsletter as long as the content is not modified. Many webmasters and newsletter publishers are actively looking for high-quality content and, if they reprint your newsletter, you will get new subscribers, traffic and links pointing to your site.
- Include a “Sign Up” button in the newsletter. If you are using plain text instead of HTML, provide a text link to your subscription page. You may feel that this is not required because the subscriber is already on your list, but remember that readers will forward your newsletters to others, or reprint it online. You want to make it easy for them to subscribe.
- Add a squeeze page. A squeeze page has one goal − to get an opt-in and build your list. Think of it like a mini-sales letter for your subscription or opt-in bonus. It features a powerful headline and a couple of very important benefits that should make subscribers salivate to sign up to your list. Once created, use a service such as WordTracker to find hundreds of targeted keywords, and advertise there using pay-per-click advertising from Google, MSN and Yahoo.
- Include testimonials on your squeeze page. This is crucial. Put 1 or 2 strong testimonials from satisfied subscribers on your squeeze page. This can be in any format, but you may find that multimedia (audio or video social proof) is more “believable”. To increase that believability, include full names, locations and/or urls; don’t use “Bob K, FL” as a testimonial name.
- Blog religiously. Blogging is a great way to communicate with your potential customers, and it creates a nice synergy with your email marketing. Be sure to include your newsletter sign-up form on each page of your blog. You can start a free blog at Blogger or WordPress.
- Post on other blogs. Post great comments and information on similar blogs with a link to your squeeze or opt-in page. Also comment on others’ blogs through trackbacks. In most cases, your comments will be posted on their blogs with a link back to your site. This is an easy way to generate new traffic and subscribers.