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Email Marketing: Building a Better List

email marketing

Is email marketing the best way to reach potential customers? Content marketing surveys continually say yes. A whopping 73% percent of millennials say they prefer communication via email and for every $1 spent on email marketing, a $38 return on investment is generated. That’s a higher ROI than social, display and even paid search advertising. So, how do you make the most of an email marketing campaign? It all starts with building a solid email list. Here’s what you need to know.

Increase your Traffic

Email marketing can be a numbers game. With average email open rates hovering around 16%, depending on industry, it makes sense to have a large and healthy email list. How can you get more people to join your list? Increase traffic to your website and social media accounts, and provide a clear call to action to join the list.

Some of the best ways to increase your traffic include creating useful and compelling content (think white papers or infographics) and posting content on a regular basis (such as weekly articles). Keep people coming back to your site and using it as a resource by providing thoughtful, engaging content. This also positions your brand as a resource, which makes people more likely to subscribe to and open your emails to read what you have to say next!

Improve Sign-Ups

Once more people are visiting your site, ask yourself, “Is my email sign-up form easy to find?” You don’t need to put it in 12 different places on your website. Once is enough! But it should be noticeable with a clear call to action. Common places for an email sign-up form include the footer, header or side menu. Another option is a pop-up where you can offer a sign-up incentive like a discount or a free ebook.

The kind of form you choose will depend on your business goals and the type of customer you’re trying to attract. Online retailers will have more success with free shipping and discount codes, while consultants and service providers may have more luck with ebooks or tutorials. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple newsletter sign-up, though. If your content is strong, prospects will be interested in hearing more even if you don’t offer a free opt-in gift.

Have Fun!

Gamification and interactive forms are some of the newer ways to get people to join your list. Make signing up fun by running contests and using interactive elements such as a “wheel of fortune” that promises a prize or discount for signing up. Interactive sign-up forms have a success rate of around 12%, while regular pop-ups perform closer to 4%.

This is a newer list-building technique, and it may not work for all businesses. But it’s worth trying out to see if it drives more subscriptions. There are many email platforms that now provide pre-built interactive list-building forms and contest blueprints to make the process easier.

Stay Up to Date

As you’re adding email addresses to your list, be sure you’re going through and keeping your list fresh. This includes removing undeliverable addresses and, yes, even removing addresses that have never opened your emails (or haven’t opened one in more than six months). It might make you cringe to delete these addresses, but they drag down your open rate and it’ll help you focus on customers who are interested in your message.

We’ll include a quick mention of list segmentation here, because you can move those emails into a special list for people who haven’t opened your emails in six months. This takes some time, but can be highly effective. List segmentation allows you to create lists and email marketing campaigns around different criteria. For example, you could create a list for unopened emails and ask if they’d like to be removed. This creates one final touch point before removing them from the list.

Cultivating a strong, segmented list is one of the most effective email marketing strategies, and it takes some planning and know-how. We’re experts at helping you define your lists and campaigns, and we can help you get results! If you’d like some help planning your next email campaign, or building a list from scratch, give us a call! We can help you get started.