Do you ever ask yourself why your list building efforts never bring you any real results?
If you are looking to have a successful online business and you are not engaging in list building then I am sorry to tell you that you are doing yourself and your business a lot of harm.
How can a serious online business owner not engage in list building? That is your most important asset online and you should immediately start doing it. Why? you may ask, right?
Just a moment so I can explain to you why you must absolutely build your email lists NOW.
There are generally three ways a website can generate leads and possible clients.
Search engines, social media and email. Each of them when done right, can immensely help grow your business.
However, what separates email from the other two is that you control your email list but you don’t control your social media profile or search engine rankings.
You can be on page one on google today and wake up tomorrow and not find your site even on the tenth page after google updates and you cannot do anything about it.
Can you imagine the amount of revenue you will lose in such an instance?
I used google as an example but you face the same risks on almost any search engine you are using to drive leads to your product.The same also applies to social media.
Your page can be banned(God forbid) or anything can happen and the owners can also make some changes to the way their site algorithm works and you will find yourself at the wrong side of their policies even without doing anything wrong.
When this happens you are left at their mercy and you have to start everything afresh.
According to this article by post planner the chances of you even getting 50% of your fans seeing your updates is getting slimmer and slimmer each day as they like more pages.
So you have to engage in paid ads to boost your chances if getting “seen” When you post.
Imagine if you are to be paying each time you post anything new on your page just to get to your fans. This means additional costs to running your business.
An intelligent marketer who has built a list does not face these risks in any way. With email, so long as you deliver excellent value to your list members, you are the master of the game and you set the rules.
You deal with humans and if you manage to cultivate healthy relationships with your fans, you will earn their respect on a regular basis enough to make sales to them. Let me give you further reasons why you should engage in list-building.
Social media vs email marketing.
Really, social media and email marketing should not be seen as competitors. This is because they can serve as compliments to each other instead of competing.
Social media can be used to get people to sign up to your email but once you get them on your email list, your best bet is to concentrate on communicating with them through email instead.
This is my opinion but I hope to use facts in the subsequent paragraphs to convince you.
You are sure to be seen
You can run targeted campaign that is sure to convert more prospects to customers with email than with social media.
Why is that?
Well, when you post something to your social media profile, the user has to visit your page before they see your update. Facebook makes sure only a tiny percentage of your members see your updates in their news feed.
Twitter is even worse as the update process of twitter keeps scrolling with updates of other connected people and if your target is not online at that time, chances of them seeing your update is almost zero.
Email solves this problem as every message you send will be personal to the recipient and will sit in their inbox until they decide to either read or delete them.
So if you have 3000 people on your list, rest assured that all 3000 will see your message. 92% of adults use email and 61% of them access it on daily basis.
Many more people use email than social media
When you talk about social media, what generally comes to mind is facebook and twitter. Even though there are many more social media sites like LinkedIn google plus and others. Social media sites combined have about 2.3billion user world according to smart insights
Email on the other hand, is estimated to be about 4billion users worldwide. This means there are many more people you can target based on email usage than social media.
According to this article by campaign monitor. There are 3 times more emails than twitter and facebook combined. This is because of the fact that not all email users are twitter or facebook user, but all facebook and twitter users must have an email.
The number is stunningly huge, about 4.3 billion emails are supposed to exist by the end of 2016. its possible to group prospects in email According to your conversion metrics.
Everybody sees the same info in social media.
However, with the right metrics, you are able to group your list members based on their response to your email. Many email services have different analytics you can use to greatly improve your interaction with your email list members.
Let’s say you have a way to know those who open your email, those who click on links, those who do not open etc. With these metrics you can learn how to prepare emails to convince those who don’t open emails, to open. You can also create the perfect content for those you know are likely through etc.
None of these capabilities are available for social media as your followers receive the same type of updates that you posts with no reasonable way for you to target specific followers.
When should you start?
I will say you should start immediately. There no need to wait. As soon as your site goes online, make sure there is a signup form on it. List-building, is not a one-off assignment. It is an ongoing effort and so you should treat it with the urgency as you treat your website.
Email marketing services to consider
Ways to increase your subscribers
There many ways you try to build your email list but i will talk about the ones that work for me in my efforts.
Add your landing page link to your youtube channel.
If you have a youtube channel, there is no reason you should not include a link to your opt-in form under your videos or even on your channel page. Youtube is the second biggest search engine in the world, so you will do yourself a great disservice if you if ignore it for driving traffic.
For someone to click on your youtube video, it means they are interested in your topic so by placing your links below the video, chances are that they will click through to your opt-in page.
Don’t rely solely on articles
Most consumed content on blogs are articles but do not ignore other forms of content. Like videos, slides, infographics, etc. No matter how much traffic your site gets, combining these other types of contents will great improve your chances of growth through targeted referral from your campaign.
Having your content in many different formats enables you to reach a larger audience. Always put your links in your content to ensure that you can drive traffic back your opt-in page.
Collaboration is one of the ways may savvy marketers grow their businesses and it is exceptionally important for you if you are just starting out. It can be in the form of guest posting, youtube channel collaboration, etc. The concept here is simple.
You are a provider of quality content and there is another person who does equally so but with a bigger audience than yours. You get in touch and try to get your content featured on their site. Once your content is accepted, it becomes an opportunity for both parties.
He gets quality for his audience while you get exposure and likely customers from his audience. This is a win-win situation. You have to contact many big guns in your niche but bear in mind that very few will reply, so don’t get discouraged at the negative responses or lack of response at all.
Just keep trying. One guest post on the right site might compensate for all those frustrations.
Add a link to your email signature
As a blogger, you find out that you are in a constant mood of sending out emails about different things each day. Most of the recipients may not be on your email list, so you can use the opportunity to subconsciously pitch your sign-up form to them without annoyance.
How do you do it? Simple.
Design an email template for your official email address with your opt-in as the signature so that anytime you send out emails, you have your opt-in form at the bottom of the message you sent. It converts
If you have twitter add the link to your bio
If you have thousands of followers on twitter, you want to take that opportunity to have your opt-in form seen. One of the best way to do that is to have a link placed on your twitter bio.
Add your opt-in form or link to it on your facebook page
Your facebook page is another way to drive traffic to your landing page. Chances are that you have a facebook page wit a lot of likes, in order to maximize the exposure of your email opt-in page, you should have a link to it from your facebook page.
Facebook recently launched the call to action button to help business owners, take advantage of it and place your offers on a prominent part of your facebook page.
After people comment, redirect them to a thank you page.
One intelligent way you can send people to your email signup form is to set your comments in such a way that once the visitor leaves a comment they will be sent to a thank you page.
You can then place your opt-in form on the thank you page. The plugin that can do this is called comment redirect which can be downloaded free from the WordPress plugin directory
Add exit pop-ups to your post.
This is one of my favourites and I use buzz sumo list builder to do this job. Buzzsumo is a free WordPress plugin that helps grow your business and even though they have many tools, I am going to talk about just the list builder here.
When using the list builder, one of the settings you can use is the smart behaviour. This means the plugin is able to know when a visitor is about to leave your site, thereby popping up with a last minute offer.
Try to make it an offer difficult to resist and you will exponentially grow your list. I have tried it and I love it.
Minimize the data you collect on the form.
When try to collect an email, some webmasters will put in all types of questions. Name, surname age etc. this sucks and will scare some people away from signing up. The most important information you need is the email so just ask for it and let the guy go do somethings else with his time.
Time is very important so don’t try to waste your visitors time or irritate them so they might just click away from your site. The most important question you can ask if you are not satisfied with just an email is their name. Don’t ask for Anything more.
On the top of your sidebar.
Place your opt-in for on the top of your sidebar. This is one of the natural places your eye wonders when you visit a site, so take advantage of it.
At the end of your post.
Place your opt-in form at the end of your posts. This is a natural place the readers’ eyes will be after they finish reading your post. So placing the form just below the post but above the comment or footer is one of the best ways for them to be seen.
Some people even put the form in their footer. I have tried it but it didn’t work for me, however, there is no harm in trying, maybe it will work for you.
Give a tangible product, they convert well
Do you just ask your visitors to signup for updates? Well, even though this method works, you must have some kind of an exceptional content to make it work. Although I know each and every webmaster aims to have the best quality content on their site, I strongly believe giving out a tangible product will convert more than just updates.
An example of a product could a free trial so that at the end of the trial, they can become paying members, if you have a business like a web design service, you can ask your visitors to signup so at the end of each week or month you choose a winner for a free website.
Be sincere in your effort and even though you might find some difficulties initially , once you announce a few winners you will find a significant increase in signups.
Choose the right email service
There are several email services in the business but choosing the right one is very important as all of these have advantages over each other.
What you will find out is that a majority of marketers use Aweber, Getresponse, MailChimp but there have been some recent services that also do a lot of work in terms of how they help you maximize the potential of your list.
The bottom line is that when you finally settle on a service, you should look for their ability to provide you with automation, a/b testing possibilities, and quality analytics.
So this is the deal. The likelihood of buying from a vendor with many positive reviews far outweighs buying from a vendor with no reviews at all right? Its part of human psychology.
Trust factor is very important when you make purchasing decisions online and it is not different when it comes to someone giving you their email.
Get people to give you testimonials of their experience with you. Did they get what you promise them in your email, was your product effective etc. these types of information will make it easier for the next visitors to feel comfortable enough to signup to your email list.
Keep in touch
In any aspect of life, consistency is one of your best bet for success. For example, if you promise your list members a bi-weekly, A weekly or monthly content, try as much as possible to fulfill that promise. You cannot afford to be inconsistent.
Because once you start to miss your publishing days and your visitors don’t get what you promised, many will just hit that unsubscribe link and they are gone, worst scenario they put your email in their spam folder. You don’t want that to happen to you as a marketer.
Perform split testing
You cannot run a successful campaign if you don’t measure your metrics. You need to set up an a/b testing where you test different versions of your signup form. The versions may be different designs, different texts etc. this will help you understand which one converts better.
You will know which one converts when you understand how to read and interpret your sites analytics. This is one of the best actions you can take to help grow your site once you start to get visitors so don’t ignore it or you might end up loosing a lot of money and time.
Once you understand what works, you will then need to put much effort on improving it.
WWSGD (What Would Seth Godin Do)Plugin
This is a very powerful plugin that enables you to show custom messages to new visitors to your website.
So if you intend to build your list, you can set a message that reads for example “Hi there. If you want to a free ebook on how to build your email list please subscribe here” This is just an example. What you put there depends on what you want the plugin to show your customers.
This will then appear somewhere on your post either above or below it and you can set the number of times it needs to show before disappearing.
Remember to put enough efforts at building your list. It is the only “real estate” of your online business that is really “owned” by you. Another point to remember is that having a huge email list in itself is not useful if you fail to build an excellent relationship with your fans.
Always strive to provide quality so as to ensure that your emails will be read when you send them out. This is your gateway to success online.