In 5 Email Marketing Traps to Avoid, I talked about the five ways you can mess up your email marketing. But what are some of the steps you need to take to get it right?
The first thing you need to do is to grow your email subscriber list. There are many ways to collect subscribers, and you’ll want to be creative in building your list. But, as I pointed out in 5 Traps, not every email address that comes across your desk represents someone asking to be subscribed to your list.
The folks at AWeber.com offer these tips for growing your list:
- Be sure you have specific permission. Make sure that whether you are adding subscribers or they are adding themselves, it is quite clear to them that they’re giving you permission for you to send them email marketing messages.
- Set up a website form. This allows people who visit your website to enter their email addresses to get the specific information that you’re going to be sending.
- Talk up your emails. If you’re at a networking meeting or giving a speech, mention your email campaign and why it’d be useful to the person or group you’re speaking to. You might say, for example, “A great way to learn more about this service is my email newsletter. I send my clients and associates monthly messages with expert advice and special prices. Would you also like to receive them?” If there are particular incentives for signing up (e.g., special prices for subscribers), mention them also.
- Set up a fishbowl. If you’re working a trade show or have a store front, set up a fishbowl to collect business cards for people to subscribe to your newsletter. You can sweeten the offer, for example, by stating that each month one new subscriber will win a free lunch or t-shirt. Act promptly with these addresses. The longer you wait to start delivering value to them through your messages, the less likely they are to remember who you are, and to stay on your list.
- Ask your social media followers. Ask the people who follow your company on Facebook, for example, if they’d like to get your email newsletter, and direct them to a form on your website to sign up. You can also mention your newsletter on your blog.
- Run ads in print publications. Choose a publication with readership that fits your business’ niche, rather than a general interest publication. Run an ad that uses a few enticing words to hook the reader so that they want to know more. Instruct the reader to sign up for your email campaign and direct them to the form on your website.
- Use confirmed opt-in. This protects your sender reputation and ensures that only people who want to receive your information are subscribed to your list.
- These are two practices that you’ll definitely want to avoid, says AWeber:
- Buying a list. Emailing to a list of “business opportunity seekers,” “fresh opt-in leads,” or any other type of purchased list is out-and-out spamming. Trying to send messages to addresses you acquired this way will get your email marketing account closed faster than you can say “and we won’t give you a refund, either,” says AWeber. (Note: this is true for most other legitimate email service providers.)
- Ripping off an attendance list. Whether it’s from a trade show, networking meeting or conference, this is another big NO-NO. If people haven’t requested information from you, don’t add them to your list, regardless of where you met them.
For more help with your email marketing, register for a complementary marketing assessment from the experts at Advantage Marketing Consulting Services.
Tell us! What are some tactics you’ve used to build an effective email subscriber list?