When it comes to customer acquisition, email marketing is a front-runner in marketing channels. In fact, there are over 281 billion emails sent each day in 2018 — and that number is on the rise, making email a great way to saturate the market with your brand’s message.
In addition, email marketing is a great investment, producing $44 of revenue for every one dollar you spend marketing.
And, email marketing is more effective than LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and it leaves direct mail in the dust. It can also increase your customers’ overall spend with your brand — consumers who were marketed to via email spent a whopping 138% more than those who didn’t receive email offers.
With 91% of consumers opening email every day, it’s no wonder that 89% of marketers are using email as their principal marketing channel for lead generation.
But there’s just one catch. To harness the marketing power of this channel you must have a strong email list.
How to Build Your Email List to Grow Your Client Base
Email marketing is the hot ticket to growing your marketing momentum — and it is forecast to continue to expand in the coming years. To leverage this digital channel to grow your client base, you’ll need to begin with a solid email list.
To construct your list, you’ll need to have some basic resources at your disposal.
- Create a Dedicated Website
It seems silly to say it, but having a website is critical for the success of your email campaign — and it’s the launch point to build your email list, too. In particular, you’ll want to have a landing page where visitors encounter an opt-in form for your email list.
Traditionally, these landing pages offer visitors something of value — a cheat sheet, white paper, manual, or other enticement — in exchange for their email address. Elements of a great landing page include:
- A strong headline and call-to-action
- A message that compliments the headline
- Testimonials, success stories, and other social proof
It’s also important to have a comprehensive About Us page in your website menu. Here is a good example of one.
As one of the most visited pages on your website, your About Us page should have an opt-in in the form of a pop-up or lightbox above the fold — that is, the part of the page your visitor can see without scrolling.
Having an opt-in form here can result in 158% higher subscription rate to your email list.
- Understand Your Target Customer
To get your email into the hands of the right people, you need a good idea of who your target audience is and how they live, work, play, and behave.
To do this, create a customer persona — an archetype of your perfect customer including behavioral traits and buying patterns. You can craft your own from customer interviews, research, focus groups, web analytics, surveys, and other tools.
- Craft a Powerful CTA
Once you understand who your customer is and what they want, you can focus on creating a powerful call-to-action (CTA) that will help build your email list. A good CTA will focus on the benefit clicking on your offer will provide — something you can address directly on the click-through button.
For example, rather than saying “Click to learn more” you might consider “Click to boost your sustainability.”
Don’t use language like “download”, “buy,” or “opt in”, instead leverage possessive words to drive clicks. For example, “Start my free 30-day trial.”
- Use Social Media to Increase Your Exposure
Social media can help you put your CTA, landing page, website, and that important opt-in to your email list in front of even more people.
If you use Twitter, make sure you hashtag your posts to get them in front of the largest number of prospects. One or two hashtags are the sweet spot. Tweets with one or two hashtags get 21% more engagement than those with three or more.
You can also join market-specific groups on social media — like LinkedIn groups, for example — to gain more exposure for your offer.
- Use Content Marketing to Further Drive Subscriptions
Content marketing is creating useful, valuable content on your website to appeal to your target audience. Good content marketing can help tell your brand’s story, demonstrate authority, and underscore your brand’s credibility.
When using content to market, make sure you’re providing reliable, solid information that resonates with your customers. You must answer questions your audience needs the answers to.
To uncover what your customers want, Google a focus keyword for your industry and notice the focus of the top-ranking pieces. Are they using outdated statistics? Do they leave out important information?
You can browse comment sections of high-ranking website blog posts to ferret out pain points and discussion points that will help you create targeted content for your own site. This can be in the form of downloadable checklists, PDFs, white papers, or blog posts.
Don’t forget to put your CTA and opt-in at the end of all of your blog posts to drive subscriptions.
Marketer Beware: Build Your Lists the Right Way
While building email lists can increase your marketing reach and build your client base, building them the wrong way can lead to a whole host of issues for your business.
What’s the wrong way? Buying or renting lists.
People on purchased lists have not given their consent to be emailed by you, and many lists include defunct or broken email address. If you use this kind of list, you will harm your IP reputation and deliverability; you may be penalized by your email provider; and most importantly, you will violate the CCPA and GDPR rules of consent.
In addition, it’s important to offer a clear way for your customers to opt out of emails.
Congress enacted the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 that makes it unlawful to send an email without prior consent, without an opt-out option, and without a valid physical postal address.
But as long as you grow your lists organically as we outlined above, you’ll be in good standing with regulations and you’ll have a powerful marketing tool that will help you expand your client base.