Getting more customers is a constant battle for any business.
Hopefully they just walk through the door, but often you have to go out and find them yourself
You could knock on their doors. (Too much work, right?)
Or perhaps call people and “offer” them your services. (They usually hang up on you!)
Maybe you can put up a huge billboard in the centre of your town saying how awesome you are? (That’s expensive!)
The Power of the Email List
You might have heard about using an email list for marketing purposes?
Most internet marketers talk about it. And most will tell you it’s the number one thing you should have:
The money is in the list, they say
And there is a reason for that. People read their email. A lot.
How many times a day do you check yours? Quite a few times I would guess.
And unlike phone or regular mail, you usually read what comes into your inbox.
But if you don’t know who is calling you won’t answer your phone, right?
Pamphlets or brochures get thrown in the trash before you even read them!
So if you can get someone to sign up to your email list…you have them in your hands. (insert evil laugh here)
Having someone’s email address really gives you a lot of power!
Here are a few reasons why an email list is great for contacting your potential customers:
your messages lands in the number one place people look each day
you can develop a relationship with someone you don’t know personally
you can show them your knowledge and expertise and build trust
you can market to them over time and turn them into a customer
You are all excited about the email lists now. I can sense it.
But how you go about setting one up?
Setting Up Your Email List
There are two parts to getting an email list going, and we are going to tackle them one by one.
First off, you will need an email marketing service provider.
If you really want to have an email list where you can market to people, you will need to be able to:
send out emails in bulk (pasting lots of addresses in your gmail using bcc does not cut it)
set up a series of emails that go out automatically (also called an auto responder)
track who is opening and who is clicking on links in the email (helps you track what works and what does not)
track your list growth over time
separate your list into sections, based on how, why, where the person subscribed
Why do you need all these fancy features?
Because your email list cannot be seriously maintained by hand. And you want to be able to run it with some kind of automation.
It will help free up your time too!
Not only that, but because it is one of the most powerful tools you have in online marketing, you will want to use it to it’s fullest.
And that does not mean send and pray. You need serious control of your list.
Email Marketing Service Providers
Some of the common email marketing service companies people use include:
If you want to start off slowly and see how it goes, you can try MailChimp. It is pretty easy to use to get started, and does not cost anything.
But, if you want an auto responder (which I recommended once you get serious) then it will always cost a little something.
Then Aweber also becomes another good option for beginners.
Getting People to Sign Up
Getting an email marketing service is the first step in using an email list to market to your potential customers.
The next trick is getting them to sign up to it.
Let’s break out our magic wands!
Placing Optin Forms on your Website
To get people to sign up to your email list you need to place a form, or forms, on your website.
Here are some of the most popular places people add these forms:
in the sidebar (that area on the left or right of your website)
sometimes at the top of the home page below the navigation bar
at the end of your blog posts (once they are done, if they are happy they will sign up)
strategic locations in your posts
maybe even on your about page (a place where people get to know you).
In case you have never noticed these forms on websites, they are usually called “optin forms” and are basically a name and email field with a little bit of text explaining why people should sign up.
Here is mine:
People just fill them in wherever they are on your site, press “sign me up” and get on your list.
These simple forms work, but only to a certain degree.
These days, with people becoming more and more careful about giving their email address away, you might have to entice them with a carrot!
What kind of carrot?
The Giveaway (aka Lead Magnet)
To get people to sign up, you often have to give them something in return. It is almost a marketing standard today.
People giveaway any of the following to get people on their email list:
It all depends on how much time you want to invest in the giveaway, and what you think your audience is after.
This is something you will have to decide on your own.
But from experience, sometimes just a small ebook is enough. Other times it takes a lot more.
It’s worth trying the simplest idea first, then when you don’t get anyone to sign up, try something a little more serious.
Putting It All Together
I hope you now see the how the pieces of the email list puzzle fit together, but just in case here is a quick recap:
signup to one of the email marketing services mentioned earlier
add optin forms in strategic places around your website
come up with a giveaway to entice people to sign up
watch your email list grow
Once you have a list of people the next step is to start communicating and potentially selling things to them.
This is a far more in-depth topic and everyone has different ideas on how this should be done.
One tip to keep in mind though: do not sell too much and too often, or you will notice people leaving your list in droves!
If you need any help setting up your email list or optin forms feel free to get in touch.