Starting an email list is no easy feat. There are plenty of resources online that cater to growing your email lists, but not nearly as many that cater to new businesses that have nothing to start with. If you’re just getting your feet on the ground with a website launch, keep in mind that every email list––even the most successful––started with zero. Email marketing is a powerful way of reaching your readers and customers, and it remains the preferred method of communication for consumers. If you’re at the very beginning, fret not. Here are six ways to build your email list from scratch:
1) Offer A Value Proposition
Before anyone gives up their email address, they have a good reason for doing so. This is where your value proposition comes into play. What are you offering your site visitors? Why should they provide their information, and what will they get out of it? These are the questions you should answer, and those answers should be conveyed on your website copy, opt-in forms, and pop-ups. Here are some examples of a good value proposition:
● Access to a webinar
● Free E-book or guide
● Case studies or whitepapers
● Giveaway or contest
● Free item or sample
● Discounts or deals
2) Influencer Marketing For The Email List
It’s possible to leverage the success of other lists by asking for a mention in their email blast. For example, if you’re a real estate agent, you could research the best real estate websites in search of viable candidates who can extend their influence. You could always offer services in exchange for a little list love. As a realtor, you might offer staging services in exchange for a mention. Regardless of your industry, there’s a list out there that are doing well and relates to what you’re doing. And because people love free things, that list owner might be willing to include you in a piece of the pie.
3) Include Opt-Ins On All your Forms
The standard website can easily have a few forms. You have your registration forms, your quote forms, your contact forms, survey forms, and others. These forms provide the perfect platform for adding in an opt-in checkbox (always pre-populated with a checkmark) that grants you permission to add them to your email list.
4) Reach Out To Your Inner Circle
You can pad your list pretty well by reaching out to your circle of friends, family, and colleagues. Explain to them what you’re working on, and what you hope to achieve with your email list. Many of them will opt-in to show their support and invite their friends to do the same.
You should reach out to your circle with content ready. Let’s say you’re running a drop shipping e-commerce business that sells chemical-free cosmetics. Rather than just say, “Hey, sign up for my email list, where I’ll eventually give away products and post content roundups,” get specific.
Prepare completed blog posts to offer real-world examples of what they can expect. Instead, you’d say, “Hey, I’d love for you to check out this list of popular products you’re probably using today that contain harmful chemicals for your skin. After you give it a read, check your cosmetic drawer and do some cleaning up! I’ll be sharing more health and beauty stories moving forward, and would love for you to support me on this journey.” As you can see, the latter example is likely to be much more effective.
Another good way to tack on more subscribers is to incentivize your circle to refer other people. As you gather more subscribers, you can make this a part of your giveaway or contest strategy, or create a separate campaign for referrals.
5) Host A Contest or Giveaway
If you’re trying to build your list, one of the best tactics to consider is the free giveaway. Giveaways are powerful marketing ploys in social media and can be equally as powerful in email marketing. It’s important that you understand your target market, and that your giveaway is valuable to that audience. Ideally, it will be focused on a niche product that’s related to your brand.
Avoid giving away products like high-priced tech, as it could encourage people to participate that aren’t actually interested in what you have to offer. Ideally, after the giveaway, you’ll have access to consumers who would eventually become paying customers and clients.
6) Start To Guest Blog
Guest blogging is the process of providing your value and expertise on other websites, thereby increasing inbound links to your website. When you get more links to your website, you increase the chances of getting additional subscribers.
Start by creating a list of all the influencers that are most relevant to your business. Draft personalized cold emails to each of them, and explain why you would be a great guest blogger. When crafting your shortlist of options, it’s important to stay realistic. If you just launched a digital marketing business, it’s probably a waste of time to reach out to renowned marketer Neil Patel. Start small, and work your way up. Get your name out there, and build authority.
On the same token, you can look into syndicating your current content. Content syndication is highly scalable and requires very little effort. Syndication is the process of publishing a blog post on your own site, and letting third-party websites publish it on theirs. You can potentially reach much wider audiences, from several sites, by syndicating your content.