Depending on where you get your information, email marketing is either dead (maybe), on the way out (maybe) or very much alive. But regardless of where you land on that continuum, you’re probably willing to admit that many email marketers just don’t seem to get it right.
And of course, that’s why the ones who DO stand out from the crowd.
If you want to take advantage of all the benefits email marketing has to offer as an engagement resource, there are several ways to grow your list—and keep it healthy
Create a compelling opt-in. “Sign up for our newsletter” is straightforward, certainly. But, it begs several questions: “Why?” “What will I get?” “How often am I going to hear from you?” “Is there an immediate value for me?”
Your opt-in should:
- start with an engaging headline or title.
- indicate exactly what your subscriber will get (handy tips, monthly newsletter, special deals—or whatever you can consistently offer).
- offer some sort of immediate value (a percentage off of their first purchase, a free sample with their next buy, a free consultation, etc.).
Put that opt-in everywhere. What should the top fold of your website, the footer at the bottom of your website, all of your product pages and all of your landing pages have in common? An opt-in form! No one should have to look far for an opportunity to sign up.
And don’t forget your social media platforms. Include a link to a page where potential subscribers can opt in from your Twitter page (or link to it in a Tweet). Facebook also makes it easy for you to create a contact form to encourage your followers to sign up.
Encourage sharing. Be sure to include a “send to a friend” link with each of your email messages, as well as social links to share the content of your email. Keep this content hosted on a page of your site (with an opt-in nearby, of course).
Offer targeted content to targeted audiences. Consider offering a series of subject-specific emails that your subscribers can sign up for, according to their interests. When they use your opt-in form, give them the choice of what types of content they wish to receive—in addition to your primary newsletter or email updates.
Let subscribers control their email experience. Do they want a variety of different emails? Fewer emails? Only emails that offer special deals or sale information? With each message you send out, give them the chance to click through and adjust what they receive. And remember to . . .
Give subscribers a simple way to opt out in each message. It may seem counterintuitive to show your subscribers the exit on their way in, but people feel better about receiving emails—and sharing them with others—if they know they’re the ones in control.
Whatever naysayers or fans might say about the life or death of email marketing, if you’re willing to work at providing value, email can still be a solid strategy for not only engaging new customers, but also staying on the radar of your existing ones.