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How to get a huge mailing list for your e-mail marketing efforts

 by zack on 08 May 2013 |
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It’s no secret that e-mail marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your business in the online world, but there’s a catch. You need to have a segmented list filled with quality e-mails in order to experience success. Let’s face it though, people hate “spam” and they are very reserved when it comes to giving out their e-mail addresses to companies. They fear their inboxes will get filled with annoying and “spammy” e-mails of no interest to them.

This begs the question: how do you get people to submit their e-mails so you can promote to them with their permission? 

Well, this is just what we'll be discussing throughout today's article. Hopefully, It will help you gain some fresh insights to capture those leads and get on with the important work of  promoting your products.
Make it simple
If you’re a regular reader of our articles, then you must have noticed by now often we tend to repeat the phrase: “make it simple.”  That’s because keeping it simple keeps consumers engaged, and stops them from getting confused.

We’ve seen, researched, and proved that internet users get lost easily and they tend toward laziness. That is to say that they can’t be bothered to do anything that requires work, or that's too complicated. This applies even more to an online business, it's difficult to convince a customer that they should provide you with their e-mail address.

You’ll have a hard time persuading people to give up their e-mails even if it’s simple and requires no work. So if you complicate the process, you may as well forget about gaining access to your customer's inboxes.

Remember to keep it simple and short – a simple field to insert e-mail,  and another for a name, but try not to make people fill out long forms, because these take time, and will discourage a lot of users.

Make it visible

This one might be a given, but you would be surprised at how many websites that fail with this basic piece of etiquette. If you aren’t going to highlight your opt-in form, you'll be missing out on a lot of potential business.

It's understandable if you want your company to look professional, but hiding your opt-in form isn't necessarily going to achieve that goal. If you don’t want your opt-in form mixed in with the rest of your company’s web content, then make a page dedicated to it  exclusively, and promote it instead.

Offer Benefits

Filling out an opt in-form shouldn't have to be a burden. Give your site's visitors some incentive. Offer them some benefits or at least give something in return so they don’t feel like they're being ripped off.

A free trial, exclusive content, an instructional e-book, anything that has potential value in your consumer's eyes, could possbily grant you access to their inboxes. Treat it like a trade. Better yet, veiw it as if you're doing them a favor by providing them with access to something they want. This is the easiest way to make your opt-in form pertinent and professional, by offering up some benefit in return for the user's e-mail address.

This way, your lead will appreciate the fact that you're giving them something by allowing them access to something they really want or are curious about. They won't think twice to give you an e-mail address if you manage to make them feel that way.

There’s always a trade off. You just have to place yourself in your lead’s shoes and figure out what they want. Find out where their interests lie and offer it to them as a benefit.

Prize Example – an E-Book

This is almost like the rule of thumb of e-mail marketing, and the reason why it's so common is because it works. To give out an e-book on the topic in which your company specializes, is about the surest way to get your opt-in form working, not only because people want to know more about the subject they were searching for, (and that’s how they reached your site) but it will also filter the market for you.

How does this filter your market? Well, now you know that every single e-mail you have comes from people who are interested in getting information about that particular topic. In other words, a topic that they are interested in.

That is a serious plus, because now you know that they're interested. However, the opposite can occur too. If you notice your opt-ins aren’t very high, then maybe your audience isn’t interested in the subject you're providing. So, this means A/B testing is a good idea too.

For those of you that still don’t know what A/B testing means, it's testing something, (a landing page, an email, etc.) two different ways, and then going for the one that proves to be more effective.

In this example, have 2 e-books on different topics related to your niche and find out which of these topics has the largest response (more e-mails addresses received), this is your winner. For further filtering, simply discard the loser, rinse, and repeat.

Run a Contest

Don’t just think inside the box though, because there are plenty of ways to get those e-mails. There are a lot of companies that use contests as a medium for gaining leads. They run a sweepstakes, offer an attractive prize, and to be able to enter, people have to register by providing their e-mail addresses.

One of the good things about this is that you can actually ask for more info, and not suffer too many lead losses because of it. The allure of a big prize can circument a lot of people's wariness at handing out personal info as well as their aforementioned laziness. 

Fair Trade

Another effective tactic is to simply trade someone for leads. Find a site owner within your niche that has an already established mailing list. Offer them something of value in exchange for plugging your own site. This could be anything you do well. Are you the artsy type? Offer a free graphic or logo. Are you a writer? Put together a press release promoting their product. As long as you're saving the site owner money, they're bound to oblige.

If you've scouted a good source, then every plug you recieve should translate into dozens of new leads. This is because you've built name recognition off of an established content source. 

If people trust the advertiser, they're bound to buy the product. Similarly, if your site is advertised on a site that visitors trust, and your own content strategy is up to par, then the users are far more likely to opt-in because they heard about you from a source that already has their confidence. 

Content Lock

Finally, why not try locking a part of your site for “community members” only? Of course, to join the community people will have to register an e-mail address.

Don't forget to create funnels

Most people will get their lists, send their emails, and return a small percentage of wins. But let's take this a step further. Some e-mail companies, like, let you a/b test but also create list segmentations based on events or actions. For example, those who opened the email but didn't click the link are recorded. You can then send these folks a second email saying something different, like offering a discounted coupon perhaps.

So, be creative, think outside the box and get to work! E-mail marketing riches await you.


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