Now that you’ve established your goals and know what you want to achieve from your email marketing efforts, it’s time to build a sizable email list so you can start sending campaigns to achieve those goals.
There are plenty of ways you can do this of course, but the right method for each campaign depends on the goals you established in Chapter 3.
Import a list of known contacts
Your customers make great candidates, so make sure you integrate some form of registration or email subscription as part of your booking process.
Just remember to treat these email addresses with special regard.
Before you import your existing customer’s details into your chosen email marketing tool, ensure you have adequate permission to email them.
While almost all reputable email marketing tools work very hard to make sure your emails are not blocked by major internet service providers, they can’t control whether or not your emails hit the inbox or go straight to the spam folder.
And although most of them will help you by providing a quality score to help you determine availability, getting whitelisted is hands-down the most effective way to ensure your emails are delivered properly.
That said, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, getting whitelisted is equivalent to being marked as a friend.
And the best way to achieve this is by being added to the recipient’s address book.
The easiest way to encourage this is by providing explicit instructions to do so somewhere near the top of each email.
This is especially true about the initial thank you and first follow-up email you send.
Grow a new list from scratch
If you plan to use email marketing to contact an audience whose email address you might not have yet, then you need to start capturing email addresses and building your list from scratch.
Simply posting “enter your email here for updates” isn’t going to get anyone excited to share their contact information with you.
Fortunately for you, there is a two-part formula for growing your email list.
The formula is: A valuable incentive + easy subscribe opportunities = massive email list.
And while this is a little bit of a simplification, it’s also simple logic.
Why? Because it doesn’t matter how many subscribe opportunities you display to a visitor, it’s unlikely they’ll act without a valuable incentive.
And vice-versa. It doesn’t matter how amazing your incentive is, you still need to make it easy for people to subscribe if you want them to join your email list.
Make sense? Great.
So then the question is, what makes for an amazing incentive? And how can you make subscribing to your email list simple and easy?
Here are some incentives you can use to entice people to join your email list:
- Compelling content – If you have a blog or create content on your website, then offering to send your very best content to subscribers via email every week or month is an amazing incentive for them to join your list.
- First order discounts – If you sell services through an online booking form, then offering people a discount off their first booking if they subscribe to your email list is a powerful incentive. Not only does it encourage them to subscribe, it also gives them an incentive to purchase as well. Win-win.
- Free upgrades – Offering extra add-ons to your customers’ booking is a great incentive to join your email list. Not only is this offer extremely relevant (particularly when offered during the booking process), but being able to add on a highly desirable upgrade or extra to their service is a powerful motivator for people to subscribe.
The other part of the formula is offering numerous, easy opportunities for your web visitors to subscribe to your email list, also known as an “opt-in.”
So where should you place an opt-in form on your website?
Well, while the type of opt-in form you use depends on the incentive you are offering, here are a few great places to consider:
- Introduce a pop-up at the end of your content.
- Trigger a pop-up when a user signals exit intent.
- Slide in a request to subscribe after a page scroll.
- Display a sticky top bar.
- Offer a content upgrade.
- Stage a welcoming home gate.
- Add a sidebar.
- Launch a dedicated landing page.
- Position a subscribe box at the very end of your content.
By following the email list building formula mentioned above and coupling a valuable incentive with prominent subscribe opportunities, you’ll find it easier to collect a massive list of emails to send your marketing campaigns to.
It’s important to start thinking about how you’re going to leverage your email list. This is where segmentation becomes your best friend.