My last blog post looked at why an email list is important to your business. It’s all very well having an email list, but how do you get people to subscribe? You might think that it’s enough to have an opt-in box on your website, saying ‘sign up to my email/newsletter.’ But really? Would you do that? I’m betting that the answer is ‘no.’ You want something in return – an incentive to make you want to join.
Here are a few ideas that may help you persuade more people who visit your website to opt-in to your email list.
Trust in your brand
Your subscribers need to know that they can trust you, and the only way to gain that trust is through your brand. For example, I publish a weekly marketing blog with lots of information about marketing for small businesses. This shows my audience that I know my stuff and am an expert in my field. As with everything else in marketing, the key is to be consistent. I’ve been writing my blog for a number of years, but I only started to take it seriously during lockdown. That’s when I started blogging regularly, once a week, so that my followers knew what to expect and when. It has grown hugely in the time since then and I get valuable feedback when I share my post on social media, as well as getting comments on my blog posts.
Because my blog offers lots of value, my followers feel more inclined to subscribe to my email as they know they’ll get lots more.
Give your subscribers something in return
This is also known as the ‘welcome discount’ strategy. If you have an online shop for example, you could offer a discount code for 10% off in exchange for their email address. Once they are part of your email list, you can use that email to promote your business, let them know when something new is coming, tell them about offers for special holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, and include the link to your shop.
If you’re a service-based business like me, you could offer them a digital product. I offer a free Marketing Strategy Workbook, which works well.
And once they’re in your email list, you can also use it to ask questions and find out information about them – your target audience. You can ask their opinion, include polls or surveys. The possibilities are endless.
This is not something that your subscribers would receive immediately. You can tell potential subscribers that if they are a part of your email list, they will be offered exclusive discounts, bundles or whatever you decide on. It’s like having a VIP status – if they want to be the first to learn of your new products or services, and be offered exclusive discounts, they need to give you their email address.
The only stipulation of course, is that you DO IT! You can’t promise something and then not deliver or that will damage your reputation and business.
Another idea is a monthly giveaway. This might sound a bit extravagant, but you can have a free giveaway (only has to be something small – could be a product that you have a lot of, or if you sell skincare or wax melts for example, you could give away a sample pack each month. But people must be in it to win it. This is a surprisingly great strategy that really helps build your list. People love the suspense of who’s going to win that month – and you can make a big thing of this each month with a ‘live’ on social media. Use a random online name generator, or simply pick a name out of a hat. This creates excitement around your products and business. And at the end of the ‘live,’ you can tell viewers that if they’d like to be in with a chance to win next month, they just need to sign up to your email…and pop the link in the comments.
A free guide, pdf, or video
You might think I’m talking about service-based businesses here, but this is applicable to all businesses, product or service-based.
You are offering a guide/pdf about what you do or sell, or an instructional video.
If you sell products you need to think outside the box. For example, if you make and sell jewellery with gemstones, you could have a free guide on what each gemstone means. People often buy jewellery randomly, just because they like it, but some also like to have a particular colour stone – it would be useful to them to know what each gemstone signifies. Another idea would be how customers can stack their jewellery, such as multiple bracelets – what goes well together. This could be a short video showing your products in this way.
I’m a service-based business, so I offer checklists to help people with their marketing or hashtag lists…things that are useful, so my followers don’t have to the spend the time looking how to do something or where to find hashtags.
You could offer free shipping to your email subscribers if they spend over a certain amount. You’d give them an exclusive code, so you know they are your email subscribers.
Another idea is that you offer a small free gift with your email subscribers’ first order with you. This is great for subscribers who have not bought from you before…and a good incentive to sign up for those people.
Have visible CTAs
CTA means call to action. Just because someone is on your website, it doesn’t mean they know where to go or what to do next. A call to action does exactly that and tells them that the next thing they need to do is to sign up to your newsletter or email.
You can simply have a button that sends your subscribers to a landing page that gives more information, such as what’s in it for them? This where you can sell your email, such as it being a VIP space. If it sounds exciting and worthwhile and they’ll get value from it, they’ll sign up.
An email list is such a valuable tool, and you own it. I bang on about this as I’ve seen several businesses over the last few months, who’s social media accounts have been closed down with no notice. They aren’t told why, and in an instant, they’ve lost all details of their followers. Some of the businesses had thousands of followers. It’s devastating, but it does happen. The difference with your email list is that you own it. It’s yours and no one can shut it down or delete it.
It’s such an easy way to market to your customers and, with a little bit of thought and planning, you can grow your list quite quickly. And you know that your content is reaching your target audience. They have chosen to be there, so want to hear from you. Keep it engaging and they’ll stay.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Great advice for an expert marketer
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