Now that you know how an email address can help you see what prospective customers are interested in and looking for on your website, and how it can help you build relationships with prospects and lead you to future clients, you’re probably wondering how to best ask for those email addresses. After all, asking someone for their email address immediately tells them ‘I’m probably going to start sending you a bunch of stuff you may not want, which will clutter up your inbox and cost you time in sorting through and deleting it.’ So how do you ensure prospective clients that not only will you send them high-value information that they’ll appreciate and enjoy, but that you’ll do it on a schedule that doesn’t overwhelm them? Essentially, that you’re ‘not like every other company sending out unsolicited email’? The key is how you collect the information from at the very beginning.
Are you looking for an email service provider to take your marketing to the next level? Take a look at these three must haves: Do It Yourself Design: Unless you know how to work with HTML to create custom designed emails, your best option is to find a service provider with professionally designed templates. These templates allow you to add your branded logo and colors, add tailored content, external links and images, videos, social media icons, and more. Some service providers may also allow you to sign up for a free trial before you purchase the service.
If you don’t have a strategy in place to grow your email database organically, you could be missing out on your next big client. Follow our 5 P’s to build your database of quality prospects who actively request your content. We’ve debunked a few common myths below to give you tools and tactics to build your list!
- Contacts must give permission to be included in your email list. If you are already doing business with them, they likely have given implied permission; but otherwise, be sure to ask before adding to your list.
- Buying a list, no matter how many times it is scrubbed, is strongly discouraged in email marketing, and most major email providers do not allow this at all.
- Just meeting a contact at a networking event or trade show is not valid permission to add them to your contact list.
- To request permission from potential subscribers, you can provide a paper or online registration form.
- Tip: The next time you exhibit at a conference or expo, try using an iPad or iPhone email registration app, like iCapture, to easily build your list. Adding a raffle to the mix will help gain even more interest!
- A great way to get people excited to join is to provide an instant offer. If they give you their name and email, provide something in return like a free webinar, eBook, ticket to an event, or discount.
- When they subscribe, it’s important for the offer to be timely. Ideally, they’d receive an instant email with the offer enclosed, rather than waiting a few days (this can be automated so you don’t have to spend any additional time managing the process).
Have you ever thought: ‘I wonder what our best prospects are really looking for when shopping for my product or service’?, or ‘What if we knew what problems our target market had, and could deliver the right solutions to them at the right time?, or ‘I wonder what prospects find annoying/frustrating or lacking in the products or services we provide, so we could learn how to better meet their needs?
Whether you just started using email marketing as a way to generate leads or improve your engagement with your audience, or you’ve had an active account for years, it’s important to always look at new opportunities to reach more of the right prospects. Adding consistent new leads while delighting your current customer base is vital to closing business, upselling, and keeping your buyers engaged.
One of the best ways to expand the reach and visibility of your email marketing campaigns is to provide an easy way for your audience to promote and share your content with THEIR friends and social communities. And in addition to sharing your content with their communities, you’ll also want your email audience to be able to easily interact with your brand, on your organization’s own social media profiles. In the below video, we’ll show you how to easily add ‘share on social’ and ‘join our community’-style social media buttons and links to your email templates in order to improve BOTH your email marketing and social media results. Once you’ve viewed the video, be sure to share this blog post with your own communities by clicking any of the social media icons below!
For hundreds of years, the print media has had to find ways to get the public to pick up their newspapers, magazines and journals. From the earliest days, they understood the importance of using strong headlines to pique interest and sell publications. Although many business owners know the key to driving inbound traffic to their blog posts and increasing the open rates of their email campaigns is a strong title or subject line, often this area is overlooked. Here are some great ideas you can take away from the editors whose job has been built on selling compelling images and headlines:
- Know Your Audience
- The headlines that work well for a consumer product company may completely tank when used for a B2B service, and vice versa. To understand your audience better, subscribe to the email newsletters and blogs that they are reading – chances are there are some general consistencies and themes you can pick up on to meet their needs.
- Tease Them
- The headlines on a couple of magazines I subscribe to include: “50 Ways to Charm Anyone, and Always Get What You Want”, “Ski & Ride Guide: The Best Resorts In New England”, and “7 Items Under $60 You’ll Wear All Season”.
- Headlines & Titles like those above give you just enough information to get you interested, and make you want to know more. They almost make you feel like you’d be missing out by NOT reading them.
- Include a compelling photo or video where applicable to increase conversion rates.
- Make a List & Check It Twice
- People love lists. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because they are simple. Or because they appeal to our feeling of completing a task and moving on. But for whatever reason, they generally perform better than standard headlines. So try making a couple lists that appeal to your audience and layer them in with your other blog and email content. They are easy to create, easy to read, and may surprise you by how well they perform.
- Deliver On Your Promise
- Don’t lie to your audience, try to trick them with a clever sales pitch disguised as a helpful resource, or use a great headline to pull people into a long, boring article. You may get them the first time, but the consequence could be that you’ll lose them forever. And that’s just not worth the trouble.
- Keep It Simple, Stupid.
- People scan email, web pages, and articles, they usually don’t read all of the content. For that reason, keep the content short and to the point, and use lists and subheadings where appropriate. This will break up the page for your reader and allow easier scanning.
- Report, Test, Report, Test, Repeat.
- You can buy a hundred books or read a thousand articles that will offer advice on increasing readership and results for your inbound marketing campaign. But at the end of the day, the only true measure of success is how your readers react to your content. And that can only be determined by testing and measuring the actual results of your campaigns. So for each of your upcoming email newsletters or blog posts, test one new feature and compare results. Keep everything else consistent (ie: delivery day/time, contact list, etc.) to get accurate results. You will learn very quickly what your audience responds to best by looking at the delivery reports and website analytics. Then simply repeat the positive and eliminate the negative.