5 Effective Strategies for Startups to Grow Their Email Lists

April 3, 2016

9:05 pm

Email marketing has been dead many times, so many people say. Yet it remains the oldest and most effective technique to speak directly to your customers. Studies reveal that it has one of the highest ROI in marketing. As a startup, your priority should be increasing the size of your email list. And you should be culling it often.

A high-quality email list can get the traction you need on a product launch, encourage higher numbers of store visits, and strengthen the relationship between you and your customers. These strategies are going to ensure that your email list grows at an exponential rate.

1. Ask Them to Join

It may seem obvious to you, but a lot of startups are afraid to ask people to sign up to their email lists. They are terrified of spamming their customers with an email. But what you may not realize is that your most loyal customers want to hear from you. They want that relationship as much as you do.

Attach a small message to the bottom of every communication you have asking them to sign up to your email list. The worst they can do is not to do it.

2. Use Facebook Ads

In many industries, companies have targeted social media as a way to increase the size of their lists. Facebook ads are the most effective social media ads available. The Ads Manager on Facebook gives you important information about your reach and target audience, as well as allowing you to target based on interests and specific demographics.

Here’s an example of how you would set up Facebook ads to drive newsletter signups:

  1. Create an ad image and add in your desired demographics and interests. Launch a compelling offer where if they register for your list you will give them something in return.
  2. Use a link to a custom landing page where they can register and then automatically receive whatever you are offering them.
  3. Continue to tweak and test your ads.

On a side note, try to narrow down the countries you target. Many fraudsters want you to target countries like India, Pakistan, and the Philippines because this is where the majority of fake accounts are located. If these users hit your email list, they could well bring down your business by having you marked as spam.

3. Make the Opt-In Form Impossible to Miss

Your opt-in form should be the most prominent feature on your website. It should be visible on every page, at least towards the side bar. But as well as putting it on the sidebar you should consider using a lightbox. Many companies see this as intrusive and a prime way to annoy your customers. But it’s actually extremely effective.

It’s easy enough to click away from and time and time again it’s shown to be effective.

4. What’s In It For Me?

You need to give people a compelling reason why they absolutely have to join your list. You should be offering something exclusive that can’t be found anywhere else. What this is is entirely up to you, but it can be anything from a behind the scenes look at the company to a free eBook.

Don’t just ask people to opt-in tell people why they absolutely can’t miss out on opting in. The right friends as an entrepreneur could make your business successful, so make sure you are starting that relationship off on the right foot.

5. Run a Contest

Every so often you may want to run a content in order to facilitate a sudden boom in email signups. Again, you need to offer something compelling to get people to register. Bear in mind that you shouldn’t offer something too valuable or irrelevant to your business otherwise, this will dilute the quality of the people signing up.

Make this a timed offer so people have a sense of urgency. You have to make them feel as if they have to register right this second.

The Quality of Your Email List

 The quality of your email list is crucial. People are so obsessed with having a large email list that they lose sight of the point of a list in the first place. If you have hundreds of people with no interest in your company, you are going to see declining open rates, and your communications may even be marked as spam. For example, you should never buy an email list.

Cull your list of inactive subscribers regularly and make sure you are only keeping the people who are genuine engaged in what your startup is doing.

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AJ Agrawal is an entrepreneur, speaker, and writer. He is the CEO and Co-Founder at Alumnify Inc.

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