According to MarketingProfs the email marketing average ROI is $40 for every $1 spent, far outstripping banner ads ($2) and keyword ads ($17). Compared to the fast fleeting tweets and Facebook posts that can be buried in over-saturated users' feeds, email marketing ensures greater visibility and higher click-trough rates.
Speaking to your customers through emails is a great way to establish personalized connections, build trust, and boost sales at the same time. Now the question is – how can you grow your subscribers list to capitalize on email marketing's best features?
Here are 3 effective ways to grow your subscriber list:
1. Make your opt-in form irresistibly attractive
What's the anatomy of a perfect opt-in form that converts targeted sign-ups? W. Scott Cain from Phoenix SEO Company lists the following key elements:
- Attention grabbing headline – short, sweet, and punchy. Questions often work great, for instance: Do you want to know how to build a massively popular blog? Or exact answers to your users' problems e.g. “Work Less and Earn More – free tips on finding high paying clients and projects”.
- Crystal clear “What's in it for me” – state the essential value of signing up for your newsletter. What will they learn? What will they get in return? The offer should be exciting and valuable enough. Struggling to identify what this is? Dig up your most popular posts (with most shares and comments) and elaborate on them for a more detailed report. Alternatively, simply ask your audience – what do they want/need? What’s their #1 problem? Offer a handy solution to their struggle as a sign up bait.
- Strategic placement – your opt-in form should be above the fold. According to a recent research, users typically use F-shaped pattern for reading content. Thus, the best strategic placement of your form should be in line with the second horizontal line of the “F”.
2. Promote your newsletter via other channels
Mailchimp and Aweber both have an option to share your newsletter publicly on social media after it's sent to your email subscribers. There's no need to share each copy (you still need to give a valid reason why your social media fans should subscribe via email); just one or two per month. Hook your social media fans up and keep them intrigued with a sneak peek inside the goodies you are sharing exclusively with email fans.
Secondly, promote your email list through guest blogging. Write a powerful post for a popular blogger in your niche and drop a link to your newsletter in the bio. The best practice is to create a special squeeze page for your new readers gained through guest blogging, where you'd briefly explain who you are, what you do, and why it's worth to sing up for your newsletter.
3. Run a contest
Contests, when well executed, can drastically increase your engagement rates and boost email sign up numbers at the same time. While contests can take numerous forms – content submission, user voting, trivia – the essential point is to ask participants to register with their email address.
Of course, you need to offer value in exchange for your readers' emails. Make sure you've chosen a good prize your community would appreciate.
Basecamp nailed it with their Tell a Friend contest. They asked users to sign up for an account at Basecamp and share a referral code via email or social media. Everyone who signed up received a $10 discount on Basecamp, and entrants got a chance to win an iPad and MacBook Air, along with a grand prize of $5,000. Needless to say that they managed to nearly double their user base afterwards for a fraction of the cost they could have spent for traditional advertising.
Image Credit: Flickr/cheryl flava