Whether your business “recipe for success” is focused on a few key milestones or you have a big, hearty vision you’re working to achieve, you’re going to get the best results when you use high-quality “ingredients.”
By that I mean you can “cook up” a profitable email list that is highly responsive, builds connections with your current and potential clients, and allows you to market your brand over time just by using the “ingredients” you probably already have.
What ingredients? Here are 15 you can put together to build a high quality list:
1. Your Website
Offer visitors a FREE gift in exchange for their first name and email address, and give them an opportunity to stay connected with you. Be sure to clearly state how often you will contact them and remind them that their information will not be shared with any third party.
2. Social Media
Add a tab to your Facebook Page about your FREE gift and share that page on all of your social networks for greater visibility. Give your social community multiple opportunities to opt-in.
Consider linking blog posts to archived emails and encourage readers to learn more by subscribing to your newsletter.
Add a link to your FREE gift in your everyday email signature. Include a brief reason why someone should subscribe. And be sure you are staying in touch with new subscribers via an autoresponder series and a regular email newsletter. Consistency is what gets results!
5. Online sales
If your business has an online retail component, you’re probably already collecting a lot of valuable information from your customers. This is an ideal time to ask customers to join your list and stay connected.
6. Phone calls
Remember to ask prospects if they’re interested in staying in touch with you. This doesn’t mean answering the phone, “Hello, would you like to join our mailing list?” but keep a reminder near your phone so the next time you have a great conversation, you’ll remember to ask.
7. In-store sign up
Put a sign-up sheet near your register or better yet, setup a Scan-to-Join or Text-to-Join feature so people can quickly join your list with their mobile phones.
8. Networking events
Follow up with a personal email to the people you’ve exchanged contact info with. Ask if they’d like to receive tips and information you have to share on a specific topic. Give them a link to a recent email you’ve sent and then direct them to where they can sign up to stay in touch. (Remember: never add someone to your list without their permission!)
9. Speaking engagements
An audience that has taken time out of their day to listen to you is an audience you want to stay in touch with! Invite them to stay in touch with you via your email newsletter. Follow-up promptly after the event to thank them for their attendance and remind them as to how often they’ll be hearing from you (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly).
10. Current clients
Word-of-mouth is a valuable tool for growing your email mailing list. Sometimes providing a simple call-to-action like: “Did you enjoy this email? Who do you know that will benefit from this information?”
11. Family and friends
Ask your family and friends to share a link to your sign-up form on their social networks they may be connected to someone who could use your emails.
12. Referral partners
Reach out to other businesses who are targeting the same audience as you (with a complementary product or service) and see what they have done to get people to sign up for their emails. Brainstorm ways you can help promote each other to build both of your lists!
13. Current staff members
Make sure your team members know building your email list is a priority for your business. Sometimes all it takes is having them ask prospects and clients if they are interested.
14. Online Advertising
Pay-Per-Click ads are a great way to drive traffic to your email list opt-in. Instead of driving traffic to your main website or a particular product or service for sale, setup a landing page, who’s only job is to capture the visitor’s name and email address. You can chose whatever budget makes sense for you and run ads on Google AdWords or Facebook (if your audience is active there).
15. Local media
You can make the most of any media coverage your business receives by telling the person who is writing the story about your email list. Even if they don’t include it as part of their story, they may sign up themselves as a way of keeping up with your business – which could land you more coverage in the future.
Get your email list cooking!
You don’t necessarily need to use all of these ingredients at one time. Start by seeing how you can better leverage what you already have (i.e. your website, blog and Facebook page). Then consider what other tactics you can add on to get better results.
When you put all those ingredients together, you’ll be on your way to building your own revenue generating email list. And building from scratch means you’ll have a list of subscribers who are more engaged and ready to eat…or in this case buy the products and services you have to sell!