Email marketing is, by far, the most cost effective online marketing strategy around. A recent statistic I read shared that for every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment. (Source: Experian)
To utilize email marketing, however, of course you must have a list of people to send your emails to. In addition, you need to be continually looking for ways to get more strategic and creative about how you build your list.
Not doing so will really limit your potential for long-term success. Because, while your current contacts may be generating sales for you today, it’s possible they may outgrow your business. So having a cycle of new customers, clients, and prospects opting in to build a relationship with and sell to ensures that your business will remain profitable for months and years to come.
Plus, as your contact list grows, you’re expanding to reach more people who can help your business grow by becoming repeat customers and spreading the word about your business.
How to get smarter about the way you grow your list
An effective list growth strategy starts with covering your touch points. By covering your touch points and making it easy for people to join your list in all the places they interact with your business, you’ll cast a wide net that will be guaranteed to deliver the new contacts you need to grow your audience.
Here are some of the most common ways small businesses are growing their lists today:
- Use an automated signup tool like Text-to-Join or Scan-to-Join: Tools like Text-to-Join and Scan-to-Join from Constant Contact allow consumers to join your list automatically—by sending a text or scanning a QR code.
- Have a signup form on EVERY PAGE of your website: Having an email signup form on your website allows you to collect contact information from prospects that are coming to your site via search. It also gives current customers an opportunity to sign up if they’re not already on your contact list.
- A signup form on your Facebook Page: Add a Join My Mailing List tab to your Facebook Page and share your newsletter on all of your social networks for greater visibility.
In addition to simply covering your touch points, you can also incorporate list-building into the activities you’re already doing, like:
- When hosting an event: Collect email addresses when people register to attend or make sure it’s easy for people to join your list at the event.
- When offering a local deal: Make sure to collect contact information from people when they redeem your offer or collect information when someone buys the deal.
- When running a campaign on Facebook: Social campaigns are a great way to attract new fans and generate business results from sites like Facebook, but it’s also a big opportunity to grow your list.
Once you have all of your touch points mapped out, you can take an inventory of which methods are actually working and what you could be doing differently to improve your overall results.
Tracking your list growth
If you’ve been using all—or at least some—of these methods of growing your list, you should already be in a position to take an inventory of your contacts. If you’re just getting started, you’ll need to give yourself some time before you make any decisions about what’s working or where to make improvements.
Taking an inventory of your contacts isn’t something you’ll need to do after every email, rather it’s something you should try to do at least once a quarter or every few months.
Take a look at each of the methods you’re currently using to grow your list individually. There are three questions you’ll want to consider for each:
- Is this method working?
- How does it compare to the other methods you’re using to grow your list?
- Could you be doing more to improve your results?
By identifying your list building strengths and weaknesses, you’ll be able to make smarter decisions about how you grow your list and extend the reach of your emails.
Your Action Plan For The Week:
- Review each page of your website. If your opt-in box is missing, have your web developer add it to every web page.
- Analyze your social media marketing strategies. Be sure that your social media traffic is being driven to a page where prospects can opt-in to your subscriber list.
- Track your progress! Review your stats regularly to determine what’s working, what’s not and what needs to be adjusted.