There’s LinkedIn, there’s Twitter and there’s Instagram. When it comes to building revenue, though, I’d trade them all in for a large email list.
Email is unique in its ability to reliably reach a targeted audience. Collect more email addresses and you’ll fill your funnel, setting your brand up for future sales and growth.
The Power of an Email Database
For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can get a $38 return (Source: Litmus). Brands that describe their email marketing programs as successful actually achieve even better returns, reporting an average ROI of 42:1.
Where else are you going to get a 38X to 42X return on your marketing investment?
With this type of ROI, it’s important to not only focus on building a solid email list, but also to accelerate sign-ups and expand your list fast.
In this post I’ll walk you through how to grow your email list efficiently and effectively, but first, let’s look at the importance of list-building throughout the entire funnel.
Build Your Email List throughout the Funnel
Your audience may be at varying points in the purchase funnel. Some haven’t even realized they need your products or services. Others are evaluating options. Some have narrowed down their list and are in the decision-making phase.
It’s important to capture emails of those throughout the funnel. At the top, you can nurture them over time and create a strong relationship, so that when they start to seriously consider a purchase, your brand is positioned front and center in their minds.
In the middle, you can start to educate them on your differentiation and guide them towards why your products and services are a good fit.
At the bottom of the funnel, they are ready to make a final decision. In certain cases such as long B2B sales cycles, it might be too late to enter the game. On the other hand, there are many B2B purchases where the buyer is able to pivot and select a new brand if you can make a strong, distinctive, compelling argument and if the value you bring is indisputable. Even for those cases where you are too late to enter the the purchase process, you are starting a conversation with someone who is a real buyer and could make a switch in the future.
Capturing fresh emails is extremely valuable to your business, regardless of where they are at in the purchase process.
The more qualified emails you capture, the bigger your pipeline. The larger your pipeline, the greater likelihood of a healthy stream of sales qualified leads (SQLs). The more SQLs you have, and the greater your potential for growth.
How can you build your email list more effectively? Read on, and uncover 30 ways to collect email addresses online…fast!
30 Ways to Make Your Email List Grow Faster
1. Write Long Form Blog Posts
Long form content is great for capturing emails, as it’s long enough to be highly engaging while also supporting multiple CTAs on the page. Try including visual CTAs as well as inline, text-based CTAs. Try guiding them to case studies and value-added content, but also offer them the opportunity to connect with your Sales team. Long form content also can perform extremely well in organic search, expanding your reach to new audiences.
2. Use Behavioral Triggers
Applying behavioral triggers to your CTAs is an effective way to grow your database faster. By marrying your CTA timing and message to the specific digital body language of your site visitors, you can hit them with the right message at the time they are most receptive to it.
For example, our team here at Stratabeat tested a change to our mailing list opt-in CTA a while back. The new CTA would invite them to join our mailing list only if they had scrolled at least 70% down one of our blog posts (and our posts tend to be very long). The thought was that if someone were engaged enough to scroll that far down a long-form post, they most likely are enjoying the content and would be interested in more from us.
How did it turn out?
By adding the behavioral trigger, our mailing list opt-in rate increased by 300%!
3. Page-level Targeting
Too many times, I’m on a website and I’m confronted with a generic CTA that isn’t specific to the content on the page I’m on. That’s a formula for a low-performing CTA.
If you want more conversions (and emails), customize your messaging, offers and CTAs for the content on each page. By targeting at the page level, you better ensure that your messaging is aligned with the person’s interests.
4. Wait Until the Second Page View
A counter-intuitive way to increase the number of emails you are capturing is to wait until the second page view during their visit to display the CTA. You may think you need to display the CTA on the initial page they see, lest they leave the site without going to another page during their visit. However, by targeting the second page you’re sharing the CTA will someone who is more engaged in the site and in many cases more willing to hand over their email.
5. Onsite Retargeting
Are you showing returning visitors to your site the same CTAs they saw during their initial visit?
Try shaking things up and showing them a different message or using different CTA language. If you’re tagging your site visitors based on various behaviors they display while on your site, you’ll be able to segment your CTAs even further.
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6. Offer a Captivating Lead Magnet
It’s one thing to ask your site visitors to join your mailing list. It’s quite another to offer them a special report or other value-added download.
You’ll improve your email acquisition rate if you offer them more value. But don’t fool yourself. Make sure your content piece is truly captivating. Don’t create a content piece just to have one. Put all of your energy into your lead magnets, and be sure that once they swap their email for the download, they feel like they got a tremendous amount of value in the exchange.
Power Tip: Try two different kinds of lead magnets. One, offer it as a stand-alone content piece that you can market with a landing page. The second, try making a “content upgrade,” in which your blog readers can access a content download that delivers a deeper dive into the very topic on the page.
7. Create an Online Tool
Want lots of organic traffic that can turn into mailing list opt-ins? Want even more than that? Nothing beats a free online tool for attracting organic traffic and building new backlinks.
CoSchedule offers a headline analyzer tool, which brings in traffic from an estimated 2,000 organic keywords. The tool’s backlink profile includes links from 6,100+ websites.
Online tools can be traffic magnets. And because you’re providing your site visitors with something truly practical, you have a better chance of capturing their email address.
What’s a way to one-up this strategy?
Require their email to use the tool or get the output from the tool. Tableau does this to great success. The company offers a free version of its data visualization software, which attracts over 4.7 million visits each month, but you need to hand over your email in order to gain access. The tool has also earned backlinks from more than 46,000 websites.
8. Host Webinars
Long a staple of B2B marketing, you can use webinars to attract audiences for more in-depth topic explorations, especially in the middle of the funnel. Keep in mind that 59% of webinar registrations typically occur in the week leading up to the webinar, so go heavy on the promotion in the final stretch. According to GoToWebinar, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10am or 11am Pacific Time are the best times to host a webinar.
Power Tip: If you want to juice your attendance rates, create a video teaser for the webinar and offer a value-added content piece for all attendees.
9. Deliver Executive Briefings
These are similar to webinars, but targeted at the C-Suite and vice presidents. The idea is to speak directly to the concerns of executives as opposed to practitioners. And keep them short. Whereas a webinar can often be 45 minutes or an hour, an executive briefing should be 15 minutes to half an hour.
10. Offer an Initial Consultation
By offering an initial discovery or consultation, you accomplish two things. You learn about the prospect’s specific challenges and needs so that you can uncover how to help them most effectively, while also capturing their contact information in the process.
Power Tip: Charge for the initial discovery. By charging for this, you’re making it clear that your time and expertise is valuable and not something that can be found merely by searching around in Google.
11. Ask in Your Blog or Knowledge Hub
If people are visiting your blog or knowledge hub, guess what? They are interested in the topics you discuss. Great. Now, the logical next step is to enable them to get more of your content. It’s a simple, straightforward thing to do, but many brands still do not have a subscription CTA in their blog or knowledge hub. Be sure to check this off your list, as it’s very low hanging fruit to grow your email list.
12. Customized CTAs Based on the Traffic Source
Some of your visitors may arrive on your site through organic search in Google, while others may arrive through a narrowly targeted ABM campaign. Customize the CTAs in your website so that your CTAs are more on-point and aligned to the catalyst for their visit.
13. Use Full-screen Welcome Mat CTAs
If you want to make sure that you grab their attention, deploy a full-screen welcome mat on certain strategic pages in your website. Whereas small CTAs on the page may be overlooked, there’s no overlooking a full-screen CTA.
14. Use Pop-up CTAs
It would be a bit obnoxious to use full-screen welcome mat CTAs more than once. A similar yet slightly softer way to nudge your audience to sign up is through the use of contextually relevant pop-up CTAs.
15. Use Bottom Bar CTAs
I’ve already listed a few types of CTAs you can use. However, what’s even more user friendly is to use bottom bar CTAs, where your site visitor can still read the page without completing or clearing away the CTA display.
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16. Use Slide-in CTAs
Slide-in bars are similar to bottom bar CTAs, just a different format, where you enable your reader to continue consuming the content on the page if they prefer without the need to complete or clear away the CTA display. The CTA box typically slides in from the bottom right after a certain percentage of scrolling down the page.
17. Use Inline Text CTAs
Along with visual CTAs on the page, test intermingling them with inline, text-based CTAs. You’d be amazed how certain visitors are drawn to the visual CTAs whereas others prefer the text CTAs. By mixing it up, you are able to appeal to a broader spectrum of visitors.
Power Tip: Use different inline, text-based CTAs on the page to test what resonates with your audience.
18. Add CTAs to Your Blog Index Grid
If someone is checking out your blog, they are interested in your content. I had mentioned the value of adding a mailing list subscription CTA in your blog earlier in this post. What you should also consider is adding additional CTAs to your blog index page. For example, if you have a new white paper? Call it out. Have an upcoming webinar? Make it clear. Have something big in the works? Tease it and offer to put them on a waiting list.
19. Use Exit Intent CTAs
When they are leaving your website, you have a final opportunity to capture their email. For those companies that are not worried that this step would annoy their site visitors, hit them up with a final CTA that leverages exit-intent technology to engage with them just as they are about to leave your site.
20. YouTube – Include a CTA at the End of Your Videos
Into YouTube marketing? Great, then be sure to include a CTA via a call-to-action card at the end of your videos. Not only that, but you can also utilize the video description below the video to reinforce your CTA.
21. YouTube – Issue a Challenge
Something a bit more off the beaten path would be to issue a challenge to your video audience. Give them a challenge, and drive them to actions that will involve the capturing of their email. For example, send them on an online scavenger hunt, direct them to a landing page for a competition or send them to an interactive tool (see “Create an Online Tool” above).
22. Conduct Surveys
An effective way to capture their email while also getting audience insight is to add surveys to your website. To ensure it’s the right audience segment answering each survey, be sure to launch multiple surveys, customized to each page. Include a final question in each survey asking for their email address. You don’t even need to make that question required, and you’ll still most likely see a large percentage of respondents will still enter their email.
23. Share Your Content on Social Media
OK, this one is kind of a no-brainer. I’m sure you’re already doing this. But it’s worth stating that you should be sharing over and over and over again. Too many companies post about a new white paper or other content offering once or twice and then leave it at that. That’s not nearly enough effort or volume. Social media is cluttered. You need to consistently get the word out there, even if you have to post the same message a number of times. Just mix it up, so that your audience is always engaged and never bored.
24. Include a Link in Your Twitter Profile
In your Twitter profile, make better use of the profile text by including a link to a landing page where they can sign up for a special offer.
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25. Ask for Email Addresses in Your Site Footer
The lowest of the lowest of low-hanging fruit.
26. Invite the People in Your Database to Share Your Emails
When you send your newsletter or announcements or other email to your database, try making it easy for them to share it with others. You’d be surprised just how many shares you might generate.
27. Optimize Your Site Forms
Your website and landing page forms are your point of conversion. They are the moment of truth with whatever campaign or messaging you have. Either they are going to submit your form, or they aren’t. This is why it’s puzzling why more marketers do not test and optimize their forms. Lower your form abandonment, and you immediately increase your email subscribers.
28. Use Conditional Logic in Your Forms
If you ask them for information and they respond, wouldn’t it make sense to change up and customize the subsequent fields in your form accordingly? For a boost to your form conversion rates, try using conditional logic, and make the form submission process more personalized while you also capture more relevant, valuable information about your prospects.
29. Partner with Others
You have an email marketing database and so do others. Here’s the thing, they have different people in their database than you. This is why one of the most effective ways for significantly increasing your email list is to partner with complementary companies and conduct joint campaigns and engage in co-marketing. For half the effort, you double your reach.
30. Send Defensive Backs onto the Field
In football, the defense has a group of defensive backs made up of cornerbacks and safeties. Their job is to act as a line of last defense, in the event that the offense makes its way past the defensive line and linebackers.
You can similarly activate backup CTAs as your own marketing defensive backs. Look beyond your front line of CTAs, and display backup, or secondary, CTAs to those who ignore the initial CTA. Perhaps they weren’t interested in the first CTA for whatever reason. That doesn’t mean they won’t love another offer you can make to them.
Summary: How to Grow Your Email List
Email marketing is one of the most effective (and cost-effective) ways to engage your audience, stay top-of-mind and build your business. With an ROI of 38X – 42X, email marketing deserves an all-out effort to build as substantial email database as possible. Use these 30 email list-building techniques to grow your email list, and to grow it FASTER.
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