A healthy, growing email list keeps new and loyal clients in the loop about your upcoming products, services, webinars, and site launches. If done correctly, these email marketing efforts will impact sales more than any other online efforts – and you’ll spend less time making it happen.
The problem: You need people to actually sign up or “opt in” to your list. The days of uploading random excel spreadsheets of contacts or having your assistant input all of the email addresses from your stack of business cards are long gone.
Firstly, you’ll turn people off who MIGHT have been interested if they feel spammed or marketed to without their permission. Secondly, you are much more likely to get caught in the spam filters of people who DO care about your message if those who don’t are marking you as spam in their inbox settings or unsubscribing at a high rate.
So how do you get people to sign up?
First, you need to offer them something of value – a reason to sign up.
It’s also a good idea to let them know what you’ll be emailing them, and what the frequency of those emails will be. And you want to start with the end goal in mind.
For example: earlier this year, I had a goal of growing an email list from zero to 500 – full of startups and entrepreneurs interested in building a social media strategy. So – I created a 50 page “how to” guide, put an opt in box on the front of my website and set the download link to auto-send to anyone who signed up. The results? An instant 150 signups in the first week and a steady 2 or 3 per day ever since.
But signups weren’t the actual goal – what I wanted was to build up the consulting side of my business, specifically my digital strategy sessions.
Because $375 isn’t just a drop in the bucket for most startups and entrepreneurs, I know that I need to show potential clients the value of working with me. So that’s where the strategy guide comes in. So far, I’ve gone from one strategy session per month to one or two per week.
I’d love to also tell you that I came up with this strategy ALL BY MYSELF, but I actually got this list building tactic (along with several others that I’ve grown niche lists with) from Jenny Shih.
Jenny mastered the art of list building and then created this really fun, super informative course called “Get Your First 1000 Subscribers” that also includes a private facebook group where we all give each other feedback on our opt ins, driving traffic through guest posting, etc. If you’ve got $200 to invest in training like this, I’d highly recommend it. (And if you don’t you can do what I did and split the cost with a friend; that way you each only pay half, but both get access to the training – and bonus: you’ve got someone to talk to about your process).
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