Email marketing is alive and kicking every other marketing tactic aside. Well, not really. But when you see the results an email marketing campaign reaps and the budget at which that happens, you would know exactly what we mean.
Small, medium or large scale business – email marketing still continues to be the most cost effective marketing technique. According to a study by Monetate, email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel including social media and search.
But the key to a successful email marketing strategy is a high quality email list. A list of people who willingly want to engage with the business regularly and are not bombarded with messages that most of us don’t really want to see in our inboxes.
Remember those blast emails you received a few days back from a business you hadn’t even heard of? They are the perfect example of what doesn’t show results.
However, the techniques that most businesses choose to request emails often results in ruining the user experience. And this might result in the user deciding to abandon the website altogether.
So after collating data from what businesses have been doing, trying and testing them out with our strategy, here are the 4 tips that can help businesses develop a strong email list building strategy:
1. Ensure opting in is at the top of the visitor’s mind (without overwhelming him)
The only way to make a visitor interested in your products and services, is to give ample content to inspect or consume. The more reliable you are, the more likely they are to subscribe to your email list when asked.
A good practice here is to make the email opt-in boxes easily accessible on every web page. The idea is to ensure that opting in to your email list remains at the top of the visitor’s mind while browsing through your content. The greater the number of email opt-ins, the greater are the chances of a satisfied visitor to subscribe. But the catch here is to not interrupt or ruin the reading/browsing experience of the visitor.
Placing it throughout the page – top, middle and bottom, or using a constant floating bar right at the top of the web page covers all the possible scroll points. The manner in which you present these boxes – static or dynamic, entirely depends on your overall page design and the resources you have to implement them.
For example, HubSpot makes use of a constant floating bar at the top of their web pages so that the visitor or the reader can subscribe to their blog at any point he feels convinced to do so.
Instead of the conventional opt-in boxes, you can use the bounce prevention technology offered by Exit Bee to implement the same. The technology gives you the option to create opt-in overlays that can be slid in, delayed by a defined time or triggered when the visitor is leaving the website.
Offer the opt-in box as frequently as possible, but without overwhelming or annoying the visitor and ruining his overall experience on the website.
2. Only ask for what is necessary
Internet users are becoming increasingly wary of sharing their information on digital channels. With the reports of security breaches often coming up, it really doesn’t help when a business asks them for too much information for a simple action.
As optimized email opt-in is the one that focuses on gathering only the important information from the visitor. Ideally, this is either just the email address or sometimes, the name and the email address of the visitor. The latter though helps you create personalized email marketing campaigns at a later time and is usually preferred by businesses today.
3. Include social proof in your message
Requesting a visitor to subscribe is a good practice, but including social proof along with it can really boost your conversions. Like we have said before, people trust people. If they know that a number of others like them have subscribed to your newsletters or loving the content you’re sending across to them, they are more likely to convert.
A few good ways to include social proof in your opt-in message is to show a high visitor count, subscriber count, testimonials or your social following. The idea is only to let the visitor know that he isn’t going to be disappointed by sharing his contact information with your business.
Another smart practice is to add a line that ensures the visitor that his contact information will not be shared with others (and also ensure the same), and a promise to not spam them at any point of time. You could also let them know beforehand what they should expect after opting in to your email list.
4. Giveaway something for FREE
The most successful email subscription campaigns are those that offer incentives to visitors in return for their contact information.
Sometimes a visitor might not think it to be valuable enough to drop his email address on your website. The only way to convince him instantly is to offer something that interests him. This need not really be a big discount or an offer. It could be something as simple as an industry specific ebook, white paper or case study that might add value to him.
The giveaway should entirely be based on what your business is all about, what kind of traffic your website is drawing and what they could possibly be interested in gaining for free.
5. Ask them to share their subscription
Usually an email opt-in strategy ends right after the visitor has shared his email address. But a smart way to boost your website traffic and hence, the subscribers, is to encourage this visitor to also share the subscription news in his circles.
But it is important that you first let him complete the subscription and then ask him to share it. Since this visitor is already in the flow of completing certain actions, he is more likely to complete this action too!
What’s more? It will not just get you more visitors to the website, but also help boost your social presence.
Business website owners will (almost) immediately see results when they implement the above mentioned tips.
Remember, in the end, it is all about how you would be able to add value to a visitor. The aim should be to fill a void that the visitor has been seeking information for. If you want yourself to be placed as an informative source in the industry, it is important to let your visitors consume and process the information without interruption before you ask them to complete any kind of action.