As marketers we spend a lot of time talking about email best practices—things like how to generate a catching subject line, what kind of graphics should you use in your email, what time of day should you send an email and how many times should you email your list. You can engage with your list and nurture the contacts you have, but are you replenishing your funnel with new contacts?
Strong email marketing strategies can have great impacts on your business, but growing an engaged contact list to send regular emails to can be one of the most challenging elements of a successful email strategy. Website subscription forms are pretty standard, but if this is the only way you’re refreshing your contact list, you might be missing out on some of your most engaged customers and potential contacts.
Here are a few things you can work into your lead generation strategy to create a list of individuals who love your brand, want to hear from you, and are willing to tell their friends and family all about how awesome your products or services are.
1. Exclusive Offer/Access
Give people a reason to sign up for your newsletter list—explain to them the benefits of being on this list as an advantage to not being on it. Maybe you’re willing to give contacts a coupon, or free gift when they sign up. Or you provide weekly/monthly/quarterly sales, promotions, or exclusive email-only offers to your list. Whatever your specific offer, make sure contacts know what they can expect to gain by giving you their email address.
2. Physical Signup Forms
It might feel a little “old school” but having a physical signup form at your brick and mortar location, tradeshows or events you might attend or exhibit at, or any networking events you have a presence at is an opportunity to connect with people who have developed a personal connection with you and your brand. Physical forms require a little bit of manual work to input in your CRM, but it’s a no obligation yes for individuals. They don’t have to make a purchase or commit to anything other than being willing to learn more.
3. Downloadable Content
Offer valuable and relevant information to your website viewers in exchange for their email address. Providing downloadable content in the form of a case study, white paper, webinar, or even an e-book is a great way to offer free resources to already interested contacts and collect their email address. Now you can continue to reach out to them with additional information, insights or opportunities related to the resources they downloaded on your site.
4. Social Media Profile Buttons
Having buttons or links on your social media profiles are great ways to encourage engagement across multiple channels. Individuals coming to your social media profiles are already engaged in your business or aware of what you have to offer. Providing an easy way for them to sign up for things like exclusive offers, or monthly promotions is a great way to continue the conversation even after they log off their social platforms.
5. “Tell a Friend” or “Send an Invite” Buttons
If you do have an email list, make sure you’re having regular communication with the people on that list and give them opportunities to further engage. Sometimes brands will run promotions giving current contacts some sort of coupon for referring a friend, but even including a simple “tell a friend” button without a promotion allows recipients to share your content with other individuals that have been pre-qualified by your contact. Having a share button that asks your current contact to tell you what email address they want to share the email to gives you the opportunity to reach out to the new contact encouraging them to join your list for regular content like the item their friend shared.
Ready, Set, Grow!
There’s no single right way to grow your email list organically, but testing and implementing across multiple access points can help you start growing that list. Be sure to always be following Email Marketing best practices, and to regularly clean your contact lists to maintain the most effective strategy.
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