Top tips for building your email subscriber list

You've got a great email marketing campaign. Now you just need subscribers to send it to. We share our tips for building a list that converts.
Feb 9, 2020 • 7 minute read
Ruchi Bhargava @RuchiBhargava1
Technical Co-pilot
Cover photo for Top tips for building your email subscriber list

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The best email strategy in the world only works if you've built a good subscriber list

We are already well into 2020, and email still remains one of the top performers when it comes to marketing. With a more than 4,000% ROI, it’s no wonder that email is one of the most preferred routes for reaching out to potential customers.

And despite what the naysayers propose, email is not dead yet. On the contrary, if you want to improve your business’s performance, then email must form the core of your marketing efforts. With almost 99% of users checking their emails every day, you have a very high chance of reaching out to the right prospects. So it’s very important to build the right email strategy.

But the thing is, no amount of strategy will work unless you have a long list of subscribers.

And for that reason alone, the first step that you must take to ensure that your email marketing campaign goes the right way is to build a sizable email subscribers list. A sizable subscriber database is one of the proven ways of improving customers' engagement with your brand. A list of email subscribers with the right intent can help your brand improve engagement, create leads and drive conversions.

However, it’s all easier said than done. Building a proper email subscriber list can be quite challenging for both newcomers as well as experts.

So, to help you get through this with success, we've built this set of top tips that can help enable you to create an email subscriber list that delivers. If you can execute the strategies outlined in this post to perfection, you're sure to create an email database that can provide you with valuable returns.

Provide value

This is the first and most important point that we’d like to illustrate. Believe it or not, in the 21st century, personal data is one of the most valuable commodities, and people know that. So unless you give people a good enough reason to share their email with you, then you’re just setting up for a losing game.

Providing value to your customers is the best path that you can take on the route to building a successful email list. In fact, acquiring the email address of a customer is only the first step in building a solid email database.

Once you do acquire subscribers, you need to make sure that they're happy with your content and remain subscribed. The best way to do this is to provide the best possible value to your prospects. Personalized offers, unique discounts and periodic incentives are just some of the many ways to ensure that more and more people opt in and don’t opt out.

Further, when you provide engaging content, the recipients themselves become your advocates by sharing it across their network. To facilitate this, remember to include buttons for social shares and email forwards on your email. This way, you stand to create a chain reaction of reaching from one subscriber to many more on their list.

Create a stellar website and landing page

So you’ve created the best-in-class content, and are ready to share it on your website. But is your website ready for your customers?

Nothing spells doom and gloom for a business like a bland website and uninteresting landing page that drives the customers away. Unless you have a brilliant website that can keep the customers engaged, they're bound to stay away. So make sure your website and landing page are interesting and catchy enough to convert.

Also, pay special attention to the design of your website and landing page. Make sure to place the email opt-in form in a location that you know your visitors will spot. You can make use of heat maps to narrow down the zone where your visitors spend the most amount of time. Also, place important offers and giveaways above the primary fold of your landing page to guarantee that customers don’t miss a thing.

And above all, be certain that your web property is responsive enough to be viewed on all devices. Mobile traffic nowadays makes up a sizable chunk of online activity, and you’d be sorely missing out if you're not capturing the mobile crowd. So make sure your website is ready to cater to all sizes of screens.

Read More: Creating landing pages that convert

Mix gated and ungated content

Just displaying an offer or resource and asking people for their email addresses is a bad form. In fact, it might actually drive customers away. So to be certain that this doesn’t happen, create an optimal mix of gated and ungated content.

Gated…what?

Let us explain. Gated content usually sits behind an opt-in form, and the user has to provide personal details in order to access it. Ungated content, on the other hand, is content that's available to everyone for free access.

Unless you can provide value to your customers through ungated content, you actually have no right to ask them for their personal details. A good strategy in this respect would be to offer free content first, then entice with bonus content that they can access by opting in. This way, you not only provide value to your users but also ensure that they remain interested in consuming your content.

Leverage social media to the fullest

Social media is one of the most happening places on the planet, and you’d stand to gain a lot if you can leverage this platform to build your email list. One of the best ways you can do this is by promoting contests and offers through social.

One of the best ways to do this is to offer free giveaways in exchange for contact information. Through social media, you can encourage your prospects to visit your website and sign-up for your list.

Another good way to leverage social media is by holding contests. Everyone likes a bit of competition, and by promoting a contest through social media that requires an email to participate in, you can garner a large number of subscribers in a very short time.

You can also include noticeable call-to-action buttons on your social media pages, and publish gated content on social platforms. Both methods can result in the collection of a sizable number of emails.

Read More: Why you need a social media strategy

Go visual

It’s no secret that visual content is the way to the future. When you use platforms such as YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram to promote visual content, make sure to include email opt-in links at the end of the videos or below your posts. This way, your users get the chance to become a part of your mailing list and never miss out on any content. Of course, the prerequisite is that you provide brilliant content that your visitors don't want to miss out on.

Value feedback

Feedback is a very important channel for building engagement with your potential subscribers. Everyone likes to leave feedback on issues that pertain to them, and by providing them with the opportunity to do so you can open the gates to meaningful value exchange.

Another good way to do this is to create a live chat tool for repeat visitors or those that have spent a considerable amount of time on your website. Through this chat system, you can invite questions that visitors might have about your business, try to resolve their queries and also offer them the chance to opt-in to your email list.

Optimize your lead capture forms

The average lead capture form tends to include multiple fields that try to gather as much info about the user as possible. This, if you ask us, is a mistake. By asking the user to completely reveal every personal detail, you can actually scare them off.

Instead, consider just including two or three fields in your lead capture forms. Just ask for the email and name of the person. This way, you're not being too intrusive, but are still gathering the essentials required to start a conversation. Once the visitor becomes a loyal subscriber you can slowly start to know more about them.

Create compelling copy

If the customer is king, then copy is the kingmaker. Compelling copy can work wonders for your email marketing list. And while the right copy can certainly work wonders for your email marketing campaign, the wrong kind of copy can drive subscribers away.

So pay special attention to your copy, and make sure that you test multiple versions of the copy to see which works best. Often, a very small change can have a significant effect on your campaign. Simple things, such as the CTA text, opt-in form design and even the location of the opt-in form on your website can influence the decision of your visitors. You need to take special care and narrow down the list of options to those that actually work.

Oh, and one more thing: Be sure to change your copy versions periodically. People’s tastes change with time, and you need to be on top of that change if you want to keep adding to your list.

Read More: Why your website needs great copy

Offer a newsletter

One of the best ways of getting subscribers to opt into your email list is to create a relevant newsletter. In today’s times, we have varied interests but very little scope to cover it all. When you offer a personalized, weekly digest of your users’ topics of interest, this becomes a really valuable resource for them to follow. This makes it all the more likely that they're going to share email information and opt in for your newsletters.

Include a way out

This might sound counterintuitive, but in order to build a successful email subscribers list, you need to give your existing subscribers a way to opt out of your list as well. Any legit email marketing campaign needs to include an unsubscribe option that users can utilize to opt out of your list.

But how does this help you?

Before the users opt out, ask for their feedback. Why are they leaving? What would it take for them to come back? And what can you do better? By gaining an understanding of these answers, you stand to create better email gathering campaigns in the future and enrich your lists.

Final words

Email is still one of the most rewarding avenues for building a successful customer base. And creating a sizable email subscribers list is the first step to achieving that. Remember, however, that this is only the first step.

Perhaps more important than garnering email addresses is nurturing them; unless you can nurture your existing subscribers and provide them value, you can't expect more people to come and be a part of your email list.

So don’t wait. Start following the above tips, and get on your way to building a stellar email campaign.

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