Build Your Email List And They Will Come

Build Your Email List And They Will Come


Email Lists

In my last post I told you about the huge ROI (Return on Investment), you can get from sending a regular e-newsletter, as well as the trust and relationships you build with your clients, and prospective clients.

But even the most compelling emails are useless if you don’t have a list to send them to.

Business consultant, MaryEllen Tribby once said:  If you don’t have a list, you don’t have a business – you have a garage sale.

Why Do I Need a List?

So today, I’m going to give you some best practices for lead capture to build your list and, ultimately, to generate leads and then convert those leads to satisfied clients.

When you have a website, it’s not a case of build it and they will come. You need marketing, publicity, and advertising strategies to drive traffic to your website.

When that traffic comes to your website, you need to have some kind of free offer to exchange for the visitor’s email address so you can add them to your list.

So, what should you offer your visitors?

At its most basic is the sign up box, or opt-in form, on a website offering to send news and updates.

But we can do better than that.

What Should I Offer?

An e-course or a newsletter can get good results, but most people want something instant. If they sign up to your offer, they want to see something straight away. People don’t like to wait. If you got them excited enough to opt-in, then they want your free offer now.

We live in a world of instant gratification.

A downloadable free report in PDF form is still the most popular lead magnet. You could also offer audios, videos, and other goodies, but the free special report still works best for most audiences, providing it’s on a topic that interests them.

Of course, you should know who your target market is, and offer them something you know they’d want.

Give your free report a name. Don’t just call it a free report. Then assign a value to it – worth $29, for instance. Try to over-deliver by sending something else of value that they weren’t expecting. Everyone loves a surprise bonus, and you’ll be remembered for giving outstanding value.

Don’t try to sell your visitors straight away. Offer them the free report, capture their email address and then build a relationship with them by sending them valuable content before you make offers and try to sell them on your goods or services.

Your goal is to build a relationship with your list, offer them valuable information, and become their go-to business.

The Lead Capture Form

Have your opt-in box on every page of your website because you never know which page people are going to land on.  If they miss the opt-in box on one page they’ll keep seeing it as they navigate through the pages, so it gives them multiple opportunities to opt-in.

The prime place for your opt-in box is the upper right side of the page, above the fold, so readers don’t have to scroll down. Web users have been conditioned to look there for free offers and more information (try it yourself).

Make the opt-in box attractive with an attention-grabbing, benefits-driven headline. Using numbers and specific results in your headline or subhead always works well. Add an image of your report or offer, and reader-focused text that highlights the benefits of it.

The less information you ask for the better. People won’t answer a bunch of questions to get your free offer. I’ve seen it many times myself, businesses ask for too much information and people click away. Their name and email is usually all you need, and all they’re willing to give.

And tell visitors what to do – enter your name and best email address. People don’t want to think, they want quick and easy. So you do the work and make it quick and easy for them.

Don’t use the default language on your opt-in form. Most have a Submit or Subscribe button. Customise it for your business, use power words, and a positive action button. Many words work well, but three in particular are Download Now, Free Instant Access, and Sign Up Now.

It’s all about what works best for your audience. You may need to do some testing to get it just right. But remember to keep your message consistent.

It helps to add an anti-spam notice, or We Respect Your Privacy, to reassure them you will never sell their details to spammers.

But Wait … There’s More

Another method is to advertise your free offer elsewhere and send your prospects to a dedicated landing page where they can sign up. This has the advantage of having more space to give more information, and highlight the benefits without any other navigation or distractions. Just the headline, the benefit copy, and the opt-in box. The landing page serves one purpose: to get people to sign up for your free offer.

Ideally, you want to have both these forms. The opt-in box on the website for visitors who naturally land on your site, and the dedicated landing page for visitors who’ve been driven there by your advertising.

Other ways to build your list are pop-ups on your website, or welcome mats that pop up and cover the entire page. These work best for content rich sites like blogs, or where a website relies heavily on free search engine traffic.

You can also use banner ads or other advertising on your website that takes visitors to your dedicated landing page. These pages can get from 25% – 50% opt-in rate. If your offer is more complex you can make your landing page longer. Make it as long as it needs to be to convey the benefits to the visitor, but not long and cluttered with too much information.

Keep it simple.

You can also have a CTA (call-to-action) at the bottom of your website pages that sends people to an opt-in box, or a landing page on your website. If someone has read far enough to get to the bottom of the page there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in signing up for your free offer.

Have a look around your website and see where you might be missing a CTA, but always remember to have the main opt-in box on the top right of the pages, above the fold.

Your Most Valuable Business Asset

Never underestimate the importance of your list, and your follow up email marketing. Treat your list subscribers with respect, and offer them exceptional value. Your list is one of the most valuable assets in your business. Once you have an email list make sure you mail to it regularly, that’s what it’s for, and that’s why people opted in.

And what about skipping all that work and just buying a list of email addresses?

Well, I’ve got one thing to say about that: Don’t you do it!

If you want to maintain your business reputation and credibility, please don’t do it. Never mail to people unless they have given you permission to do so.

Happy list building.




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