Email has certainly come a long way since its inception in 1978. Now most marketers can’t imagine living without it. Out of all the tools digital marketers have at their disposal, email continually proves itself to be the most valuable and the easiest method of communicating with prospective and current customers.
The biggest struggle with email, however, continues to be the question of how to get more email addresses. In the past, some marketers purchased emails addresses from a third-party source, but this practice is now highly discredited and frowned upon. It usually results in a mix of old email addresses, fake email addresses and a lot of spam complaints.
So how do you obtain email addresses organically and build your database? Here is our guide to email lead generation (the right way) that will help you build your mailing list and open new opportunities to nurture them using marketing automation.
Gate your content
Your digital marketing team produces a lot of great content throughout the year. From blog posts to webinars to videos, they know how to make your followers pay attention and feel informed. While your content should be “free,” meaning customers don’t have to pay money for it, there is another way to get consumers to provide something of value in exchange for your best content.
Before viewers can download your ebooks or lengthy videos, mandate that they must provide their names and email addresses in order to download the content. In this exchange for their email addresses, consumers are granted access to your best content information.
Some marketers fear that viewers simply won’t find value in their ebooks and won’t bother to download them, but that’s why creating strong free content is so vital to this process. If your free content is worth reading, then most consumers will expect that your gated content is even better.
Employ email landing pages
When most of us think of landing pages, we think of the sell. What are we selling and how do we sell it? Email landing pages, however, are a little different. Their goal isn’t to sell, only to inform and collect email addresses. This option is great because it can be tailored to just about any industry. Whether you’re selling ice cream, web hosting services or shoes, you can address the different demographics your company caters to and avoid generic, bland messages altogether.
For all of your email landing pages, make sure they have the following three components:
- A single topic of major importance to the audience you want to target
- Just enough information to interest the reader without overwhelming them
- The promise of more information upon sign up
All pages should have these three components, but how you go about incorporating these components will be different for each demographic. You will have to do some A/B split testing with your landing pages to determine the best balance, but once you have that balance, your landing pages will help you build your emailing list.
Bring back the popup
In the late 1990s, popup ads were all the rage – the consumer’s rage that is. Most people hated these little popup ads with a passion, but in a controlled, non-intrusive manner, you can use these popups to build your mailing list.
Popups usually appear at the top of your content (usually your blog) and asks readers to give their email addresses to receive updates from the company. In some cases, you might offer the consumer some type of incentive – any of that gated content for instance or a discount or free trial period offer – to get them to give you their email addresses.
How ever you design your popup, don’t forget to give readers the option of clicking “No thanks” or providing an “X” in the corner so viewers can opt out of the offer. Remember, you aren’t forcing your consumers to subscribe. You want to offer them the opportunity then politely accept their decision. Do not schedule the popup to come up more than once. This will annoy readers and they will be more likely to click off your page quickly.
Let your audience come to you
When most people sign up to receive emails from a company, they expect to receive an automated welcome email address, but what if they received a personal reply directly from you?
Rather than having subscribers fill out a landing page or a popup, have them email you directly instead and ask to be put on the mailing list. Encourage them to send you questions, comments and then own concerns for the industry that they would like you to answer.
In addition to signing them up for regular emails, write back and answer their questions. Take the time to put a little thought into each answer and personalise your response to make the reader feel important.
This is an awesome way to make your company appear more personable to consumers. They’re not buying from a faceless store or subscribing to robotic messages. There’s a real person on the end reading these messages. Of course, answering all these emails personally can be a bit of a challenge so if you don’t think you’ll have time for this, consider one of the other options.
Remember, organically growing your database is all about exchange. You are providing the consumer with something of value – a discount, an ebook – in exchange for something of value to them, their email address. No matter what route you take with lead generation, always remember that the exchange needs to be fair and worthwhile.
So which of these database strategies will you try first.