The three major tasks of email marketing are:
- Building your opt-in email-subscriber list
- Building trust
- Inciting action
Without a list of opt-in subscribers, your biggest challenge is getting people interested in hearing from you. The basic method of gaining a subscriber is simply asking someone to sign up for your mailing list. If a customer or client is already engaged and trusts you, then there is a good chance that customer will say yes right away.
In most cases, though, you need to offer some benefit. At the very least, you’ll describe what will be in your newsletters that the prospect would want: information, special offers, discounts, etc. The sweeter the deal, the better your chances that your visitor will become a subscriber.
Here are nine more-advanced list-building techniques that imageMAXmedia believes increase subscriber numbers and sometimes improve conversion rates as well:
1. Develop a Detailed Sign-up Page
We usually encourage people to include a sign-up form on every page of their site, above the fold, so that it is prominent and easy to spot. But it can also be beneficial to develop an entire separate sales page, or microsite for the purpose of signing up for the list and wetting their appetite. This is especially important considering that you are going after 4 distinct markets, and the messaging and hook needs to be tailored to each audience.
2. Authority Blogging
Authority blogging can require an immense amount of resources and demands a major commitment of time and energy, however we believe your market is hungry for the information that you can provide. We suggest building up an authoritative information source for your niche. Linking to this content will only add to the power of your email-marketing campaigns and results will increase exponentially as a result.
3. Search-Engine Marketing
Using search-engine optimization (SEO) to draw traffic to your site works hand in hand with your email campaigns. SEO includes two basic elements:
- On-site optimization: consists of what you put on your site. You want to create pages that focus on a particular inquiry that searchers in your industry might have.
- Off-site optimization consists of what you put elsewhere on the Web to promote your site, i.e. industry blogs, industry forums, etc.
4. Pay-per-Click (PPC), or Web Advertising
With the right elements in place, PPC advertisements can be a great way to build your subscriber base. Keeping the PPC very targeted to specific areas will help you to keep the costs down, i.e. retirement areas.
5. Write Guest Posts
If you’re not willing to put in the time and effort to build up your own authority weblog (or even if you are), you can harness the power of other people’s authority blogs by guest-posting. Guest-posting is a win-win: It allows the blog owner to share your specialized knowledge with the audience, and it allows you to make contact with that audience, build some brand recognition, and possibly even directly win email-list subscribers.
6. Contribute to Forums: Make friends, influence people.
If you’re operating in an industry with any level of social support, there are online forums dedicated to the topic. Forums are a great place to develop your reputation as an expert by sharing your knowledge. As you do so, you will build up additional trust and brand visibility among a highly engaged audience:
7. Distribute a Press Release
People forget about press releases for their online-marketing efforts, but press releases offer tremendous benefits. We suggest writing up a press release just to announce your email program, and major topics you can contribute to. Their are many online press rooms that distribute the press nationally. Remember you can of course reference your value-added partnerships.
8. Viral Email Marketing
One of the best ways to gain new subscribers is through your current subscribers. Word-of-mouth has always been the most effective form of advertising because people trust people they know. So when a newsletter comes highly recommended from a trusted friend, people are likely to sign up. Viral email marketing strategies are extremely powerful. You have to produce content that people will want to share.
9. Cross-Promotions With Other Mailing-List Owners
Seek out other email marketers targeting similar market segments, and reach out to them to set up cross-promotions. Each side can provide great content for the other’s mailing list to benefit from.