8 Ways to Grow Your Email List From Scratch
Small businesses need a place to stay in the minds of their customers. It gets harder and harder every day for a business to keep customers coming back or bring in new ones, especially when they're up against larger companies with bigger budgets.
One way a small business can grow its customer base is through email marketing. Email is a relatively inexpensive way for a business to communicate with its customers and leads. It allows the business to build a relationship with email subscribers over time and provides a way for customers to stay connected when they're not physically in front of them.
Here are eight ways small businesses can create email lists from scratch.
1. Invite email sign-ups for email specials
One of the easiest ways to increase email subscriptions is through email special offers, discounts, or coupons. When a customer buys something from your site, he'll often be asked if he'd like to subscribe to your email list to receive future deals. For example, an email subscription box for email specials is labeled "Receive email specials" on the top right of the Zappos website.
If you're selling products or services, post an email sign-up form in your store window with a message that encourages customers to stay connected. For example, if you're selling pre-owned clothing online, put a message in the item description that says, "Receive email notifications of future listings like this one." You can also include email sign-ups on invoices or receipts.
2. Give email subscribers early access to sales
Customers often sign up for email lists because they're anticipating something special in their inbox. Create a sense of urgency about email sign-ups by offering email subscribers early access to sales or special deals. For example, if you're selling tickets on your website for a big sale, email subscribers have the option to see the seats first before they are released to the general public.
3. Send email newsletters with content customers want
Customers are more likely to stay connected to email lists if they feel like the email is adding value or helping them do something better. According to a survey conducted by DMA, email subscribers are most likely to read newsletters with product information, special discounts, and deals. Offer your email list members opportunities for content upgrades that will strengthen their relationship with you. For example, if you're a personal trainer email subscriber a weekly workout or healthy recipe.
4. Promote email sign-ups on other social media platforms
Email subscriptions are one thing; email open rates are another. Email marketers often find that email subscribers tend to use other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to stay connected. Social media platforms are great places to let email subscribers know that you're using email to communicate with them. To increase email open rates, promote email sign-ups on social media in a way that encourages participation in your email list.
5. Add email sign-up forms in blog posts
Create a sense of exclusivity with email subscribers by offering them early or exclusive access to email deals. Offer email specials in email newsletters, but don't give email subscribers a reason to unsubscribe from your email list.
6. Ask for email sign-ups at networking events
Networking events can be an excellent way to grow your email list from scratch. When attendees get to know you better at networking events, email them the next day to get email sign-ups for email specials.
7. Ask email subscribers to refer their friends
People are more likely to join email lists when they feel like there's a real person or company behind them. One of the best ways to grow your email list from scratch is by encouraging email subscribers to refer their friends. Offer email subscribers incentives to refer their email lists or social media followers to your email list. For example, if you're selling items on an online auction site, offer discounts for email sign-ups that are referred by email subscribers.
8. Cross-promote email sign-ups with offline advertising
Offline advertising can be an effective way to grow email lists from scratch. Place email sign-up forms inside your print ads or on sponsored signage at events to capture email list members that you wouldn't have otherwise. For example, if you're selling healthy snacks, include email sign-up forms in your print ads for a gym.
Email sign-ups can be an effective way to connect with email subscribers and potential customers. By offering email specials, email newsletters, and promotions for email subscribers, you'll find that an email is a valuable tool in your marketing arsenal.
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