Building up your email list is an important step to increasing the effectiveness of your marketing and all of your outreach. People generally run into one of two mistakes when creating email lists. The first is cutting corners and ending up in SPAM boxes. The second is placing a button or link someplace on your website, forgetting about it and hoping people sign up on their own.
Gathering and Growing Your Email List
Use an email service provider to send out your messages. Trying to send out all of your emails from Outlook or Gmail will not only be time consuming, but will also result in a high bounce rate. There are many cheap services that not only send out your emails, but provide email templates, store your list, and automatically manage the list for new additions and unsubscribes.
Avoid succumbing to temptation and buying a large email list. However, large lists aren't the answer to success. Highly engaged, strong lists are the key to email marketing. When you buy a list, or gather email addresses from other illicit means around the web, all you are doing is setting up your campaign for failure. Your messages will be reaching uninterested people, you'll be marked as SPAM, and you could be blacklisted or prosecuted.
Make it easy for prospective list members to sign up for your list. Somebody visiting your site should be able to spot the sign-up button immediately. Your email list sign-up button should be above the fold of your website, meaning that a visitor does not have to scroll down to look for it. It should also be available on every page of your site, or minimally, several of your most trafficked pages.
Keep your sign-up process short and straightforward. The longer your sign-up process is, the more email list members you will lose. People want to be able to sign up for something quickly, and they don't want to provide every detail of their life history when doing so. Keep the required fields to a minimum, asking for just a name, email address, and possibly providing check boxes so users can say how they heard of you and decide which specific kinds of email messages they want to receive from you.
Keeping List Members Happy and Increasing Success
Immediately send a welcome or confirmation email after someone signs up for your list. For one, this helps you stay fresh in their minds. They won't have to wait a month to hear from you again, and they won't forget that they signed up for the list. This also ensures that the person whose email address was provided actually wants to hear from you to begin with.
Provide interesting and unique content to your list's members. People sign up for email lists when they are intrigued by what they can get out of it. If you have nothing interesting to offer them, why would somebody provide an email address? You can provide any sort of content you want, as long as it fits in with what your visitors expect and want to see.
Keep the subject line of your email short and clear, using proper punctuation and capitalization. This will help you avoid deletions and trips to the SPAM box.
Make sure that your list members know who is sending the email. If everyone recognizes your website name but not your name, the email should come from the website and not from you.
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