One of the early lessons I learned as a business owner was the importance of having your own email list. We’ve tried many things over time at Mykidstime.com to create and grow a strong email list. Here are 18 tips to build a list for marketing to parents that have helped us:
#1. Use Opt In Forms
Add opt in forms to different places on your website and monitor their success with landing pages. Research has shown that the top performing places on your website for opt-in forms are:
- The top of your sidebar
- On your About Us page
- The top of your home page
#2. Give People Something
Create free downloads, competitions and giveaways or money off a product or service. Readers will need to enter their email to receive or take part in these. You must also have a e.g. a box to tick to show consent to be added to your list, as well as making it clear that they are going onto your mailing list. If you plan to send them marketing communications then tell them that on the text for consent too.
If people believe they are getting value they are more likely to sign up. From a simple checklist to a resource list, your free download doesn’t have to be complicated, they just have to solve a problem or give value.
#3. Use Pop Up Boxes
You might shudder at this suggestion, but used well, pop up boxes can deliver emails. We use OptinMonster on Mykidstime and it does work. Ours is set to open when the reader is about to exit an article and it gives a freebie in return for their email. Ensure your pop up box loads well on mobile too.
#4. Add a CTA to your content
Add a sign up call to action (CTA) to every article you create on your website and to all of your social channels and your email signature.
#5. Ensure there is not too much going on
Take a critical look at your website and declutter if you think it is too crowded. People become overwhelmed when there are too many options to choose from and are likely to click away without taking any action. And the faster your site loads the better chance you have of retaining your visitors and enticing them to join your list.
#6. Take Care with your Email provider
Choose the right email provider and set up the service with care. For instance, it is better to have an email address that people can reply to rather than a no reply option. And always ensure that the email address you choose to send from is recognisable by having your brand name and/or your own name as the sending address.
#7. Consider Segmenting Your Mailing List
Use list segmentation to ensure subscribers get the content that is relevant and really interests them. So don’t send the same email to everyone on the list but vary the content depending on what segments matter to your business.
#8. Use Landing Pages
Build landing pages so you can monitor where your subscribers are coming from. You can use a paid for service like Leadpages or LanderApp but even creating a page on your WordPress site to use for subscriptions is a simple first step. All you need is your text, image and your form where people submit their details.
#9. Use Guest Blogging
Become a guest blogger or partner on other sites that cater to your target audience. Ensure you add a sign up CTA to any guest posts you do that links to where people can sign up.
#10. Host a Webinar
Host a webinar around a topic that you know your target market want to know more about. Webinars can be a very effective way of growing your mailing list.
#11. Don’t Forget about Offline
Attend offline events and let people know about your website. Distribute your business cards and be proactive in encouraging sign ups. If you have a premises, have signup cards available to encourage people to give their email address – offer to send them a discount code or a freebie.
#12. Don’t be Scattergun
Be strategic, set goals for your mailing list growth, have a plan in place and go after your target market in an organised fashion.
#13. Use Redirects
Have redirects set up so that if someone new comments or submits something on your website they are brought to a thank you page that gives them a background on your website and your sign up option.
#14. Test Your Own Signup Process
Try your own sign up process to make sure subscribing is easy. The more steps you add to your process the less likely you are to add people to your list, so keep it simple.
#15. Confirm the Subscription
Set up a confirmation page to ensure a subscriber knows they have completed the process. Have links to any downloads or coupons you promised on this page or tell them to check their email if sending it out to them straight away and remind them to check their Junk/Spam folder and to add you to their safe list too.
#17. Use Content and Social Media
Take useful content and repurpose it – e.g. turning it into a slideshare presentation, an infographic, a video or a free download to target potential subscribers by pushing it out on social media.
#18. Finally Write Great Content
- Make sure your content has been SEO’d (check for keyword searches and build them into your title and content but don’t over do this either.)
- Ensure it is mobile friendly as more and more people are accessing the web via their mobile devices.
- Make sure every piece of content you write delivers value to your readers. After all great content builds trust which helps drives revenue.
Over to you now. What has been your experience in trying to build a list? Share it with us in the comments below.