The Power Of Email
Though email has been widely used for well over 25 years, it continues to remain one of the most powerful marketing tools in existence.
It may not be as “sexy” as some of the newer marketing techniques, such as push notifications and social media, but it continues to be incredibly effective at converting people into paying customers.
Consider these email statistics:
- By 2022, it’s expected that 4.3 billion people will use email on a regular basis.
- In 2017, 269 billion emails were sent and received every day.
- For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you can expect to get $32 in return (a 3,200% ROI!).
- 81% of businesses still rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel (compared to other platforms such as social media).
- The average open rate for a “Welcome” email is 82%.
- 49% of consumers say they would like to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands on a weekly basis.
With all the talk about the power of social media, it’s easy to forget just how effective email is when it comes to building your business.
But the truth is that email remains one of the most effective marketing tools out there. We may ignore notifications on social media, and we may screen our phone calls, but we still pay attention to our inboxes.
If you can gain access to someone’s inbox, then you have access to their attention, and there are few things more valuable than a person’s attention.
Erik Harbison puts it this way: “If Social Media is the cocktail party, then email marketing is the ‘meet up for coffee’. The original 1-to-1 channel.”
Simply put, if you have a business of any sort, you should be building your email list. Every address on that list represents potential customers and potential dollars in the bank. The larger your list grows, the more you’ll be able to directly interact with those who are truly interested in your business.
Because really, that’s what an email list is. It’s a list of people who have expressed interest in your business. There is something about your business that interests them, and they want more information. These are exactly the people you want to be marketing to.
Bottom line: there are few things more valuable to your marketing efforts than your email list.
But building an email list is no simple task. After all, people aren’t just going to give you their email address for no reason. With billions of spam emails being sent every day, it’s important to give people a compelling reason to give you their address. You need to know the secrets to getting others to give you their contact information.
That’s where we come in.
In this article, you’ll discover 13 hacks that will help you build your email list rapidly.
By the end, you’ll have a solid strategy in place for adding hundreds, if not thousands, of people to your email list.
One thing to note before we get started. In order to build an email list, you’ll need a dedicated Email Marketing Software to store all your contacts, enable you to send out emails, create pop up forms, and more.
In other words, you probably don’t want to use Gmail, Outlook, or any other standard email client. You want to use an email provider that is specifically designed for email marketing.
Some solid email marketing options include:
1. Create Valuable Content
When talking about building an email list, it’s easy to start with tactics like using pop ups. But if you start with tactics, you miss the big picture, and when you miss the big picture, you won’t be able to build your email list very effectively.
So, what is the big picture? You need to give people a compelling reason to give you their email address.
Why should someone give you their email address? What will they get out of it? You need to convince them that you offer them something valuable in exchange for their email address.
In other words, first create value.
Perhaps the best, most effective way to rapidly build your email list is to constantly create outstanding, high-value content on your website. People only give away their email address when they’re convinced that you’re going to add value to their life.
They don’t simply want more emails in their inbox. They want more VALUE in their inbox.
They want to know that the emails they’ll receive from you will add value to their lives.
So how do you show them that you’ll add value to their inbox? By consistently creating compelling content on your website and then promoting that content via email.
The content should solve their biggest pain points. It should dive deep into specific subjects. It should thoroughly answer their biggest questions.
Yes, there will be times when you send out promotional emails about your products or services. But people will be much more likely to sign up for and stay on your email address if they know they’ll be receiving incredibly valuable, non-promotional content from you on a consistent basis.
We’re talking about things like:
- In-depth blog posts
- High value videos
- Case studies
- How-to guides
In order to create high-value content, you must know your audience. What are their biggest pain points? What sorts of quick fixes and permanent solutions are they looking for? How can you serve them most effectively? How can you guide them and help them through their challenges?
If you don’t know what your audience’s biggest pain points are, consider surveying them. Put out a poll on social media. Ask your existing email list (if you have one) what sort of content they’d like to receive from you. Look at what your competitors are putting out.
Brian Dean is a great example of building an email list (and an entire business) by creating amazing content. He creates incredibly detailed blog posts that walk readers through challenging SEO issues. He then sends these blog posts out to his email list.
Yes, Brian also sell products and services through his email list, but he only does that occasionally. For the most part, he simply promotes high-value content that he has created.
The result is that his email list has ballooned into the hundreds of thousands.
Consider following Brian’s example. Work hard to consistently create compelling content that people will want to receive in their inboxes. Give them a good reason to sign up for your email list, and once they’re on your list, give them a good reason to STAY on your list.
2. Create Pop Ups
Now that we’ve talked about the big picture of email list building, let’s move on to some specific tactics.
Email pop up forms are one of the most basic ways to capture email addresses. When you’re on a website, a box pops up, asking you if you want to sign up for the email list. You can either sign up or close out the box.
Yes, they can be a bit intrusive at times, but the bottom line is that they tend to have relatively high conversion rates compared to other methods of building email lists.
There are some relatively simple ways to make pop ups less intrusive. First, you can have them only pop up every so often. In other words, instead of showing the pop up to every visitor every time, you can show it to visitors every third or fourth time they visit your website. That way they’re not seeing it constantly.
Second, you can have the email box pop up after a certain amount of time so that it doesn’t immediately interrupt the reading experience on your website. For example, you can have the box pop up when it looks like the person is about to exit your site. This is called “Exit Intent” and is a highly effective way to capture email addresses.
On your pop up, tell people why they should sign up for your email list. Don’t simply say, “Please sign up for our email newsletter.”
Tell them what they’ll get in exchange for signing up for your newsletter. Will they get weekly marketing tips? Will they get a free eBook? Will they be joining 10,000 other smart people who receive weekly fitness content from you?
There are numerous software platforms out there that make it really easy to create beautiful pop-up boxes, including:
3. Create A Landing Page
Landing pages are different from pop up boxes in that they are entire pages that exist solely to capture email addresses.
In other words, they’re not a box that pops up when a person reads one of your blog posts or visits your home page. They’re a single page designed for the specific purpose of capturing email addresses.
These landing pages are not usually accessible through the main navigation of your website.
There are several advantages to creating specific landing pages:
- You can send people directly to them when they ask how to sign up for your email list.
- You can include more information on them than you can on a pop up. For example, if you’re giving away an eBook, you can include more reasons why people should download the eBook.
- You can create different landing pages for different purposes. For example, if you have a podcast, you could create a specific landing page where you send your podcast listeners and another landing page where you send general visitors.
There are numerous ways to create landing pages.
First, you can have someone code one for you. This is probably only necessary if you need very specific customizations done on the landing page. If you need someone to code a landing page for you, consider using a service like Upwork or Fiverr to find a developer.
Second, you can use a landing page software to build a landing page. This is the most common and easiest way of building landing pages. Using simple drag-and-drop tools, you can build landing pages that look good and convert at a high rate.
Landing page builders include:
Like with pop up boxes, it’s important to give people a compelling reason to sign up through your landing page. Always be sure to answer the question, “What do they get out of it?”
Focus on the benefits of opting into your email list. Are they getting a free eBook through your landing page? Write about all the different ways the eBook will benefit them if they download it.
4. Give Away Lead Magnets
A lead magnet is something that you give away to people in exchange for their email address. The people are “leads” and the giveaway is a “magnet” that attracts the leads.
For example, let’s say you’re a financial coach. You could give away a free eBook that gives tips on saving for retirement. Or let’s say you’re a fitness professional. You could give away a checklist of exercises in a particular workout.
Really, almost anything can function as a lead magnet. It simply needs to be valuable enough to convince someone to give you their email address.
Examples of lead magnets include:
- Cheat sheets
- Product samples
- Discount coupons
- Free trials
- Case studies
- Premium content
Lead magnets are typically given away through pop ups or landing pages.
There are several things to keep in mind regarding lead magnets:
- When people sign up for a lead magnet, they have a problem that they want help with immediately. Be sure to send the lead magnet as soon as a person gives you their email address. If you make them wait, they’ll probably be upset.
- Lead magnets need to be highly valuable. If they’re not, people simply won’t give you their email address. Be sure that what you’re giving away truly is valuable.
- When writing the copy on the pop up or the landing page, focus on all the benefits that your page visitor will get if they download the lead magnet. You want to show them just how valuable your lead magnet really is. You need to convince them that your lead magnet is worth giving up their email address.
5. Do A Giveaway
Giveaways are a fantastic way to get hundreds, or even thousands, of email addresses. If you’re looking to supercharge your email list building, it’s hard to beat a giveaway.
The way it works is really simple: in order to sign up for the giveaway, people must first give you their email address.
You can give away just about anything, from physical products to consulting sessions to digital downloads to anything in between. Really, you’re only limited by your imagination.
A few things to think about when you do a giveaway.
First, the bigger and better the prize, the more likely it is that people will sign up. So, when creating your prize package, think bigger and better. And to state the obvious, the prize should be something your audience will really love and that makes sense, given your business.
For example, if you’re a fitness coach, it makes much more sense to give away free training sessions than gift cards to unhealthy restaurants.
Second, you’ll probably want to use a giveaway platform to make it easy for people to enter and to choose winners.
There are numerous giveaway platforms available, including:
These platforms also make it incredibly easy for people to share your giveaways on social media, which increases the likelihood of them going viral. Again, the bigger the prize, the more likely the giveaway is to go viral.
If you use this tactic, be sure to consult with an attorney to obtain the proper page wording, marketing methods, and more for your state or country. Each state and country have their own specific laws regarding anything that has a prize, and you certainly want to stay on the right side of the law!
6. Run Facebook Lead Ads
Facebook Lead Ads allow you to give away lead magnets and collect email addresses directly within the Facebook platform. In other words, people can fill out a form and download a lead magnet without ever having to leave Facebook.
This can be a tremendously powerful way to build your email list.
Facebook has over 2.5 billion active monthly users. You can be absolutely sure that you audience is using Facebook on a regular basis. By using Facebook ads, you can connect with your audience outside of your website.
Their advertising platform allows you to get hyper-specific in your ads, meaning you can target very specific audiences. For example, if you’re a success coach, you could run Lead Ads that would be shown specifically to people who have demonstrated an interest in goal setting, productivity, and financial success.
Or if you’re an investment advisor, you can target people over a certain age with a specific amount of income.
This ability to target very specific audiences allows you to connect with your ideal customer. Instead of filling your list somewhat randomly based on who visits your website, you can fill your list with highly interested prospects.
Gordon Donnely of WordStream puts it this way:
It takes six to eight touches to generate a viable sales lead. And when you start to think about all the steps a prospect has to go through in your own organization before they become “viable” or “qualified,” that number might seem pretty conservative. It takes legitimate time and effort to get quality leads. Any time you can streamline that process, you’re giving yourself a huge advantage.
By using Lead Ads, you minimize the amount of work someone must do in order to get on your email list. They don’t have to go to your website, encounter a pop up, and then enter their email address. Rather, as they browse Facebook, they come across your ad, enter their info, and BOOM, they’re on your list.
7. Utilize Content Upgrades
Content upgrades work like this:
First, you create a highly valuable piece of content, such an in-depth blog post.
Then, you create an “upgrade” that accompanies that blog post. For example, let’s say you wrote an in-depth blog post about the keto diet. You could then create an “upgrade”, such as five downloadable keto recipes that goes along with the blog post.
In order to access the upgrade, people have to give you their email address.
The reason content upgrades work so well for list building is that you’re not interrupting the content experience, like you do with a pop up. Instead, you’re offering something valuable that supplements what they’re already reading.
By reading the blog post in the first place, they’ve already demonstrated that they’re interested in that particular subject. It makes sense for them to download your content upgrade as well. Instead of offering a generic download, you’re offering something that is specifically related to something they’re interested in.
Brian Dean (the SEO guy) saw a 65% increase in his conversion rate over his generic pop up offer when he implemented the content upgrade strategy on his blog.
When creating a content upgrade, it’s critical that the upgrade add additional value to the content they’re already reading.
In other words, you need to:
- Come at the subject from a different angle
- Cover additional material you didn’t cover in the original content
- Create something that supplements the original content
One of the easiest content upgrades to create is a checklist that essentially summarizes everything you wrote in the blog post in a concise, easy-to-digest manner.
For example, let’s say you write a lengthy blog post about everything you should take to a photography shoot. You could then create a simple checklist that contains everything from the blogpost. The reader can download the checklist, print it off, and then take it with them on photo shoots.
8. Create A Free Tool
Creating a free tool can be an incredibly powerful way to get thousands of new people onto your subscriber list. It’s a simple, yet effective, technique.
In order to use the tool, people simply have to give you their email address.
For example, CoSchedule created their “Headline Analyzer” tool, which analyzes a blog post headline and then grades it for you. But here’s the catch. In order to access your score, you need to first sign up for their email list.
HubSpot created a “Website Grader”, which grades the strength of a person’s or business’s website and then gives them the grade in exchange for their email address.
Many SEO firms will provide a quick SEO audit of a website in exchange for a person’s email address, and many real estate agents will provide an estimate of how much a person’s house is worth.
You can create a tool for almost any industry!
- If you’re a fitness trainer, you could create a tool that helps someone evaluate how fit they are.
- If you’re a retirement planner, you could create a tool that helps people determine how much they need to save.
- If you’re a marriage counselor, you could create a “Marriage Strength Grader”.
You get the point.
If you don’t have the technical know-how to develop a tool yourself, you can easily find someone to do it for you on Upwork or Fiverr.
When creating a tool, you’re only limited by your imagination. It simply needs to provide a valuable service.
9. Create Quizzes
People absolutely love quizzes. It’s why sites like Buzzfeed constantly create quizzes like “Which Harry Potter Character Are You?” People love to answer questions about themselves and then get results. There’s something addictive about it.
Quizzes are also a fantastic way to build your email list. You create a quiz and people simply need to give you their email address in order to get the results.
But here’s the thing with quizzes and list building: the quizzes need to be related to your business in some tangible way.
If you create a “Which F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Character Are You?” quiz, you may be able to get a lot of people to take it, but most of these people probably won’t be interested in your business. You’ll be adding people to your list who will most likely never purchase from you or work with you.
Your quiz should be closely tied to the objectives, desires, goals, and pain points of your ideal customer.
For example, let’s say that you’re an IT security consultant. You could create a “How Secure Is Your Network” quiz, in which you ask different network security related questions (in layman’s terms, of course).
Or let’s say that you sell a health product. You could create a “Are You Ready for Cold and Flu Season?” quiz. As part of the quiz, you would ask whether people are using any health products to help strengthen their immune system.
The main point is that your quiz needs to attract those who are also interested in your products or services. Your goal isn’t just to get as many people as possible to take the quiz. Your goal is to get the RIGHT people to take the quiz — people who want to work with you.
There are numerous platforms that make it really easy to create quizzes:
Just as with lead magnets, you want your quizzes to actually add value to the person who takes it. Your goal is not just to get their email address. Your goal is to give them something valuable in exchange for their email. So take the time to create a quiz that a person will want to take.
10. Promote Your List On Social Media
How many friends, followers, and connections do you have through social media? Probably a lot. All these people represent potential subscribers to your email list. You should consistently promote your email list across your social media channels.
However, when promoting your list, don’t simply say, “Hey, come join my email list!” You probably won’t get many signups if you promote it this way.
Instead, give your social media connections a compelling reason to join your list. People get plenty of email as it is, and they don’t want more piling up in their inbox unless you can give them a good reason.
If you’re giving away a lead magnet, invite your friends to download it. Regularly share the link to your landing page. Tell your friends about all the benefits they’ll get if they download your eBook, whitepaper, or case study.
If you’ve created a quiz, invite your social media contacts to take the quiz. Explain how taking the quiz will benefit them.
If you’ve created a free tool, tout the advantages of the tool. Talk up all the ways it can help someone.
How often should you share about your email list on social media? Enough that people know about it but not so much that it feels like you’re spamming.
Generally speaking, be balanced in what you share on social media. Share all sorts of different status updates, with the goal of each one being to add value to your connections. The more value you create on social media, the more likely it is that others will listen to what you have to say.
If your ideal prospect sees you constantly creating valuable content on social media, they’re much more likely to sign up for your email list when you finally ask them.
11. Add Social Sharing Buttons To Your Emails
Almost every Email Service Provider (ESP) makes it possible for you to add social media sharing buttons to your emails. It’s beneficial for you to add these to your emails, so your readers can easily share your emails with their social media contacts.
Adding social sharing buttons to your emails gives you three distinct benefits:
- Attracting new potential customers. By giving people the option to share your emails, you expand your reach beyond just your email list. If people love your content, they’ll share it with friends, coworkers, and other contacts.
- Increased web traffic. Assuming that you’re linking back to your website in your emails, more shares equals more web traffic. The more people share your emails with their friends, family, and coworkers, the more people will click your links and end up back on your website.
- Enhanced customer experience. If people like your content, they don’t want to have to copy and paste it to share it with their social media contacts. By providing social media sharing buttons, you provide a better experience for those on your email list, making it much more likely that they’ll share.
This brings up a really important point regarding the emails you send your list. They should be so good that others want to share them. Put enough time into crafting your emails that your readers feel compelled to share the content you’ve created.
Most people don’t think of emails this way. They simply bang them out and then send them off to their list without a second thought. And while this lets you get going on other things faster, doing things this way won’t generate many social shares of your emails.
If you want your readers to actively share the emails you send, it’s important to lovingly craft them, always thinking, Am I adding value to my readers?
12. Add A Link In Your Email Signature
Each email you send is an opportunity to build your email list. The trick is simply to add a link to one of your email list building tactics in your signature.
For example, you could…
- Add a link to your signature that invites people to take a quiz you’ve created
- Add a link to a landing page where people can download your free eBook
Let’s say you’re a real estate agent and you’ve created a landing page where people can download your free eBook about how to prepare their house for sale. Your email signature could include a single line that says something like, “Getting ready to sell your house? Get my free eBook on how to get the most money for it!”
If you have employees, consider having them add something similar to their email signatures. The more people who have it as part of their signature, the more email signups you’ll generate.
13. A/B Test Everything
Finally, when seeking to build your email list, A/B test everything.
A/B testing is simply testing two things against each other to see which performs better. Once you’ve identified which one works better, you double down on the winner.
For example, instead of using a single pop up on your website, create two and then test them against each other to see which generates the most email signups. Once you determine which one leads to the most email signups, use that one.
Instead of creating a single lead magnet, create two, three, or even four and see which one people respond to the most.
Create multiple quizzes and see which one attracts the most people and results in the most email signups.
With A/B testing, your goal is simply to find what works best and then focus much more heavily on those techniques.
For example, through A/B testing, you may discover that one particular type of content upgrade works really well, resulting in many email signups. You can then create more of this type of content upgrade, which will result in your list growing much faster.
If you want to build your list rapidly, implement as many of these techniques as possible. Don’t be content to settle for one or two. If you do that, your list will certainly grow, but it will grow at a much slower rate.
Instead, combine and utilize multiple list-building techniques at the same time.
You’ve learned all these techniques:
- Creating valuable content
- Creating pop ups
- Utilizing landing pages
- Giving away a lead magnet
- Running giveaways
- Using Facebook Lead Ads
- Implementing content upgrades
- Creating free tools
- Creating quizzes
- Promoting your list on social media
- Adding social sharing buttons to your emails
- Adding a link to your email signature
- A/B testing everything
Yes, it’s true that email marketing and list building requires hard work. But it’s well worth it. Remember, the average ROI for email marketing is a whopping 3,200%!
For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you can expect to get $32 in return.
So, get to work building your list. Combine as many of these techniques and tactics as you can and watch your list grow rapidly.