Building your own mailing list can be one of the most challenging marketing achievements, and also one of the most rewarding. In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about, mailing list means the number of subscribers eagerly wanting to receive your e-mail messages. And it is not just 10-20 contacts, I’m talking about thousands of contacts.
Despite the onslaught of social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook email marketing still rules the roost when you want to reach serious business prospects. Your inbox still remains the most focused way of reaching you. Despite many people counting out e-mails for the next few years there is no chance of them going away. Anyway, this blog post is not about the virtues of email marketing, it is about how to build a killer mailing list for your upcoming email marketing campaigns. Here are a few things you could do:
Have a subscription form on every page of your website or blog
Just as you have your primary navigation on the sidebar, on the footer or on the top navigation, you should also have your email subscription form on every page of your website or blog. You never know when a visitor might decide to drop his or her email ID in order to subscribe to your updates. On every website every business has two objectives: either convert the visitor into a customer or a client, or get him or her to subscribe to the mailing list. That’s why, have your description form on every page. Ideally you can have it on the sidebar.
Keep the process of subscription as simple as possible
In order to help your visitors subscribe to your email updates, the most important bit of information you need from them is their email IDs. So your subscription form can either accept just the email ID or at the most the first name and the email ID. You can always encourage them to enter more information once they have subscribed, or even later on.
Use double opt-in
Double opt-in means making them confirm that they actually want to receive your e-mail messages. After they have submitted their email ID send a confirmation message on that email carrying a link that verifies that the email address actually belongs to them. Once they have subscribed on the preceding page let it be known to them that in order to receive your messages they quickly have to login to their inbox, open the e-mail that they have just received from you and then click the confirmation link. This ensures that they themselves have submitted the email ID and not somebody else.
Offer something valuable in lieu of subscribing to your email updates
This is the most prevalent way of getting new subscribers. You can offer them something really valuable, for instance a White Paper they can use for their business, an e-book full of useful information or some other digital product they can download and use immediately. Personally I don’t prefer this method because people should subscribe to your email updates solely for its benefit, but if you can get more subscribers, then heck, why not?
Partner with other publications
Many businesses and publishers offer more subscription options on their thank you page. For instance, when people have submitted their email ID they are redirected to a thank you page. On that thank you page they are presented with offers from other newsletters they can subscribe to.
Use Facebook and Twitter to build your mailing list
On Twitter you can occasionally invite people to subscribe to your mailing list but on Facebook you can create a dedicated fan page and then use a Facebook advertisement to direct people to that page. Here are some nice tips on how to successfully advertise on Facebook.
While building your mailing list keep in mind that it should be permission-based, that is, you should never purchase a mailing list. When you purchase a mailing list you never know whether these people actually want to hear from you or not, but when you build your own mailing list by getting permission of your recipients you are dead sure they welcome your messages.