Whether you have a very successful business or have just set one up, it is likely that you have a plan to use email marketing to not only increase your reach but also improve your sales. Now, in order to truly benefit from email marketing, you know that you need a permission based emailing list but are unsure how to get one.
Here are some of the top ways that you can create and grow a permission based emailing list.
The Signup Form
One of the simplest and most important ways through which you can create and grow an email list is creating a signup form and putting it up on each page of your website.
The signup form can be simple and, in fact, should be simple because you should not make it a daunting task for people to sign up. You can put two or three fields on your signup form such as email address, first name, and last name.
Forum Posts and Blog Posts
If you are an online entrepreneur then it is likely that you are very active on the internet through blogs or forums. You can place a button or a link to a signup page under your signature.
This way every time you post a reply on a forum or comment on a blog, people would have access to your signup form. Moreover, if your comments and posts are smart and insightful then you will attract more subscribers.
Subscription drives are easily one of the best ways of building emailing lists. A subscription drive, in simple words, is a concerted effort from you and your associates to get your customers to sign up to become a part of your emailing list.
A subscription drive is usually implemented in conjunction with an incentive for the individuals to sign up. This incentive could be a wide variety of things such as a discount, a special offer, access to VIP sales, a free gift, advance notices for sales, or even a raffle.
References from Members
The forward to a friend system is very popular these days but it only works if you have something unique and special to offer. The trick is to provide some unique content, some special offer, or even something especially creative.
If you play your cards right in the way your business conducts itself and the way you interact with your customers, you have a chance to get them to give you references of their friends and family members who might be interested in being a part of your emailing list.
Trade Shows, Exhibitions, and Other Events
Trade shows, exhibitions, and similar industry events offer a great chance for creating your email lists. If you have ever visited such events then it is likely that you have seen glass bowls, folders, or boxes in various stalls filled with visiting cards. These are people who are interested in knowing more about the company which holds that stall.
If you participate in trade shows and similar events then you can do the same and you can be sure that you will get many interested parties. The trick, however, is for you to get these subscriptions confirmed. Simply take the cards and enter their information into your signup form (which you should already have up and running).
This would result in these people getting an email asking them to confirm their subscription. If you do this in a timely manner, then the chances are that you will get loads of new subscriptions.
While there is no newsletter syndicate per se, email marketers are sympathetic to their peers. This is why many newsletters have space for advertisements where other businesses can place their ads. You could simply place your advert on a newsletter for a business that is laterally related to your business.
This advert would contain a link to your signup form. A good example of this system working is that if you are selling football equipment then you can simply try to place an advert on a football based newsletter. It would be prudent to add that this would not be possible if you approach competing businesses.
Third Party Sources
Many online entrepreneurs and marketers get tempted by third party services that provide emailing lists for a price. Third party sources could also include sourcing emailing lists from friends, colleagues, and peers.
While sourcing emailing lists from third party sources is a simple way to get your emailing marketing campaign up and running, it is important to verify the quality of these lists. The reason for this is simply that you can never be sure about the fact that the emailing list you have sourced is opt in or not.
If it is not an opt in emailing list then you run the risk of your emails being marked spam by the individual who owns the email address. Enough of these instances can easily get you blacklisted by internet service providers.
Ensuring That an Emailing List Has Opt In Email Addresses
It is likely that you are now questioning yourself about the usefulness of sourcing emailing lists from third party sources particularly because they are so risky. However, there is a way through which you can verify each emailing address on the list.
In order to verify questionable email lists, you need a series of things. You will need a simple and basic email message, a fresh confirmation link, an unsubscribe link, a link which points to your website, and an email address which is similar to the one you use for your business.
Once you have these things set up, you can go about verifying each email on your emailing list. Here is a step by step process that you can follow.
Step 1: Formulating the Basic Email Message
Formulating the email message that you will be sending to the email addresses on the questionable emailing list can be a difficult task. The reason why this task is difficult is that finding the right words to get the individual to confirm his subscription would be an exercise of immense balance.
On a practical level, this means that you will have to invite and, indeed, compel him to confirm his subscription without actually giving away much information about how you got his email address in the first place.
The trick is to be upfront and friendly, telling the individual that you are updating your emailing lists and allowing him to make a choice to continue being a part of it or unsubscribing. Make sure that you include a confirmation link, an unsubscribe link and a link to your website’s home page.
Step 2: Create One or More Email Addresses Similar To the Kinds You Use For Your Business
Before you send these confirmation email messages, it is important for you to realize that you cannot use the same email that you will be using for sending your newsletters. However, you do need an email address that is similar because the individual would need to know how to recognize you.
For instance, if your newsletter sending email address is going to be firstname.lastname@example.org, then you can choose a similar email address from one of the free email account providers. Your email address for sending the verification email could be email@example.com.
Step 3: Initiate Sending Email Messages As Soon As You Get Confirmation
When you have sent out the verification emails, you would begin to get confirmation from the people in your emailing list. The people who choose to opt in will not have a long term memory of you or your company. Therefore, you will need to reinforce your presence as soon as you get a confirmation.
Effectively, as quickly as you start getting confirmations, you should start sending out your newsletters immediately. It will especially be beneficial for you if you formulate a special email thanking these individuals for their continued subscription.
You should also prepare yourself for the majority of the people to either unsubscribe or not respond altogether. However, this is expected and you should not get disheartened about it. Statistics show that it can be difficult for an emailing list and email marketing expert these days. If you doubt this fact, consider the following tidbits.
1. Changing email addresses: Research shows that more than 30 percent of email addresses change every year. Therefore, the same logic means that it is possible that around 30 percent of the email addresses on your emailing lists have already been abandoned.
2. Apathy and disinterest: The internet is no longer as fresh and exciting as it used to be when it became accessible to the masses. People are a lot more apathetic to emails and disinterested in businesses soliciting their interest. Therefore, many of your verification emails may have just been ignored by particularly uninterested individuals.
3. A missed connection: It is even possible that your first confirmation or verification email was not even seen by the owner of the email address. In such situations, what you should do is send another confirmation or verification email to the individual after a few weeks or even a month.
4. Using a signup form: While using third party emailing lists can be useful, nothing really compares to creating your very own emailing list by way of a signup form on your website. Use this technique and you would not be disheartened like this ever again in your email marketing campaign.