Want to build a marketing funnel and business that lasts not only years, but decades?
That has to be the goal.
Because short-term success is cool—but it doesn’t hold the same legacy and profitability as sustained excellence.
So if your ambition is longevity, as it should be, you’d be smart to focus on the new social media trends… but more importantly you should never take your eye off the marketing platform that is old and reliable: the email list.
Why is your email list an all-star performer for marketing? Mainly because it collects a list of qualified leads who are interested enough in your company to subscribe.
That means these people have decided they want to hear from you in the future.
And that’s all your business needs to sell, sell, sell to them down the road (plus build a relationship, develop brand equity, stay relevant, and all of that good stuff).
Digital marketing pro Neil Patel agrees:
Out of all the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them. Not only does it have a high conversion rate, but as you build up your list you can continually monetize it by pitching multiple products. Just look at ecommerce sites like Amazon, one way they get you to continually buy more products from them is by emailing you offers on a regular basis.
You can read this article to read more pro-email list testimonials.
Lastly, I’m a bigger fan of this type of marketing since no one owns the email contacts except for your business.
The opposite is true on social media platforms.
For example, if Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, or Twitter changes their terms of service, blocks your account, or you get hacked, all of your followers are at risk.
You can lose them in a heartbeat even if you did nothing wrong.
But you can take your email list with you anywhere and market to them. That’s an underrated advantage.
That answers why build a list.
The rest of this article is going to discuss the how.
How To Increase Email List Subscribers
The best way to build an email list is to write 2,000+ word posts that drown your audience in quality content they can’t get enough of and always want more.
But not everyone is a professional blogger or has time to be one. You as a business owner or marketer have a job to do and it’s not like your only responsibility is to write articles.
With that in mind, I decided to make your life easier by giving you quick tips to revise the website you already have without spending an obscene amount of hours writing new blog posts.
(Though, I strongly recommend you follow these SEO tips to drive traffic to your business website.)
Assuming you have a little more than the slightest amount of traffic, you can make some quick moves on your website to collect email subscribers (aka sales leads).
Let’s start make progress to building your email list today, right now.
1. Optimize your Home page
Your business website’s Home page has to be optimized for sales conversions. It’s a must.
A caterer should have call-to-action buttons inviting the visitor to order online on the Home page.
A dog groomer should have their address for walk-in clients to visit them.
And a nail salon should have a telephone number featured prominently to book new appointments.
However, these Home pages should also be optimized for email list conversions.
Your Home page is one of the most popular pages for traffic and you’re simply not getting the most out of it if you don’t have an email capture form.
In digital marketing, you get what you ask for—so ask your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter to stay updated with your company’s newest offers and information.
All you need to add to your homepage is a simple form that captures their email address (and maybe name) and your email list will start growing.
Here are a few businesses that do the email capture well (hint: copy them).
Aynie’s Catering is a Cincinnati corporate catering company that gets the email newsletter ask right as well.
Some people will ignore this form on your Home page, others will subscribe. But with no mention of your email list on your Home page, no one has the chance to join your email list.
This simple addition will do more than you think to build your email newsletter. Trust me.
2. Add email capture forms to your About page
Surprising to most, your About page is often the single most visited page on your entire website.
Why is this?
People are interested in learning about your story, the people behind the business, when your business was founded, how was the idea formed, your mission statement, and what do you offer the marketplace that’s different than everyone else.
The goal is—while they’re learning about the identity of the company—you add an opt-in form to capture their email address.
McDonald’s gets it.
Your pitch could be to learn more information about us, subscribe. Or enter your email to get our monthly promotions and discounts.
Maybe you’re extra savvy because you decide to only tell the brief summary of your company’s history and then tell the visitor to opt in to your email list to learn the entire story.
The goal is to ask them to submit their email and give them the option to. That’s all you can do on your end to improve this page.
Some professional bloggers even have 3 to 4 different areas with opt-in forms on their About page. As a business, you only need 1 or 2 to get the job done.
With the Home page and About page optimized to collect emails, it’s time to up the ante and boost the rest of your website.
3. Create an attractive incentive to subscribe
Sometimes a well-crafted landing page can do the job on its own. Other times you’ll need to give some extra value to your website visitor to get them to subscribe.
We recommend the incentive option to go one step further to collect email addresses.
What’s this extra value look like? Don’t overthink it. It’s just an attractive incentive that could come in the shape of something like:
- A travel company giving a local guide of the top 5 places to visit for subscribers
- A local chiropractor gives away one free adjustment for first time customers who subscribe
- A restaurant gives away one appetizer to people who join their email list
- A digital marketer gives away an ebook sharing marketing tips to grow profits
You get the idea there. You give your valuable offer, they give you their valuable email. It’s a fair trade—especially when a month later they buy your premier service!
Essentially, you’re just motivating them a little more to give up their email address than a standard ask.
And be smart with your incentive if you want it to do its job and produce results for your business.
The incentive should relate to the business, like the examples above, and not be something random.
You’d be surprised at how many incentives relate to the general public and not a specific audience. Now that you read that, this won’t be a mistake your business makes.
With the incentive in place, you can also push the envelope to get more email subscribers quickly.
4. Add pop-ups
As a consumer scrolling the internet, we hate pop-ups. Your mom does, you do, and I do too.
It’s like, “Get out of my way. I’m trying to do something here. How rude!”
Though as a marketing tool, you should absolutely fall in love with the pop-up feature. Here’s why.
Darren Rowse, one of the top internet bloggers, did an email list experiment where a pop-up increased his daily subscribers from 40 a day to 350 new emails to his list per day.
That’s an extra 310 more emails, per day! And almost 9 times as many new emails to his list—all because of a pop-up.
Can you imagine the business benefit from adding over 9,000 emails a month and over 113,000 emails a year? This alone probably made Darren Rowse a rich man.
I went from adding about 20 emails a month in the four previous months, to adding 93 emails in July with pop-ups for half the month, and 143 new emails in August with full pop-ups. Pop-ups are the real deal!
Pop-ups aren’t the most attractive feature for your online visitors, but they sure are effective.
They’re guaranteed to improve your email list, even if it annoys one or two people along the way.
P.S. You wouldn’t have gotten these people’s emails anyway if they’re easily annoyed. Or they wouldn’t buy if they’re a bad customer so I don’t worry about that especially.
And here are two pop-up tools that I recommend. Just download one of them and sync it with your email list:
5. Run a mega contest
Human nature is inclined to love free stuff, always. Whether it’s the rush of potentially winning or the thought of getting something you didn’t have to work for, there’s a strong emotional draw to giveaways.
Guess what? Your business can take advantage of this human nature to run a contest and win a sea of emails.
This article describes how Josh Earl grew his email list by more than 187,000 people with a simple giveaway that only cost him $70 total.
Running contests like these are tricky though to get the right kind of interested customers.
A local Oklahoma gardening store who only sells products in-store gets no benefit if 5 million people from China enter their email address to win an iPhone.
That’s why you need to consider two more things before you run your contest.
First, be sure your giveaway is something your website visitors actually want.
It’d defeat the purpose to offer an incentive that’s not going to result in emails. That doesn’t make any sense and just wastes everyone’s time.
Two, your giveaway incentive has to be something specific that only customers of your business would want. The prize should relate to what your company sells and be irrelevant to consumers who aren’t interested in buying from your business.
For example, a catering company shouldn’t giveaway free passes to a theme park. It’s incentive should be entering into a raffle to win a free corporate catering event for their office.
Similar to the other methods, it takes some money or effort to win over email subscribers. But once you build a large list, it’ll be one of the top assets your company has in building a relationship and selling in the future.
Add the contest as another tool in your arsenal.
Facebook and Instagram continue to cut down the organic reach, meaning your customers are seeing less of your content than ever before. Twitter is as noisy as ever, good luck making a dent there.
But the old-fashioned email list still wins the day when it comes to building relationships with your customers.
And a business with solid customer support behind it will always be successful, always. Am I right or what?
So if you execute and stick with it, soon you’ll have built your business an email list loaded with friendly customers who want more from you.
Now get to work and execute on the five strategies below to make this into a reality:
- Optimize your Home page
- Add email capture forms to your About page
- Create an attractive incentive to subscribe
- Utilize pop-ups
- Run a mega contest
Your business is counting on this blossoming email list. Don’t let it down.
And when you follow the action steps above, you won’t. Your email list (and bank account) will grow. You can put my name on that!