Follow These Principles to Successfully Build Your Email List in 2015.
It’s not spam anymore
Collecting emails is simpler and less intrusive than you may think. The common notion of gathering emails from potential customers centers around the idea of some shady promise on a landing page, where visitors are tricked into giving up their contact details. Yet, with email marketing going through a rebirth, where quality and engagement is more favorable than mindless spamming, email collection is following suit and coming from a place of value instead of sneaky tactics (as it might have during early stages of email marketing in the 90s and early 2000s).
Give to get
The keyword here is value. Collecting email addresses is about making visitors want to give their contact information, in exchange for more value from you. To make people want to willingly give you their contact info, you must offer them something they want first, without asking anything in exchange – besides the voluntary email address, of course. Let’s start from the beginning:
What do people want?
What do they need?
Example: Your niche is spa salons. Your target demo is woman over 25 year old women. Here are the top three priorities in figuring out how to draw your target demo to your email list.
- Your first priority is to ask potential customers, either online or in person, why they want to go to a spa – possibly to look younger, look better for their spouse, or get rid of complexion issues.
- Your second priority is to do your research and see what this demo is searching for online – whether it be discounts, the best spas in certain areas, the best spa products, DIY methods of looking younger, etc.
- The third priority is to gather this information, put yourself in the shoes of your target demo and find out what sort of incentive will get them reeling.
Maybe it’s a video, an informative article, a free consultation, a free sample sent to their door. It depends on what you’ve gathered in your search to discover exactly what your target demo wants. Once you can offer something the demo actually wants, based on interviews, research, intuition and empathy, asking for a simple email becomes natural. The demo is actually interested in what you’re offering, so naturally if they have the chance to get more valuable freebies via email, then it won’t be considered a burden for them to give up their contact information.
Following the roots
The next thing to consider is what mediums are to use to showcase your valuable offering to your target demo.
- Find out where your target demo hangs out online.
- Some clues to this might have already appeared during your online research.
- Maybe they hang out on a particular forum, or a Facebook group, or maybe they just scour Instagram.
- These will be the channels you will adapt yourself to.
You will join your target demo here and offer them the value you devised earlier – that video demonstrating something of interest to them, or an infographic that displays relevant information and helps solve a dilemma that’s common among the group. Depending on the medium, there will be different ways to actually collect the email address. If you are on a Facebook group, posting your valuable content and then friending anyone who likes of comments on your post if a great way to establish an initial customer base and direct feedback on whether people want what you’re offering.
Contact those who show interest
The method of acquisition varies depending on the channel, but the basic principle is the same: contact those who show interest in your content, then offer them more for their contact information. Whether you do that by directly messaging everyone who likes your post, or automating the process via a separate landing page that people can click on at the end of a helpful video, is up to you. But no matter what it must be tested before investing any more time and money into it. Maybe your target demo responds better to direct messaging, maybe they respond better to a splash page. You won’t know until you try. To sum it up, there’s really two things to remember to successfully collect relevant emails for your email marketing efforts:
Research and experimentation
Never rely on lucky guesses. Do your research and then experiment with various channels. It might initially take some time, but you will have built up a relevant, interested and valuable emailing list that’s actually interested in what you’re offering. Gone are the days of trickery used to obtain emails, followed by a period of spamming. This is the age of offering value in exchange for value; of offering free, useful content to the right people in exchange for their trust and their contact information.