The mailing list is the most important element in the success of your email marketing campaigns. If you can convert visits to your website and social pages into lasting relationships via email, the chances of retaining customers are much greater.
A permission-based list built by yourself always yields the best results, since you're providing people with content that's relevant and interesting to them. Here are 4 key principles and practices to help you build a responsive list of addresses:
1) Offer a sign-up form on your website and blog for your email newsletter: The very obvious and most important example of when you have someone’s interest is when he or she visits your website. So feature a newsletter sign-up form in a prominent position on every page, including text that: • clearly states that this is a sign-up form for getting email; • describes the benefits of being a newsletter subscriber; and • indicates how often email will arrive.
2) Integrate sign-ups with other website interactions: If the ideal time to invite someone to join your list is when they've shown interest in your brand, it makes sense to build a sign-up opportunity into all your online processes. For example, whenever people: • register for an event or webinar on your website; • go through the payment process for a product or service; or • enter an online competition or complete a survey.
3) Encourage sign-ups via social media: Consumers also interact with your company online outside of your website. Encourage social media contacts to sign up for your html newsletter, to provide a more effective channel for direct promotional efforts. • Send tweet invitations to followers to sign up to see the next publication of your newsletter; • embed your email sign-up form on your Facebook page; and • ensure your social media messages contain information about offers that are only sent to email subscribers. Exclusivity is a powerful incentive to join a list.
4) Work with partners: Find related businesses whose products or services are complementary to yours and ask if they'll add your newsletter to their opt-in form. Do trade offers, adding an extra registration check-box so people can subscribe to your list and your partner's bulk email marketing list at the same time.