No matter what type of online or brick & mortar business you are building, growing your email list is an important growth factor.
Because it is against the law to send out spam (and any unsolicited email can be considered spam), you need to grow your list in a way that doesn’t violate the CAN-SPAM Act. Presenting a powerful opt-in message is one of the best ways to build an email marketing list.
Your Opt-in Message
Make the Headline Catchy
You want to capture interest. A catchy headline that is backed up by a well-focused message can keep visitors from clicking away. One way to accomplish this is to use words that give your prospect ownership and possibly something they can relate to. Empowering your prospects is a good way to generate leads.
Focus the Message Carefully
You want to keep your message short and to the point. Your opt-in message isn’t a sales page. Yet, it should provide a compelling reason to start getting messages from your email list.
Take it from popular newspapers and even magazine stands – keep the most important message at the top. You don’t want the bottom of the screen cutting off your message. Make sure your message is top, front and center.
To make sure your message is focused but also make sure you know what your target market wants. That’s who your message should be directed to. Avoid focusing your message on what you ultimately want to sell, whether that is a product or a service. Focus on the benefit the customer will receive from the message. Let me say that again, make sure you are “selling” the message, which is the answer to their problem, not the product you are generating leads for.
Don’t Overlook the Value of Bullet Points
Use bullet points for you to hit the highlights. There is something about the human brain that is drawn to lists. Maybe it’s because lists make it easier to skim through material quickly. Plus, the more they have to read, the less likely they will. They are impatient and want it easy and now!
Don’t write your own. Get satisfied customers to write them. You want to convince potential customers that they will benefit from what you have to offer. Always do so using genuine material. You will have enough trouble convincing people that your offer is worth trading an email for even when you have glowing authentic testimonials. If things sound too good, you won’t accomplish what you are hoping for.
Keep Your Opt-In Form Simple
You may lose potential leads if your form is too complicated. The only essential information is really, their email address. You can ask for their name, as they are used to that… but if you are requiring them to add their phone number and address, you may miss the chance to reach them. Your goal is to build an email list. Make phone numbers and any other information (other than email) optional.
Set things up so an email is automatically generated whenever you create a new opt-in. Even better, set up a double opt-in where you get confirmation that the opt-in is genuine. That configuration assures you that you are building an email list that won’t cause violation issues with The CAN-SPAM Act.
So WHY are you wanting to do all this extra work with opt-in marketing? Read on…
5 Reasons to Use Opt-In Marketing
One of the main reasons many businesses struggle to succeed is because they don’t understand the importance of relationships and trust in selling. The amount of scams that exist on the internet means there is a lot of mistrust and simply setting up a website or page to hard sell your product is not enough unless you have a very high volume of traffic or a well-known entity or influencer. Offering your visitors something for free, that is of value to THEM, in exchange for their email address means that you both win! They have something for free and you have the ability to email them, in compliance with The CAN-SPAM Act, of course, as noted above.
Builds a Customer Base
This is perhaps the biggest reason that businesses use opt-in marketing. Having an opt-in form on your site means that after a while you will have a built-in customer base who you can continually market your products or services to. This is an invaluable asset to have and will ensure your long term success in your business… or at least a captive audience. You should be wary of overselling to your list of customers, however. The best strategy to implement is to send regular, helpful emails that may be related to your field and every so often offer a product – whether it be something you have created or an affiliate product.
Measure Your Successes
Another great aspect of email marketing is that it allows you to track your success incredibly easily. You have access to stats including the percentages of sales for an email campaign and who is interested in what, or heck, who is engaging and still there (on your list that is). This is invaluable information to have as it gives you the ability to tweak your campaigns for maximum readability, sales and profit.
It’s Easy to Do
Email marketing is really easy to do. You simply create an opt-in… then head on over to your auto-responder (ActiveCampaign like I use, Aweber like I used to use, Constant Contact, Get Response, Mail Chimp, etc) and create the form. You paste the code of the form into your WordPress website and test it. The hardest part of email marketing is to create the freebie to give in exchange for your visitor’s email address and then set up the automation. As far as running your campaigns, it can be as simple as writing an email and clicking a button.
The biggest reason to use targeted opt-in email marketing in your online business efforts is simply that it works. Like anything else you do online, it only works if you pin in the effort and do it in the right way. Like don’t oversell to your list and be sure you create a product/download that people will want to give you their email address for in the first place. However once you have taken care of that and get the word about your product out there, you will see your list start to grow. The bigger the list you have, the more money there is to be made. Patience is key to this strategy it takes time to build a large list, but you can reap the rewards in the end.
Email marketing isn’t a sprint, but more of a marathon type thing. I don’t offer this as a regular service but I think that there is gold in your email list and you are missing out if you don’t even try.
You have a few ways to reach your target market:
- Hope they remember your website address and come to you
- Hope they remember you offer a specific product/service
- Hope they remember your social media and go to that to see what you are doing
- Land in their inbox with targeted messages about pains they are needing solutions for
I don’t know about you, but it is pretty clear that email marketing is a great way to be top of mind to your consumers by landing in their email on a regular basis. Should you need help getting started with a freebie or email marketing, contact me and I’ll see how I can help.
Jackie Harder says
Good info here, Kristen, as always. Thanks for the reminder. I have an email opt-in on every page of my site, except the home page.
Kristen Day says
Thanks so much Jackie! I had to remind myself too! We need to provide valuable opt-ins and sometimes we may need to change that up too!
Meghan Monaghan says
As you point out, email marketing is one of the most important tools for small business owners. We can’t rely on social media or search as a way to follow up with prospects. But getting the opt-in right makes a big difference, both to convincing people to sign up and to attracting a more targeted subscriber. Your reasons to use opt-in marketing make sense! Of all of the marketing tactics out there, email marketing may be my least favorite–not because it’s ineffective but because it takes a while and I’m impatient LOL! So, it’s good you pointed out that the effort is a marathon and not a sprint.
Kristen Day says
Thanks for jumping in and I completely agree, I am not fond of it as it does take a while and it’s time consuming, so one of the parts of my business that is a have to do not a love to do. But as noted, it is necessary to get in front of our target market. And yes, social media.. especially these days is seriously lacking it’s value to business owners, especially small business unless they play their game and pay them… after all, that is their business model… get money and control the social sphere. We are on the same page there. Search is also valuable but hard to be top 10 for every keyword phrase and definitely not always a captive audience, like email can be. Thanks again.