It’s impossible to embark upon an email marketing campaign without a list to market to. If you’re not in the mood for building your own list you could always participate in Solo Ads – which is where you pay someone else to let you mail their list.
Of course this option is expensive, and if you’re planning on sending out lots of email marketing messages, you’ll probably be much better off building your own. The best way to begin a list is to put an opt-in box on your website.
People won’t join your list for no reason
If your email capture box just says “enter your email address here”, you’re not going to get many subscribers. People tend to be pretty lazy, and they’re not going to go out of their way to give you their email address if there’s nothing in it for them.
What you need to do is to offer your users some sort of incentive to join your list. It can’t just be any old rubbish either; it needs to be something that’s relevant to them, something they will attribute value to.
Here are some ideas of things that you could use as an incentive for users to join your list:
- A free eBook on a topic that’s relevant to your website
- A free video series related to your site
- Personal coaching from yourself
- Access to a private forum or website
These are just a few ideas. If you really put some thought into it and think outside the box you can probably come up with a really good incentive to offer to your users. There’s no incentive that works best because the incentive that’s best will depend on the kind of site that you run.
It may seem a little counterproductive to start giving away free content when you’re actually trying to make money, but the fact is that when people see you’re giving away content of high value, when it comes to actually buying from you, they will have no hesitation.
It’s all about building up that level of trust between you and your audience – and a free product is always a fantastic ice-breaker.
The best way to release the free content to your users when they signed up to your list, is to setup an auto-responder with a link to download the product. This way you can ensure that the users go through the double opt-in process in order to secure access to your product.
A percentage of users may well go and unsubscribe after getting their hands on your product – which is only to be expected, but a high percentage will still remain on your list.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the initial incentive to get users on your list is the only free content you can or should give away.
The more content you give away for free, the more receptive your list will be when you send out emails containing links to premium products you’re promoting.