Having an email list is like holding onto a treasure chest. It can be full of loyal subscribers, raving fans, or a potential line-up of buyers for your newly released product.
But how do you determine the value of the treasure chest?
Well, let’s put it this way.
If you have absolutely no clue how your email list is doing, then it’s probably worthless. If you haven’t figured it out, I’m talking about the open rate, reply rate, CTR, bounce rate, and other key metrics that determine the value of your email list.
Actually, why don’t we start by having a look at some statistics about what marketers think when it comes to the importance of email marketing compared to other strategies?
As you can tell, email marketing is quite ahead of the other channels.
But if you want to make money from sending emails, how are you going to collect the right ones?
Well, emails are still considered to be personal information so they’re difficult to obtain. After all, it’s nothing worse than being bombarded with lice shampoo ads in your inbox while having dinner with your significant other on Saturday night. As you probably already know, the fundamental principle of obtaining someone’s email address is by offering a form of value in return.
Without further ado, let’s explore the best practices of collecting email addresses to take your email marketing game to the next level.
1. Opt-in forms on your website
The opt-in form is the part of the site where people can sign up to be included in an email list, usually in exchange for something.
No doubt, this is the most common way you’ve agreed or disagreed to share your email with someone. Usually, the offers provided in exchange for your email address are special discounts or access to exclusive content.
Website visitors don’t mind this method because the offers are generally fair and pretty straightforward. After all, you can always unsubscribe if you feel like the value is not worth your time.
Let’s have a look at how some of the most successful companies do it.
Adidas likes to keep it simple. The message is short and clear. They offer a 15% discount if you become a member of their creators’ club.
If you get a better look at the message, they went the extra mile to personalize the message and offer a sense of belonging – ”Join our creators’ club”. This is a great way to build a targeted audience that will be aligned with your core values and brand.
As a second example, let’s have a look at Neil Patel’s opt-in form for his keyword research tool UbberSuggest.
As you can see, Neil Patel is happy to provide a free SEO analysis of your website in exchange for your email address.
This is a pretty neat deal, am I right? I bet no one refuses such an offer.
Right when you land on his website, he offers a solution for a challenge that most of his target audience struggles with ‒ how to get more traffic.
In any given case, you have to understand the biggest struggles of your target audience and provide an adequate solution. This will increase your conversion rate and capture the emails of the right target group.
2. Collect emails with Facebook ads
Does your brand have a Facebook page? Well, you can easily turn it into a well-oiled email capture machine with Facebook ads.
Collecting emails through Facebook ads is not that expensive because you can primarily target audiences with interests that are perfectly aligned with your brand.
Just like the case with the opt-in forms, you should offer something in return. For example, if you’re selling organic pet treats, you could create an ebook about 25 premium foods that will increase your dog’s lifespan.
In fact, take a look at the following example to understand how this process actually works.
So, the marketing team at DigitalMarketer is giving away email copies that will improve our email marketing efforts.
And, we most likely have seen this ad on our Facebook feed because we follow and interact with content in the digital marketing realm. This is why Facebook ads can be awesome and not intrusive.
Most people have troubles with email deliverability, so this offer would be the perfect way to consume the value. In addition, if we really like the email copies, we’d be happy to stay in their email list and keep consuming new content.
Now, let’s see what happens once we click on their ad.
It takes us on a trip to their landing page.
As you can see, the information they ask for is very straightforward and it won’t take more than 20 seconds to fill it in in order to get access to the outreach copies.
The best part with Facebook ads is that you can always test multiple ad templates and landing pages. You can keep optimizing your conversion rate until you hit the sweet spot.
3. Set up popups to collect emails
Email pop-ups are another effective way for building your email list.
Pop-ups are mainly used to collect emails for special offers. Also, they serve to make it easier for people to sign up for the list, as they may not find an opt-in form on a site.
They appear on the visitor’s screen after a certain time or as a trigger after a certain action.
There is one important thing here. Don’t let the pop-up appear as soon as someone enters a page or site. This might scare away the visitor because it may come across as spam.
Let’s have a look at Nike’s pop-up.
Nike’s pop-up doesn’t show up right away. It appears after a while, which doesn’t give the impression of being spammy.
As you can tell, the design is neat and it draws the visitors’ attention. The ”Be The First To Know” headline immediately captures the attention, following a short description of the offer ‒ be the first to know when a special offer comes out.
The most important thing about pop-ups is not to seem like you’re desperate to grab someone’s email address. In order to avoid that, make sure to automate the pop-ups for the following conditions:
- after 30 seconds spent on the page
- after scrolling half a page or
- when a visitor leaves the page.
When collecting leads with pop-ups and in other ways, remember that automatization is the key word here. To get everything in order, for example with your e-commerce store try an automation tool like THIS one.
4. Start a Facebook Group
I’m sure we all have a Facebook business page where we share announcements, blog posts, and news about our products and services. It’s the most convenient way to keep our users engaged and updated.
Why stop there, where you can take it to the next level?
With 2.89 billion monthly active users, Facebook is simply not a social network you decide to ignore. People love to stay connected, engage in discussions, and follow the newest trends.
Companies now have the option to create their own thriving communities with Facebook Groups. They’re a great way to get connected with like-minded people, share similar experiences and participate in events that will strengthen the relationships with your customers.
The great thing about Facebook groups is that you can track your engagement metrics via Built-in analytics (Group Insights). This way, you can test your engagement and identify the key content that your audience loves to engage with.
You can fully customize the access to your group and you can decide if you’d like to keep it private ‒ customers only or keep it public. Additionally, you can filter your members by asking them a series of questions. This way, you can assess if your new members are primarily interested in engaging in discussions or maybe posting promotional content.
Furthermore, you can capture the email addresses of every new member by offering something in return. For example, you can invite your group members to become a part of your exclusive newsletter in exchange for their email addresses.
Here’s how HubSpot does it.
5. Host webinars
Webinars can be a very powerful way to establish your brand and grow your authority in the industry.
Let’s say you have an e-commerce store that sells organic pet treats. You’ve managed to amass a decent following but you feel like you’re not making enough impact on your followers.
Well, why not organize and set up a webinar on ”Healthy Foods To Increase Your Dog’s Life Expectancy”?
In fact, you can organize a series of webinars on healthy pet foods to educate your followers and increase their trust. I’m sure most pet owners will share this series of webinars with their friends and family who are also attached to their pets.
In addition to building your brand recognition, webinars are a great way to collect emails. When you announce your webinar, you can request additional information for each guest with the regular opt-in form.
Here’s an example of a webinar registration form.
You can announce your webinar to your socials, blog, or newsletter. Be sure to mention the primary benefits of attending your webinars such as free entry or a free copy of the webinar for anyone who signs up for it after it’s done.
Once your webinar ends, you simply send a copy of it via email and ask for feedback to improve upon.
If you’d like to expand and attract more audiences, you can always promote your webinar by placing a Facebook ad. Simply include a link to your landing page and keep an eye on the number of sign-ups in order to test and optimize your ads in the future.
6. Display a Sticky Top Bar
Sticky Top Bars are arguably one of the least intrusive methods of obtaining an email address. They are rather simple and they stay on top at all times while the readers are scrolling through the page.
The primary content of the sticky top bar is the call to action. Alternatively, you can invite people to subscribe to your preferred content creation platform.
When people land on your website, they’re usually super focused on the content they’re searching for. Most of the time, they’re looking for something specific, but they’re also open to exploring other types of content that might grab their attention.
This is where the sticky top bars come in place. They help you grab attention without coming across as desperate.
For example, DIYthemes earned 1,180 extra email subscribers in just 30 days of using a sticky top bar.
In addition, Darren Rowse from ProBlogger uses a sticky top bar to drive visitors from his homepage to his podcast.
Subscribe Box At The End Of Content
Just like sticky top bars, the subscribe box is one more method that is not intrusive and it’s quite simple to set up.
The subscribe box doesn’t pop up. It stays in place as a normal window right underneath your preferred content ‒ blog post, podcast episode, or a video.
The subscribe box doesn’t as much attention as the pop-ups, but it’s still an effective way of obtaining subscribers especially if you don’t have any assets to offer in exchange such as ebooks or guides.
Have a look at Matthew Woodward’s example. He places a subscribe box underneath his blog posts.
Example: Matthew Woodward has one under all his blog posts.
It’s no doubt that a few other effective strategies emerged in the digital marketing world like social media, growth hacking, and paid advertising. However, email marketing is still going strong, and statistically, it’s one of the methods that marketers assign the highest priority to. Although new communication technologies surfaced, people still prefer email as the primary channel of communication when it comes to business meetings. An email inbox is a private space, therefore emails are the best way to communicate one-to-one with your customers and respond to their queries.
Never miss a chance to build an email list of loyal subscribers if you have a significant value to offer. Email conversations help to build intimate relationships with your customers. In the end, we all know that happy customers can turn an aspiring business into a powerful brand with word of mouth.