Check out this dialog between a group of noteworthy email marketing experts for advice on building your permission-based, in-house email list. Each has a different point of view, but it’s interesting to note recurring themes…OK, it’s not interesting, it’s critical knowledge.
Throughout this dialog (and not including the sales pitches), there are three points made repeatedly that we should pay attention to:
1) Content that rocks. Admittedly, no one uses that phrase “content that rocks” in this post, but that’s the sum of it. When your content is awesome, when it rocks, when it excites, people share it and that grows your list. It also attracts people who want a piece of that compelling content when they are on your website or at your establishment and they see your promise, the carrot of content you dangle before them. Relevant, targeted, engaging and compelling content is now and long has been an email best practice. Even if this means you must hire an outside copywriter to help, make compelling content a high priority.
2) Search! Meaning organic search for organic growth of your list. You use search marketing to get the traffic to your website. Visitors like what they see, and they also like the promise of compelling content (see #1 above) so they sign up for your emails. Voila! List growth! You’re not using search marketing directly to grow your list; you’re using it to grow your site traffic. But the side benefit of that is more people to pitch your email signup to.
3) Making social part of the effort. Asking for email signups at every point of contact means social too, and it could be that someone is more likely to end up at your Facebook page than your website anyway.
The experts discuss other techniques such as using ECOA to update email addresses, but I’ll leave that detail for you to read if you’re interested. Really the main takeaways from an email marketing best practices perspective are great content, using search and using social.
I should also point out that the post starts out talking about a responsive list, meaning all of this advice is geared towards building a list based on quality, not quantity. And that’s the kind of list that’s going to deliver the ROI.