5 Ways to Optimize and Grow Your Email List

grow your email listThere are four types of email: newsletters, email blasts, auto-responders, and transactional emails. The latter of which have the best open rates than any other type of email according to Phil Hollows, author of “List Building For Bloggers.”

  • Newsletters: are emails that get sent on a regular basis, either monthly, weekly or something in between. See how to create a great newsletter.
  • Email blasts: are emergency emails, breaking news, etc., constituting some sort of urgency that they need to be opened.
  • Auto-responders: are triggered emails that happen after your subscriber performed a call to action, and they usually move your subscriber to the next stage or a specific goal.
  • Transactional emails: are emails with a specific call-to-action where you are asking your subscriber to buy or download something.

Each email type has a role to play in your marketing efforts. The important thing to remember here is that first you need to get people to sign up for your list, and then you need to keep them there, while hopefully spreading the word to others.

And let’s face it, your email list is your money list because you’ll use it to market new products/services/events/books and more, to your customers.

5 Ways to Grow Your Email List

1. Your sign-up form.

First, make sure you have one on your blog or website. You want to make it easy for them to sign up. Second, make sure your sign-up form is above the fold and easy to subscribe to by not asking for a slew of information — there’s plenty of time to cultivate the list and get the other information you need. Lastly, in your sign-up form, tell people what benefit they’ll get by subscribing to your email. Why should they give you their email address anyway? And it helps if you tell them you’re not going to spam them or sell their email address to anyone.

2. Include social proof.

If you have testimonials or you’ve won or have been named a finalist in your niche, then be sure to highlight that on your website, blog and newsletter. It gives you credibility among your peers and in your industry and that helps you build a credible, valuable email list.

3. Give your email subscribers something unique.

Since your subscribers are your bread and butter you should give them something unique in the email you send them such as unique content or promos/offers exclusive to email subscribers. Make them feel special, after all, they’ve earned it! Plus it helps with re-engaging people who perhaps had not engaged previously. Turn them from voyeurs into brand evangelists!

4. Create auto-responders.

If you have an email list, why not give someone a bonus for signing up, like a whitepaper or access to exclusive content. LinkedIn strategist Kristina Jaramillo and Facebook strategist, Mari Smith both do this and they’ve gotten thousands of subscribers this way.

5. Check in and see how you’re doing.

What better way to see how you’re doing than by asking your email subscribers? You can include a survey in your regular newsletter, but you’ll get the best response if you send it outside of your newsletter and don’t be coy about it. Let your subscribers know that you need their feedback. Also, make it short if you are not offering anything for filling it out. If your survey is more than a few questions, incentivize them by considering to offer a random gift card drawing to those who fill out the survey.

How do you build and cultivate your email list?



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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.