By Steve Robinson
Director of National Organizations
There’s a certain thrill that comes with seeing your email contact list grow and it’s even more exciting when clients read and share your content. Along with that excitement there can be a temptation to aggressively grow your list by capturing names from your website or client orders. While everybody wants a healthy list of contacts, it’s important to remember the golden rule of successful email marketing – you must first get permission from your clients before adding them to your list.
Though sometimes it can be challenging to reach out to clients on an individual basis to ask for their permission, especially since so many interactions are done online these days. To make the most of your online presence and boost subscribers, here are 10 fresh and free ways to inspire clients, partners, and website visitors to join your email list.
Engage Website Visitors
When clients visit your website or find your business through an online listing, it’s an opportunity to engage them and entice them to want to learn more about your business. Three ways to inspire them to join your mailing list are:
1. Offer exclusive content. Feature content on your website that clients crave such as top secret recipes, little known short cuts, or cost savings tips. By including a synopsis of what’s behind the curtain, you demonstrate your expertise and the value of the content. From there, make it easy for clients to access all of that exclusive content in exchange for joining your mailing list.
2. Convert website visitors into subscribers using MailMunch. This tool allows you to create opt-in subscriber forms that you add to your website or blog without having to write a single line of code. And yes, they also work on mobile devices.
3. Add a subscriber link to your online listings. For online directories and sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, provide a link to join your email list.
Extend Your Reach Through Existing Partners and Clients
Your regular interactions with partners and clients present more opportunities to up your subscribers. Here are three ways to easily do it.
1. Integrate contacts from your business tools. If you’re using QuickBooks Online, WordPress, Salesforce, or Shopify to run your business and Constant Contact for email marketing, you can sync contacts from those business tools right into your mailing list.
2. Feature a “forward to a friend” button to your emails to encourage existing subscribers to pass along your content and be sure to include an easy subscribe button that doesn’t ask for anything more than an email address.
3. Include a sign-up link to your email signature. You’ll get more exposure and sign-ups by including a link to subscribe in the regular emails you send, which are separate from your email marketing efforts.
Boost Email Subscribers Through Facebook
Despite changes to the Facebook algorithm that limit your ability to freely reach your audience, you can still use the social network to boost your email subscriber list. Here are five ways to do it.
1. Make your newsletter the theme of your cover photo. Since your cover photo is at the top of your Page and is often the first thing people see, use this space to feature an image and call out your email newsletter with an enticement for followers to subscribe.
2. Insert the Facebook Call to Action Button. Facebook’s call-to-action button appears right next to the “Like” button on your cover photo and is another great way to encourage email sign-ups. Add the “Sign Up” button and link to your online sign-up form so Facebook visitors can easily join your mailing list.
3. Use the Constant Contact App for Facebook. This app is a great way to combine the power of email and social media by letting you put a sign-up form right in your Facebook business page.
4. Share your newsletters. What better way to convince your Facebook fans to sign up for your list than to show them what your mailings actually look like? Post headlines and summaries on Facebook, along with a link to the newsletter on your website and an easy subscribe button to continue to grow your list.
It takes time to cultivate a great email contact list. But if you make the most of your online presence, your interactions with clients and partners, and consistently provide quality content, you’ll find your list will organically grow in no time. What’s more, it will be filled with clients that want to hear from you and are willing to help spread the word about your business.