As a geeky marketer at heart and a driven entrepreneur, the importance of building out my email list of engaged subscribers continues to be a top priority. I get it, sometimes it’s easier to just buy a list, do cold outreach, and hope for the best. And yes, this goes against best practices when it comes to email marketing in general. However, know that building out an authentic email list of people who actually want to hear from you will pay off with both short-term and long-term wins.
So what exactly goes into building out an email list?
Today’s blog post will address five easy ways you can do this and if you haven’t already, I also wrote a blog post about the hard lessons I learned while growing my own list up to 10K subscribers. Read it here.
That said, here are some key takeaways you’ll get from today’s blog post:
- Tactics that actually work when building an email list.
- Key benchmarks to be aware of.
- How to create content that will attract and engage your target audience.
- Strategies for adding in personalization and automation.
Let’s dive in…
Why does building an email list matter?
Email is one of the most powerful ways to deliver valuable content, showcasing your expertise to help generate high-quality engagement from your target audience. Here are a few stats as to why growing your email list should play an important role in your marketing efforts that in turn, will help your business grow as well:
- Email marketing yields an average 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States.
- Companies using email to nurture leads generate 50% more sales-ready leads and at 33% lower cost. And nurtured leads, on average, produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities compared to non-nurtured leads.
- 64% of decision makers read emails via mobile device.
1. Develop content your audience cares about
This is a no-brainer but content is going to be your best friend. You have to get focused on developing stellar content that will actually attract and engage your target audience. Of course, writing about things you care about is one thing, but you have to marry it with how that content will add value to others.
Consider the following things as you build out your content calendar:
- What problems exist in the space you’re wanting to write about?
- Do some research and figure out what people are searching for within your space.
- Follow like-minded people/businesses and see what they’re writing about.
- Subscribe to newsletters you love and see what you can learn then execute too.
2. Promote your content
To ensure that your content is seen by your target audience, it doesn’t hurt to put some advertising dollars behind it. It doesn’t matter what type of content you are producing (e.g. blogs, guides, webinars, videos, etc.), what matters is that you expose it to the right audience and then give them a place to subscribe to it.
3. Segment then personalize and automate
One of the most important things you can do once you get subscribers is to learn more about them. Figure out which content topic brought them in, the type of content that interests them the most, and how they found you. Doing so will help you better understand what you need to be pumping out to attract more subscribers to your email list.
Once you’re able to understand your subscribers down to their persona, you can then start to build out different pathways that they can be nurtured down. At that point, you’ll then be able to also automate while keeping everything as personalized as possible.
Let me break out the importance of both email personalization nd automation:
Personalization is key to growing your email list because it’ll help understand a particular group of individuals who are interested in consuming the content you produce. You can then tailor specific ads, blogs, and even landing pages to engage more subscribers that way.
Here are the stats to know:
- Personalized calls to action convert 202% better than default calls to action
- Personalized email marketing is said to generate a median ROI of 122%
- Email subject lines that are personalized generate an average of 50% higher open rates
- 55% of consumers have stated that they like email messages that contain relevant products and offers
- Segmented, personalized and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue
Automation not only saves you time but it helps you focus on other items that will also help you move the needles in terms of growing your business as well as email list.
Here are the stats to know:
- 80% of marketing automation users saw their number of leads increase, and 77% saw the number of conversions increase.
- Marketers familiar with pipeline marketing are 48% more likely to see ROI greater than 1.5x. Marketers who identify as pipeline marketers are 119% more likely to report sales and marketing alignment.
- Increasing sales revenue (53%), lead nurturing (43%) and customer engagement (37%) are the most important objectives of a marketing automation strategy.
- Marketers say that the biggest benefits of Automation are Saving time (74%), Increased customer engagement (68%), More timely communications (58%) and Increased opportunities including up-selling (58%)
4. Internalize the data and pivot where you need to
I can’t stress enough how important data plays a role with figuring out the most effective ways you can grow your email list. Know that it all starts with producing relevant and valuable content and then drawing in the right audience who wants to consume your content down to the point where they want it exclusively within their inboxes.
Here are some considerations to look at:
- Messaging that works best.
- Organic channels new subscribers come in from.
- Paid channels new subscribers come in from.
- Persona that stands out the most.
- Content that works the best (e.g. is it downloadable gated content or just blog posts?)
- How often people want to hear from you once they join your list.
- What people want the most help with.
5. Make it easy for people to subscribe
Optimizing all of the different touch points that your target audience will have with your content is going to also increase your chances of getting more subscribers onto your email list. Look at your social profiles to your website and make sure that there is an easy way to subscribe without having to walk through multiple steps.
Here’s a great example:
As soon as you land on Lewis’s website, the form to subscribe to his email list is in the header section and above the fold. The CTA is clear and it’s straightforward. In other words, it is easy to join his list.
Over to you
Keep in mind that as you push to grow your email list you have to always keep your target audience top of mind and the goals you want to achieve. From there, you’ll center all of your initiatives to support both. It’s not about just building a list to sell, but to actually create meaningful connections that can build your brand for the long run.