Beginner's Guide to Email Marketing
Build Your Email List
Try opt-in forms on your pages...
[bctt tweet="A simple way to build your list is to add a subscribe opt-in form in every page of your website" username="equinux"]
If you are completely new to email marketing, you'll want to start by building your list of newsletter subscribers. A simple way to build your list is to add a subscribe form to every page on your website. Some email service providers provide tools that allow you to create various opt-in forms. You can also try WordPress plugins, OptinMonster, POWr, or Address Bin to create your opt-in forms. And you will need landing pages, which you can create with WordPress plugins, Unbounce, ucraft, Landingi, KickoffLabs, or Instapage.
Make sure the form can easily be seen so readers have easy access – regardless of what topic they are exploring on your website. If you have a blog or article section on your website, try including an inline opt-in form. You can include it somewhere in the middle or at the end of your blog post.
Or a floating bar opt-in form within your header...
Some websites also have an opt-in form within their website's header. Your header is the first thing readers will see, so this is a great place to add your floating bar opt-in form.
Or an embedded opt-in form within your footer...
You can also add a subscribe option to the footer on your website, so when a reader reaches the end of your webpage or goes to look for your site navigation, they'll see that subscribe box.
Or a floating opt-in box...
If you do not want to add an opt-in form in your header or footer, you may want to try a floating opt-in box. A floating opt-in box is more visible than an embedded or floating header/footer. This is a good way to grab the visitor's attention, while also giving him or her a choice to close the opt-in form.
Or a page takeover that takes up the entire screen...
Some websites also use a page takeover that takes up the entire screen. The visitor will have to click to dismiss the takeover, or some websites even take it a bit further by creating an overlay that cannot be dismissed without logging in or signing up. A page takeover can be quite annoying for readers, so we generally recommend using a less distracting sign-up form.
Or opt-in popups...
Another way you can ask your visitors to opt-in is by adding opt-in popups. Popups can be an effective way to get the visitor's attention. The picture above is an example of a modal pop-up.
Tips for opt-ins
SPECIFY WHAT IS IN IT FOR THEM
[bctt tweet="People crave to know what they can get out of your emails. " username="equinux"]
Make sure you spell out the benefits of being an email subscriber: People crave to know what they can get out of your emails. For example, if you give subscribers early access to events or special access to sales promotions, be sure to include that in your sign-up form.
INCLUDE INCENTIVES TO SIGN UP
[bctt tweet="Think of an incentive as a final push to sway someone to make a purchase. " username="equinux"]
You can also try providing additional incentives to get people to sign up. An effective incentive is to provide a discount to first-time subscribers on their first purchase. Another really good incentive is to provide free shipping or an upgraded shipping option to new subscribers on their first purchase.
ORGANIZE EXCLUSIVE SALES EVENTS
Try offering subscribers-only sales events on your website. It'll get people to sign up for your newsletters and it also gives readers a reason to stay subscribed, once they know that your company offers email-only specials.
USE THE CHECKOUT PROCESS
[bctt tweet="The checkout process is often a good opportunity to build your email list" username="equinux"]
The checkout process is often a good opportunity to build your email list. For instance, you can ask your customers to sign-up for an account by including a box that allows them to opt-in. Your potential customers can check the box if they want to receive emails from you. Afterwards, you can just send a confirmation email asking them to confirm that they have signed up for your email list. If someone has made a purchase without signing-up, try adding an opt-in form within the online receipt that you send out.
Keep in mind that only some countries accept pre-checked opt-in boxes. Other countries are much more strict and require active forms of opting-in. Best practice is to leave these un-checked by default. This means people are giving you expressed consent by checking that box.
PROMOTE WORD-OF-MOUTH REFERRALS
[bctt tweet="Reward your customers when they successfully referred someone to sign-up to your emails" username="equinux"]
Encourage word-of-mouth referrals. Reward your customers when they successfully referred someone to sign-up to your emails and/or make a purchase. You can do this by providing them with referral links. Or encourage your readers to share their referral links through social media. Just make sure to not provide your customers with a reward incentive to forward your email campaigns. Why? This can be considered as spam, depending on where the email is opened. Now, if people forward your email campaigns on their own without any incentive from you, then you are not breaking any international spam laws.
[bctt tweet="Not only are giveaways effective at getting email opt-ins, they are also powerful for driving traffic to your website. " username="equinux"]
Try setting up a giveaway! In order to enter the giveaway, the individual has to agree to the terms of your giveaway, which would include that they have to be an email subscriber. Additionally, you can provide another incentive for them to share the giveaway on social media such as rewarding them with additional entries and thus boosting their chances of winning. Not only are giveaways effective at getting email opt-ins, they are also powerful for driving traffic to your website.
What should you never do when it comes to building your list?
Never buy an email list and never trade/sell your email list.
If you buy an email list, you can never be sure where the email addresses are from. You won't know if they are real or fake accounts. Even if most of the email addresses are real, you will probably come across as a spammer to the recipients of your email campaigns, as they didn't sign up to hear from you. These people probably do not know how you got their contact information and why you are emailing them.
The same applies to your list: if you trade or sell your email list, your email subscribers will lose their trust in you. It is not worth the risk to the relationship you have built with your subscribers and will jeopardize your reputation.
Resist renting an email list or “sponsored mailings.”
Sponsored mailings are not as effective as permission-based mailings. Why? Because people are generally not interested in reading about products or brands that they did not sign up for. Unless the brand you're working with really goes well with your brand, then the campaign will most likely be ineffective.
Do not provide an incentive to forward your email campaigns.
In some countries, presenting incentives to forward your email campaigns can be considered spam or at least the encouragement of spam. In the eyes of the law, you could potentially be giving support to unsolicited email advertisements. Both international laws and the enforcement of spam laws are becoming stricter than ever. To avoid penalties, it is safer for your business to stay clear of explicitly incentivizing your readers to forward your email campaigns. Rather than rewarding your readers for forwarding your emails, ask them to share the message on social media. Reward your readers for signups they helped induce.
Do not ignore unsubscribe requests
Most laws require companies to comply with unsubscribe requests within a limited number of days. After the time-limit, then the consumer must no longer receive any commercial messages from you. These include emails, physical mailings, phone calls, etc. If your business does not comply, then the government bodies can potentially fine you. Furthermore, ignoring an unsubscribe request can increase the likelihood that your emails will be marked as spam. This can be damaging to your business because it increases your chances of being blacklisted by major email providers.
- Opt-in forms, header sliders, and popups are good ways to get people to subscribe to your email newsletters
- Provide incentives to sign up and host exclusive subscriber-only sales events
- Encourage word-of-mouth referrals with referral links or host giveaways for subscribers
- Do not buy, sell, or rent a list
- Never provide forwarding incentives, or scavenge online for email addresses, or ignore unsubscribe requests
Until next time,
Your Mail Designer 365 team