5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Whether you have 200 or 200,000 emails, there’s no such thing as having too many contacts on your list. As subscribers come and go, you want to make sure your growth rate stays high and your audience is expanding.
In general, businesses get more subscribers than they lose. However, there are ways to boost your opt-in rate. So let’s take a look at some of the simplest, most efficient ways to grow your email list — for free.
Start with the basics: your signup forms
Before you engage in more creative ways to promote your list, analyze your signup forms. Here are a few useful questions to begin with:
- How many signup forms do you have on your website and blog? One may not be enough, so consider adding a few more, including at the bottom of every blog post you write.
- Where are they placed? Would someone visiting your platform easily spot them? If you want to make sure it stands out, add a form to the upper half of your site.
- How compelling is your signup form copy? Could you edit it to entice more people to subscribe? Most times, signup forms perform poorly for two reasons: they’re buried at the bottom of the website and people fail to notice them. And oftentimes a “subscribe to our newsletter” button only asks visitors to give you something — their email address — and doesn’t mention what they’ll receive in exchange.
Think of ways you could succinctly express the benefit of subscribing to your list. For example, if you have a marketing agency and send a weekly newsletter, you could say “Get our best marketing tips — every week.” Apart from letting people know why they should subscribe, it also tells them how often they can expect to hear from you.
Make sure you stick with your promise and send your very best marketing tips according to your schedule. It helps your email deliverability and fosters healthy engagement.
Related: Why Every Brand Should Have a Blog
Make the most of online events
Webinars, online conferences, YouTube shows and podcasts have thrived in 2020 and will likely continue to dominate every industry. These online events are not only a great way to share your knowledge and better connect with your audience, but are also excellent vehicles for promoting your emails and other content channels.
If you receive a podcast invitation, do your best to entertain and educate, and invite people to subscribe to your emails. If someone in your industry wants you to appear on a webinar, be generous and give attendees your most useful suggestions. Seize the opportunity to mention your great emails and why people should subscribe.
You could also take it up a notch and host your own webinars. Whether you cohost them with a colleague or invite another expert, end every webinar with a call-to-action for your opt-in form.
When your content is helpful and entertaining, people will want more of it. Make sure they know where to find it.
Post on social media consistently
How are you using social media to grow your email list? Many businesses would have a hard time answering this question. For some reason, they see email marketing and social media as two separate things and rarely allow them to intersect.
However, email and social media should work together to help you reach more people. As organic reach on social media has declined, it’s smart to create a strategy to get more of your followers on your list.
A simple way to do that is to post about your emails consistently. If you send a newsletter, remember to post a teaser about it a few days before it goes out. This is especially effective when your email content is exclusive. Without revealing too much, let people know they can access it when they subscribe to your email list.
On top of these strategies, you should place a link to your opt-in form on all of your social media profiles. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to publish a link in your account description. Use that space wisely so people can easily find their way onto your list.
Bonus tip: Double-check your subscribers
With an average return on investment of $42 for every $1 spent, email marketing is a worthy investment for many. It’s easy to understand why we all strive to grow our lists and why we should celebrate every new subscriber.
At the same time, having a large email list does not equal email marketing success. For it to be profitable, your list has to be healthy. Gathering misspelled or risky email addresses won’t serve any purpose. On the contrary, poor-quality contacts will hurt your deliverability and prevent you from reaching people’s inboxes.
There are two ways you can deal with email data decay:
- Use an email verification service to validate your list in bulk. Scrub bad emails at least quarterly if your list is growing quickly.
- Add an Application Programming Interface (API) to your signup forms. The API verifies all of your new subscribers in real time and rejects addresses you don’t want on your list.
It can be tempting to hold on to every email address you’ve gathered. However, don’t be sorry when removing old, risky data. It’s one of the best things you can do to ensure your emails are making it to the inbox.