If you have contact with any marketing professionals you are bound to have heard someone shouting about getting more email subscribers.
They do so with good reason because people on your email list have already requested information from you.
Whether you’re trying to sell a product or service these leads are already warm and now all we need to do is nudge them in the right direction.
Email drives more conversions than any of from of traffic, including search and social.
Research shows that email has an average conversion rate per session of 4.16%. This is more than search and social combined (2.64% and 0.48% on average).
Building a high quality list can be daunting at first, especially if you’re new to email marketing. But it’s cool. Together we’re going to examine exactly how you can get your first 1,000 subscribers by implementing a set of proven tactics.
All of these are tactics that I have personally used and to be honest, one tactic saw me add over 3,000 subscribers to one of my lists in two weeks.
I am not guaranteeing that you’ll see the same success with your business. However, by the end of this post you’ll know everything you need to build a quality list with 1,000 new subscribers as your lowest target.
Know who you want on your list and what appeals to them
When you do anything in marketing you need think about who you are targeting, what do they want and what can you do to help. The same goes for email.
We want a quality list of people that are willing to engage with us.
We’d rather have a list of 10 highly relevant consumers than 1,000 randomers that just signed up to our list in the hope of winning a new iPad.
Think about who your audience is and what makes them tick.
Who are they? What challenges do they face? What influences them?
A fantastic way of constantly getting in the mind of your audience is to build a customer empathy map – I make one for every business I work with.
I have included a completed one below for the audience of this blog and you can download a template here.
The key to a good customer empathy map is strong research.
Build quick surveys and utilise social media to help you obtain the information to build your empathy map. You could even use secondary research like industry reports to provide more substance.
This initial groundwork can be labour intensive. However, once you have nailed building a powerful empathy map you’ll find everything else far easier to implement and I promise you’ll see better results for it.
HubSpot’s marketing stats show that 75% of businesses agree that email offers excellent to good ROI and 86% of consumers would like to receive emails from companies they do business with at least monthly.
Create lead magnets that require an email address
Powerful lead magnets are the steroids for your email list. They will feed it and bulk that bad boy up in no time at all!
We’re talented digital marketers that are all about the trusted supplements. We don’t want any of that discount store rubbish here!
That’s why we need to focus on creating quality lead magnets that are going to make people want to almost throw their email address at you.
95% of people won’t buy on their first visit. We need to warm them up first and build a relationship with them.
This is where lead magnets come in.
Lead magnets could be anything from a free guide to a free consultation. The lead magnets you decide to use will largely be driven by what your customers desire most (back to that empathy map I spoke about earlier).
Let’s take the example of this blog where I want to convert visitors to become consultancy clients.
The chances are slim that people will read one post and then decide to hire me.
I could offer a tutorial video that teaches people to start generating traffic on their own. All they need to do is give me their email and I’ll send them the video.
Once they have watched the video I’ll then send them a series of follow up emails to help them enhance their current efforts.
Having received all this awesome content from me the prospect is likely to trust me much more and appreciate that I know my sh*t.
The relationship has been built and now I can start to tell them more about my consultancy services and drive them towards working with me.
That’s just a quick example but you should now see how a lead magnet could not only grow your list but also play a major role in generating sales.
Here are 69 examples of lead magnets to get you started.
Give a special offer to subscribers
Everyone loves to know they are getting a good deal.
Presenting a special offer or discount to subscribers is the perfect way to say thank you and give them that gentle nudge towards making a purchase.
You’ll see a number of brands entice people to sign up to their newsletter by offering them a small discount.
HM do this well. When you scroll to the bottom of their page you’ll see that they offer 25% off one item when you sign up to their newsletter.
You can argue whether or not the footer is the best location for this call to action but that’s for another day.
One company I have worked with is InSinkErator. They manufacture boiling water taps and food waste disposers.
We decided that we’d offer 5% off the first purchase to anyone who signed up to the newsletter.
The products are high end and expensive, so 5% was an enticing enough offering.
Within the first 3 months of this code being active we saw 3,212 new subscribers and a 20% increase in the quantity of products sold… Not bad for 5% off!
The discount is so small that it’s something InSinkErator could swallow. It wasn’t going to kill their margins and you know what the best thing is….
These people are now customers that InSinkErator can not only remarket to, but as happy customers they become advocates for the brand and should start to tell their friends about their awesome new purchase.
So you can see that just something small like offering a discount to newsletter subscribers can generate massive results.
Discounts can work extremely well. We all want to know that we’re getting a good deal. In fact, 93% of shoppers use a discount code online at least once each year.
Just be careful as mass discounting can have a negative impact too.
Make your signup button stand out
Just like with any key call to action, we need to make sure your signup button stands out.
There are various ways that we can make our calls to action stand out and the same principles apply for your signup button.
Use an alternative colour
Colour is a proven way of drawing attention to certain areas of a web page. This is particularly true if you have a website that has a limited colour pallet.
Skype do it really well here. Their website is predominantly white and their call to action is a bright blue. The contrast of the bright blue button on the white background makes it pop and you are almost instantly drawn to it.
Size does matter
As a man, I often like to tell myself that size doesn’t matter 😉
Whilst that’s true in some cases, when it comes to calls to action, size matters!
Size isn’t everything with a call to action (we have already seen the importance of colour). However we cannot deny that size plays a large part in making our call to action buttons stand out.
Just take a look at this example.
Utilise negative space
It’s not just about size and colour. You also need to think about the space around your call to action.
There are loads of websites out there that are busy than a train station in rush hour!
When it comes to designing high quality calls to action, less is more!
The more space you place around your call to action the more attention you draw to it.
If you place your call to action amongst a sea of clutter it’s going to get lost and you’ll massively damage your CTRs.
The “Google Search” button is probably the most clicked call to action on the web. See how well Google uses negative space. The only thing you can do from this page is search!
Use persuasive language
Finally, be persuasive in your language.
Don’t just ask people to ask people to “click here.” We want to use powerful and enticing statements that encourage the user to take action now.
If we’re asking people to sign up to get a discount we could be more firm and illustrate the value by using a statement like “give me the deal.”
Test, test, test…oh… and TEST!
Even if you think you have the perfect signup button, it never hurts to test it.
A/B test every element you can think of. I’m talking size, colour, text, placement…everything. Just by changing a colour of a button from red to green can have a noticeable impact on CTRs.
Before you get started with A/B testing, make sure you know how to do it properly.
Test one element at a time so you can get a true understanding of exactly what has made a difference.
Don’t ask for too much information
Web users like things to be as straightforward as possible.
This is why it’s imperative to keep your sign up form as minimalistic as possible. The longer the form, the less likely people will fill it out.
Neil Patel improved his conversions by 26% just by removing one field from his form.
The chances are that this initial effort to obtain emails is the first time you’ll be engaging with specific users, so we really only need to gather the essential information.
If you have a sophisticated CRM, like HubSpot, you can gather more information on subscribers further down the line. This will help you to get more granular with your email efforts but right now we’re just focused on getting the right people to subscribe to us.
The InSinkErator signup form does a great job of keeping it simple. To the left of the page you instantly see what you’ll get (5% discount) and on the right all you have to do is submit your first name, select which products you like and provide your email.
Earlier I mentioned how well this form has performed, so it is certainly a good template to draw inspiration from.
Don’t go pop-up crazy
If used correctly, pop-ups can be a quick win to growing your email list. Pop-ups helped Entrepreneur increase email subscriptions by 86%.
However, it’s so easy to get pop-ups wrong.
So on that note, how can you use pop-ups in the right way?
Clever marketing isn’t obtrusive. We want people to come to us without feeling pressure.
We can nudge them in the right direction but we don’t want to be too in your face… it’s more than likely going to put them off.
Use pop-ups at the right time.
When I visited Matthew Woodward’s site (he’s your man for SEO and affiliate marketing), I was instantly presented with a pop-up.
The pop-up promised me free access to his personal SEO strategy. The problem is that at this point I don’t know who Matt is yet. I didn’t know if I wanted his SEO strategy because I didn’t know if he was any good at SEO yet.
Had this pop-up appeared after I had been on Matt’s site for a few minutes and had a chance to read one of his high value posts I’d have been much more likely to give him my email.
The pop-up itself is clear, simple and easy to complete. It’s just come at the wrong time.
In this post we have looked at various tactics that you can use to grow your email list to at least 1,000 subscribers.
Some of these tactics can work exclusively, but to get true success with your email list growing efforts you need to combine various approaches.
For example you can offer a unique discount to people when they sign up and ensure that your sign up button is as appealing as possible.
Having incredible lead magnets and appealing discounts is the bread and butter for many marketers.
Once you have that covered people will be more willing to give you their email address.
Remember, that these tactics will take time to implement properly. But they can also provide hundreds (even thousands) of prospects that already have an interest in you and are closer to buying.
Don’t try and cut corners by buying thousands of emails. Focus on inbound efforts and clear calls to action that make the RIGHT people want to signup.
What has been your biggest challenge with email marketing so far?