5 surprising ways to build your email list

We’ve explored some tried-and-tested ways to build your email lists. Here are five newer ideas to complement the approaches you’re hopefully already using (like the traditional website sign-up form). Have you tested any of these?

1. Social Capital

Testimonials aren’t just for product pages. You can also use them on your sign-up page. Now that you can now embed public Tweets and Facebook updates on your web pages, you can begin highlighting all the great things your friends and followers are saying about your email campaigns.

Some organizations demonstrate the value of their emails by highlighting how many people already subscribe to their list. Marketers should tread lightly using this tactic, though. Reports on performance are too varied. Too few subscribers, for example, might suggest your emails aren’t worth reading.

2. SlideShare

Did you know that SlideShare has 60 million monthly visitors? They sure do. While Facebook and Twitter are the go-to’s for new subscribers, SlideShare can also be a tremendous resource.

Paid SlideShare (i.e. PRO) accounts can access the LeadShare service. This allows businesses to collect leads through their presentations, webinars, videos, documents, etc….using lead forms that appear on your slides.

When people embed your presentations in their own website, these lead generation forms still work!

3. Twitter Lead Generation Cards

Speaking of social media and embedded forms, Twitter has its Lead Generation Cards. These are promoted Tweets that expand into an offer and call-to-action button, where one click sends the viewer’s name, @username and email address directly to the advertiser.

After a successful beta test, this option was opened up to all advertisers in August 2013.

4. The mobile opportunity

Many organizations forget to promote their list offline. Why should they, though? After all, it’s hard for people to sign-up for your list when they’re, well, offline.

Not anymore.

There are now some 140 million smartphone users in the USA alone. Mobile Internet connectivity lets people subscribe to emails quickly and easily after seeing an appropriate offline promotion.

Where can you promote your list offline for mobile sign-ups? Well, anywhere you’re likely to have the customer’s attention: print ads, flyers, in-store posters, invoices, business cards, and more. In terms of the call to action on these promotions, one recent test found “SMS-to-subscribe” worked better than giving people a link or QR code.

5. The unsubscribe opportunity!

List building isn’t just about adding new addresses, it’s also about keeping the ones you already have.

Many organizations assume a click on the unsubscribe link in an email is the end of the story. It’s not. It normally takes people to an unsubscribe page where you still have the opportunity to change someone’s mind. For example:

  • Offer the option to reduce frequency (so-called opt-down) in case it’s the volume of email that’s the problem.
  • Also, offer the option to unsubscribe just from particular kinds of email or to update their interests, in case it’s the relevance of some mails that’s troubling them.

Look out for more list building ideas in future posts!

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