The digital age makes it easier than ever to market your business to a wide audience. Even smaller companies with limited budgets can use a variety of techniques to enhance their exposure and generate more sales in any sector.
One proven way of increasing leads and sales is to grow your email list. Email is sometimes seen old-fashioned when compared to Twitter, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and other social media channels. However, although email might be “less sexy”, it remains an extremely effective way of engaging with both existing and prospective customers.
This article looks at five techniques that you can use to get more subscribers on your mailing list.
Networking at events
Networking can be daunting. But it doesn’t need to be, and it can be a great way of meeting people who can then be added (with their permission) to your mailing list. If you’re new to networking or find it a struggle, here are some tips:
- Find some common ground, be it on a personal or professional level. It is best not to talk about work immediately, but draw the other person in by asking open questions. Maybe ask them what they thought of the presentation (if you’re at an event with a guest speaker), or talk about a recent event that’s been in the news. Or talk about hobbies, family, etc. You might find you both support the same football team, or have children at the same school for example.
- Once the common ground has been found, it is easier to talk about the reason you are networking in the first place, and that is to make new connections and discover possible business opportunities. If appropriate, you can talk about your business and how you overcame particular challenges.
- Remember to focus on the other person and their needs. Ask them what their challenges are and suggest ways you may be able to help or people you could introduce them to.
Once you’ve built a bit of rapport, ask if it is ok to keep in touch via email. You could also make sure your business cards have a call to action on them to encourage people to subscribe to your list – for example, by encouraging them to download a lead magnet from your website.
A lead magnet is basically a resource that potential customers can get access to via your website in exchange for providing their email address and joining your mailing list. Lead magnets can take a variety of forms such as checklists, articles, e-books, webinars, videos, etc. Here are a couple of examples of lead magnets:
- A financial adviser might provide a downloadable e-book about various ways to maximize the value of your pension
- An IT company could provide a checklist to audit your network for potential security vulnerabilities.
Lead magnets are a very effective way to grow your mailing list. Rather than asking people to sign up for a (potentially boring) newsletter, you are offering them something of value in return for them subscribing to your mailing list. Once they are on your list you can send them a series of follow up e-mails that are related to the resource they downloaded. The aim of this follow up is to gain trust and build credibility. It’s not meant to be a sales pitch.
Encourage existing customers to subscribe
Any contact you have with an existing customer is an opportunity to grow your mailing list. You may be surprised by how many of your existing clients are not on your mailing list. They may have never subscribed in the first place or may have opted out since. During any telephone conversation with them (e.g. a customer service call), you should check whether the customer is on your mailing list and, if not, politely ask them to join. There’s a good chance they will say yes as they have already built a rapport with your business.
Find a strategic partner
No product or service works in isolation. There are likely to be other business that don’t directly compete with you but which service the same target audience. For example, an estate agent and a mortgage broker will offer very different services but to a similar audience of house buyers. This can present an opportunity for you to cross-promote your services or lead magnets to each other’s lists and so grow your own mailing lists.
Use social media
Over the past ten years, social media has revolutionized the way businesses and individuals communicate. By growing your social media presence you can attract more people to your website who may, in turn, download your lead magnet and join your mailing list.
You can also use paid advertising on social media to encourage people to join your list. The so-called lead gen ads are ideal for this as they allow someone to join your mailing list without even having to leave the social media platform.
Whichever of these methods you decide to use, the important thing is to ensure that you are offering value – both when it comes to encouraging people to join your list and once they are on your list and start receiving your emails.
David Miles is a digital marketing consultant, author, and trainer. He is the CEO of The PPC Machine, a boutique agency that helps businesses in the financial services sector use the internet to get more inquiries and increase profits.