Marketers have a lot going on. From strategy and planning to execution and reporting, there is always an abundance of tasks on a marketer’s to-do list. It can be natural to want to lighten the workload by taking some shortcuts, and in some marketing channels, that’s totally possible and efficient. However, email marketing is not one of these; it’s hard work to build a list, conceptualize a campaign, design an email, write the copy, and send a campaign, and the temptation is high to cut some corners.
Unfortunately, the place where most professionals try to create an email shortcut is one of the most damaging places to do so. In fact, this little shortcut is the WORST mistake you can make as an email marketer. So what should you never do?
Never buy an email list. Seriously, just say no.
A strong, opt-in email list is the foundation on which your entire email marketing strategy is based. You create your calls-to-action and offers based off of your email list demographics. In fact, your entire reputation as an email marketer depends upon the quality of your list; if you’re reported as a spammer too often by unhappy email recipients, you can be blocked from sending any emails at all from your chosen domain. The risks of buying a list will always outweigh any time or convenience saved.
So how do you build a healthy, useful email list? The steps might take a little time and effort, but they will reap a number of happy, eager email recipients for you – and help your website’s SEO and reputation to boot!
Draw Traffic to Your Site:
Weren’t expecting that? It should come as no surprise that if you want people to opt-in to hearing from you regularly, you first have to hook them online. A great, useful blog and a well-designed, informative website will bring in traffic – gear your articles to answering common prospect or customer questions, so that when users search for answers, your blog – and brand – will pop up. Now that the traffic is here on your site, you have to get them to commit.
Convert That Traffic into Email Subscribers:
When it comes to convincing visitors to subscribe to your email list, keep this old adage in mind: “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” You can’t expect to get something for nothing. The great content you’re providing on the blog and site is rewarded with traffic; now, you have to offer something else to get that traffic to make a longer commitment to your brand. Try two different content offers: an educational, top-of-funnel piece, such as an ebook, and a middle-of-funnel interaction with a sales representative or product demo. This way, you’re appealing to potential customers throughout the sales funnel, maximizing your chances of success, and diversifying your email recipients, which will allow you to drill them down into more targeted lists.
Building a true email list takes more time and effort than simply buying a list, but the results will speak for themselves. A carefully crafted, opt-in list will reap you potential leads – and sales. A bought list will only deliver unhappy recipients and a “spammer” reputation for your brand. Which would you rather have?
Have you been running your own email marketing campaigns, but not seeing the success you expected? Let us help you with a free email marketing consultation. We can analyze your code, copy, and headline (and even your list), and help you make the most out of each message. Reach out to us today!