You can never have enough business contacts, right?
Your email list with all of your subscribers, prospects, and prior customers is the most targeted audience you could possibly get. (Of course, they should be segmented based on industry, role, and location in the funnel. You're trying to make sales, not throw irrelevant information at your best buyers.)
Email segmentation is essential, but it's not what we're talking about today. We're talking about how to build your email list through your website.
Does your website have a way to capture leads?
This is step zero. If you want to grow your email list through your site, you need a way to capture your visitors' contact information.
Building your email list requires basic lead generation capabilities. That means, at the most bare-bones basic level, you have a form where visitors can enter their contact information. If you don't currently have a form like this, get one.
Your website must have the ability to capture the contact information of your visitors. Otherwise, you have zero ways to grow your email list through your site.
- Identify the purpose of the form at the top (Subscribe to Blog, Contact Us, Download Premium Offer).
- Use familiar fields to capture information (name, email address, business name, job role). Identify which fields are necessary for you.
- Place a big fat button at the bottom of the form to submit the information. Make it relevant to the purpose of the form (Subscribe, Contact, Download).
Once your form looks the way you want, you can simply copy the embed code and paste it into the source code on your website. If you get stuck at any part of the process, the form creation service will have FAQs and guides to help you out.
Once you know how to make a basic form, you can start building your contact list with your website! Here are the most popular and effective methods.
Subscriptions to your blog, newsletter, and other updates are a perfect way to build your audience. People who choose to subscribe to your content are telling you that they believe you can provide the information they need.
That's the trick in keeping subscribers - you must consistently provide valuable, relevant information for the subscriber to feel like receiving and reading your emails is worth their time. Your target audience is guaranteed to be busy. They could be doing any number of things with their time. It's up to you to convince them it's worth it.
Even before that, you should already have an archive of helpful information for a visitor to want to give away their contact info. That means educational, consistently updated blog posts, guides, industry news, and more.
Here's an example of a subscription form in action from Dodge:
2. Premium Content Offers
CTAs and landing pages are Modern Websites 101. If you've updated your website in the last five years, you should have a nice mix of content offers with matching CTAs and landing pages.
If not, you've got some catching up to do.
Premium content offers primarily differ from blog posts in depth and value. (Many premium content offers are also much longer than a regular blog post, but they don't have to be.) Premium content offers promise a deeper amount of help or insight than you can provide in a blog post. For instance, we offer a free SEO checklist that would be impossible to rig up in our blog.
They're also incredibly valuable to your audience. The offer should make your visitor think I need that information and I will happily trade my email address for it. No matter your industry, you can easily provide this kind of information. It should be well-researched, backed by statistics, and difficult to obtain elsewhere.
Here's an example from IndustryWeek:
Once you register on their site, you get access to whitepapers, webinars, surveys, and more. The offer that I clicked is titled "Solving the Workforce Shortage," which would assumedly be valuable to a manufacturing executive or HR specialist. They throw in another free incentive (5-page copy of their salary survey, which is apparently worth $10 retail) to make the effort of registering worth your time.
3. Quotes, Trials, Demos, & Samples
Who doesn't love free stuff?
Some of the most successful email-grabbing methods involve giveaways and other free things. In the case of manufacturing, visitors will be very interested in RFQs and samples. In other industries like software and tech, trials and demos are very effective.
Trials, samples, and other real illustrations of what your products do/how your services work can get your foot in the door with your prospects. Once they actually get their hands on it, they form a tangible idea of how your product makes their life easier. Once something makes your life easier, it's difficult to return to the status quo.
Free quotes take pressure off your prospects. They can give a rundown of their project, get a quote, and then do more research before making a decision. While they're doing their research, you can continue to bump them (because they gave you their email address). The more familiar and comfortable they are with you, the more likely they'll approach you with a purchasing decision.
Most insurance companies offer free quotes to visitors, because they know it's necessary to acquire new customers. It looks bad if you're the only insurance company who refusing to give free quotes.
Start with the Basics
If you're new to email marketing and lead generation, don't try to do everything at once. There's a lot to learn about increasing your subscriber base - even professional marketers get overwhelmed sometimes.
Once your website is generating leads, you should explore other avenues to build your contact list: social media, traditional marketing, even your email can build your email list. But, start with your website and kill the easiest birds with one stone.