How do you balance business while staying mindful of a crisis? These 6 creative tactics will provide value to your audience and show them you care.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many schools, businesses, and stores have temporarily closed. People around the world are encouraged to stay at home as public health and safety remains the number one priority. It’s clear that the global pandemic has had an impact on all of us.
Email list building is crucial for email marketing. A high-quality email list can be your most valuable business asset. In this article, you’ll find practical tips on how to build an email list.
Bonus: Want to learn and practice at the same time? Then join the GetResponse List Building Program and over the next 90 days, you’ll learn everything you’ll need to know to grow an engaged email list and increase your sales revenue.
1. How to build an email list FAQ
What is email list building?
Email list building is the process of attracting and adding new contacts to your database. It is the core of all email marketing activities.
Why is list building important?
List building is crucial for effective email marketing for an obvious reason – the bigger your contact list, the bigger the conversion rate opportunities. The more people receive your emails, the higher are your chances of generating sales revenue and achieving your other business objectives.
What is a high-quality email list?
A high-quality email list is a list built with email addresses of people representing your target audience. People who will benefit from using your product or service. Overall, it makes sense to market your offer to people who are likely to become your customers.
How to build an email list from scratch?
In email marketing jargon, building an email list from scratch is called organic email list building, and means that you find out ways of reaching your target audience and ask them to sign up for your email marketing program. Organic list building strategy is permission-based, which means that only people who have expressed explicit consent are added to your list.
How to build an email list fast?
The fastest way to build an email list is to run PPC ad campaigns and partner up with other brands to co-promote an ebook or a report. The goal is to attract as much target audience as possible. In this article, you’ll find plenty of ideas that will help you build your contact list in no time.
2. Basic email list building tools and resources:
A web form a.k.a. a signup form is an HTML form that is installed on a website to enable visitors to sign up. There are different kinds of forms to choose from, e.g., a subscription form, download box, scroll form, fixed bar, lightbox, or an exit pop-up.
To build a web form, you can either code it from scratch or use a list builder, like the one built into GetResponse.
There, you’ll find various templates to choose from and an intuitive editor that’ll let you customize your web form to fit the style of your website.
When designing your web form think about the quality to quantity ratio. If you want to reach a specific target audience (e.g., to generate B2B leads), you might need to create a longer web form asking for more details: company name, company size, position, etc. – Read more
Despite the rise of social media, the proliferation of marketing “channels,” and the explosion of all things content, email marketing remains the single most-profitable way to reach your audience.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Far from it.
Many entrepreneurs and businesses fail to see the true potential of their email marketing programs for a variety of overlapping challenges. Chief among them: lack of data, poor coordination, and struggles with technology.
If any of the above resonates with you, not only are you not alone — you’re also in the right place. Throughout this guide, we’re going to explore how connecting a handful of missing strategies to your email marketing funnel can help you …
Build a massive list of subscribers using popular opt-in tactics
Produce campaigns that engage them along the path-to-purchase
Sell through your new email marketing funnels and create customer loyalty
But first, a few words about definitions.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy used to send relevant and targeted emails to prospects and customers. Done right, it turns visitors into subscribers, subscribers into leads, and leads into buyers.
Done extremely well, email marketing turns your buyers into loyal, lifetime-value-generating customers.
From a benefits perspective, email marketing is …
Cost-effective, alleviating budget constraints
Personal, with exclusive perks and genuine relationships
Authority building, as long as you send credible content
Relatively easy to set up, with plenty of user-friendly tools
Automated, saving you time, resources, and compounding results
What Is an Email Marketing Funnel?
An email marketing funnel is a holistic approach email built on (1) onsite opt-ins and (2) a series of emails — or, multiple email campaigns — all with the goal of moving subscribers naturally and systematically through each stage of your sales funnel.
Typically, marketing funnels are structured around a sequence known as AIDA: awareness, interest, desire, and action.
Although we’ll explore top-of-funnel tactics — like how to build your list — email marketing is essentially a funnel within a funnel with its primary emphasis on “desire” (D) and “action” (A).
In fact, we can outline the process itself with three movements:
Attract: Gather email subscribers via various opt-in tactics: e.g., landing pages, lead magnets, webinars, etc.
Engage: Nurture subscribers via a series of targeted and well-timed emails that are (above all) relevant and valuable to them
Convert: Guide subscribers either into qualifying themselves as leads (e.g., “book a demo” or “schedule a consultation”) or sell them on your initial product as well as upsells, downsells, and back-end offers
But, even a crystal clear definition and understanding the benefits still leaves a few questions unanswered. Namely, what’s the difference between an email marketing funnel and …
Email Marketing versus Email Marketing Funnels
Email marketing describes a broad digital tactic that involves using emails to market a product or service. It’s possible to use email marketing only as a tool to send bulk emails, deals, or offers to your prospects. – Read more
That doesn’t mean you need to get rid of your social media accounts. Instead, you can use these platforms to turn social media followers into subscribers through downloadable lead magnets.
10 types of downloadable lead magnets to build your email list
A lead magnet refers to any free incentive you give your audience in exchange for joining your email list, and a downloadable is any lead magnet type that can be instantly downloaded by your subscriber.
Why use downloadable lead magnets to grow your list?
They are quick to download, design, and utilize.
They are an accessible way to teach your audience.
They position you as a knowledgeable expert.
They show how much you care about leading with value.
Think about what it would be like to collect email subscribers and client leads on autopilot without sacrificing the personal connection you have. You can still nurture your connection with them by offering valuable freebies and insightful follow-up emails. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
In this article, I’ll be breaking down 10 of the most common and effective downloadables lead magnet types, who they are perfect for, and why they might be a fit for your audience.
Do you want to teach everything you know to an audience that can’t wait to learn from you?
Do you find yourself giving the same advice to your audience members and wish there was an easy way to compile your thoughts into a downloadable lead magnet?
The length of your ebook entirely depends on your goals.
The ebook should only be long enough to properly teach your audience and convey your message. For some creators, this can be around 15 pages, whereas for others, it might be more around 30 pages. – Read more
There are numerous ways to optimize your email marketing campaigns. None of them’s more critical than building high deliverability.
Only after you’ve successfully reached your recipient’s inbox can you encourage them to take action. Whether you want them to download your ebook, book an appointment, or buy one of your products, your message won’t help you achieve that if it’s stuck in the spam folder.
If you already know this much – great! In that case, you don’t need more convincing. ☺
In this post, we’ll tackle two important topics: what is email deliverability and how to measure it.
And if you’d like to learn about improving your inbox placement and email campaign profitability, consider reading this article:
Also known as inbox placement, the deliverability rate tells you how many messages reach your recipient’s inbox – or one of their folders/tabs (other than the dreaded spam folder).
You can calculate your email deliverability using the following formula:
[(# of emails delivered to the inbox/tabs/folders (excl. spam folder))/(# of sent emails – # of emails that generated a bounce)] * 100%
Looks complicated? Let’s look at an example.
Let’s say you’ve sent out an email campaign to 100 recipients. Out of those messages:
60 ended up in the recipient’s inbox
30 landed in the promotions tab
5 landed in the spam folder
5 generated a bounce
In this case, you’d say your deliverability rate is 95%!
Here are the exact numbers we’ve used to arrive at this number:
[(60 + 30)/(100 – 5)] * 100% = 95%
Before we go any further, we’d like to make a small note first:
There’s a whole argument of whether inbox placement is the right term to use when referring to deliverability since we’re also counting other tabs and folders in the equation.
We think that the promotions tab (and other similar ones) was developed to help email recipients manage and consume content they’ve subscribed to more efficiently.
Although some marketers try to get their emails out of the promotions tab, given the latest developments from Google (leader in the market), we suggest that you think twice before you follow that path.
We believe that happy recipients make happy customers. And Google has some pretty cool plans for the promotions tab.
Problems with measuring email deliverability
The theory looks simple, but measuring email deliverability isn’t an easy task.
When you look into your email analytics dashboard, you’re usually missing one key element from the equation – the number of emails that ended up in your recipient’s spam folder.
Why is that crucial piece of information missing? That’s because email servers your messages are sent to don’t return this information. They may inform you about the fact that the email address you’re trying to reach is inactive, or its mailbox is full, but not what happened after the message was received.
Here’s the exact response you or your email service provider would receive regardless if your message was placed in the inbox or the junk folder:
As you can see, there’s no information as to how the message got filtered, i.e., whether it landed in the primary inbox, the promotions tab, or the spam folder.
This is because how your emails get filtered within your recipient’s mailbox depends on various factors – including how they interacted with your previous communication.
In other words, if your message ends up in the subscriber’s X spam folder, it doesn’t mean it won’t show up in the primary tab for user Y or any other user, for that matter.
So, if it’s not possible to know when your emails end up in the spam folder, how on earth do email deliverability tools work?
Three kinds of email deliverability tools
There are three kinds of deliverability tools, and we’ll talk about them individually.
1. Email spam checkers
Alright, the first set of tools we’re going to have a look at is called spam checkers.
Sometimes they’re standalone tools; other times, they’re built into your email marketing tool, as is the case with GetResponse.
Spam checkers let you analyze the content of your emails and check them against spam filters. They’re looking at various elements inside your email message like the amount and types of links, images and their size, your coding, what’s inside the headers, etc.
After running a quick test with a spam checker, what you receive is the likelihood of your emails going to spam. It’s usually presented on a scale from 1 to 5, where 5 means your chances to hit the junk folder are the highest.
There are both pros and cons of using these types of tools.
Advantages of using spam checkers:
They’re quick – the test usually takes a few seconds
They’re easy to use – it’ll take you only one moment to learn how to use one
They’re rather powerful – based on hundreds of various tests, powered by industry-recognized programs like SpamAssassin
Disadvantages of using spam checkers:
They have limited scope – they only look at the content of your emails, excluding factors like recipient’s behavior or some of the ISPs filters
2. Seed list testing tools
Another way to check your email deliverability is to use seed email lists.
In their simplest form, they’re just a bunch of email addresses that you send your email campaign to, before launching it to your whole database.
These email addresses are usually set up to include different ISPs (like Outlook or Google), devices, and browsers.
After sending your email campaign to a seed email list, you should know whether your email is displayed correctly in all major email clients, whether it lands in the inbox or returns a bounce.
Unfortunately, that’s only theory.
As we mentioned earlier, email deliverability is a bit more complicated than that.
We’ve already told you that when ISPs filter incoming emails, they also like to look at how recipients respond to them.
If you were to create a seed list and send your email campaigns to it and then open it up for testing – what do you think would happen?
You’d be giving signals to the ISP that these messages are important to you.
Because of that, these emails would more likely be placed in your inbox, which wouldn’t necessarily be the case for other recipients of your emails.
Consequently, your results could potentially be biased and give you a false overview of the condition of your email deliverability. – Read more
Need help with your email marketing? Here are the 18 best email marketing templates for ecommerce, B2B SaaS, coaches, consultants, and tons more!
In 2019, 293.6 billion emails were sent and received every single day. By 2022, that umber is expected to increase to over 347.3 billion.
And lest you think that all of those emails are spam (well… many of them probably are), consider that, according to Data Marketing & Analytics, you can expect an average return of $42 for every $1 you spend on your email marketing efforts.
Not bad, huh?
Ultimately, though, your email marketing efforts will only be as effective as your sales funnel.
Why Your Email Marketing Is Only as Good as Your Sales Funnel
Every email needs to have a purpose.
Before you ever click “Send,” ask yourself this dead-simple, maybe-obvious question: “Why am I sending this email?”
Is it to get sales? Is it to re-engage disinterested subscribers? Is it to build brand authority?
Deciding why you’re sending the email is the first step to making your email marketing efforts a success: making sure that every email has a clearly-defined purpose for a clearly-defined audience.
Once you know why you’re sending an email, the next question is: how are you going to accomplish that objective?
Beyond crafting an email that subscribers can’t help but open and click (more on that in a minute), where are you going to send people after they click? How are you going to pull them further down the funnel?
And therein lies the answer… when you want to make sales — which is, after all, the primary objective of email marketing — you should send your subscribers to a carefully crafted sales funnel.
A sales funnel is a series of pages you use to funnel prospects into paying customers.
And there are different kinds of funnels for different things. There’s the tripwire funnel for selling products, the application funnel for collecting applications, the webinar funnel for building an audience, and the product launch sales funnel for launching new products into the marketplace (plus tons more!).
The Anatomy of a Successful Email Marketing Campaign
Every email that gets lots of opens and clicks (without using spammy, dishonest marketing tactics) does a few basic things right.
Every successful email has an honest and enticing subject line, a consistent and on-brand design, copy that makes you want to click, and a single compelling CTA.
Compelling Subject line
David Ogilvy once famously mused that,
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
Think of the subject line as the headline of your email — it’s the first thing people see and it’s the main reason they will click (or not click).
Your subject line should be enticing for your target market, but also honest about what people will find within the email should they open it.
One of the largest studies on subject line success by Smart Insights analyzed 700 million emails and found that using these keywords often result in higher open rates.
The design of your email really only needs to do a few things — it needs to immediately identify WHO sent the email (i.e. your business) and it needs to be consistent and on-brand with your other marketing materials.
Consider this email from YouTube…
Or this email from Taco Bell…
Or this email from GameStop…
And a basic pattern starts to emerge. Namely, the business logo somewhere near the top of the email with brand fonts and colors throughout the rest of the email.
Or if you are in the early stages of building your business and don’t have branded materials yet, there’s no reason you can’t stick with the basic black-text on a white-background format (that works great for consulting and coaching businesses, in particular).
As with all great sales copy, the only goal of your first sentence is to get the prospect to read the second sentence. And the goal of the second sentence is to get the reader to read the third sentence. So on and so forth.
It shouldn’t. In fact, the main reason that your email marketing copy should entice your target market to keep reading is because what you have to offer will genuinely benefit them.
The person shouldn’t keep reading only to find out that they’ve been duped — make big promises and tell compelling stories that you can actually fulfill. That is how you make a sale. – Read more
Whether you’re new to email marketing or consider yourself an expert, you likely want the same: to send the best email marketing campaigns.
If you’re just getting started, read our beginners guide to email marketing first.
Already know your way around?
Read on and follow these 21 email marketing best practices that’ll keep your customers engaged, improve your ROI, and get your campaigns going in 2020 and beyond.
1. Use welcome emails to build strong relationships and deliverability
The welcome email is the single most effective message you can send.
According to our latest data, average open rates soar above 80% – and click-through rates arearound 22-25%.
Welcome emails also help keep your list clean and improve your email deliverability. If someone enters the wrong email address, the welcome email will generate a hard bounce. That then notifies your email provider to remove it from your list.
They also reassure your new email recipients that the signup worked, and the information they want is on its way.
Plus, they help you connect with new subscribers. Offer something valuable or exclusive at the start of their journey and watch click-throughs rise.
When it comes to picking the right day, it doesn’t seem to make a huge difference. As long as you stay away from the weekend, your engagement rates should be fine.
Having said that, you need to remember that these are aggregate global results that take into account every industry we’ve identified in our customer base.
Chances are, your audience will respond to campaigns sent at a different time. It depends on your market, consumer trends, and your customers’ preferences.
Want to step up your game? Use tools like Perfect Timing and our algorithm will pick the best time to send your messages.
3. Get the frequency right to grow a healthy and engaged list
Another email marketing best practice is knowing how often you should contact your subscribers.
And that can be a tricky task.
If we look at the mailing frequency data, we see that email marketers who send just one newsletter a week get the highest average open and click-through rates.
It’s a popular approach since 49% of all accounts we analyzed only send one newsletter a week. Bear in mind this data doesn’t exclude marketers who also send triggered emails or RSS emails.
What about other frequencies?
Around 19.5% send two newsletters a week, and 9.32% send three. Just 5.5% and 3.93% send four and five emails respectively.
At the same time, since most marketers want to maximize their email campaign ROI, instead of average CTRs we should look at the total number of conversions they generate.
Based on that assumption, you might be better off sending two or more emails in the same week.
But to say for sure, we must take into account some other factors: extra revenue you’d make from sending an extra campaign, how many subscribers would leave your list after receiving too many messages, plus the cost to replace those leads.
In fact, one study, conducted by Return Path in 2015, focused on the consquences of both undermailing and overmailing.
In short, undermailing leads to missed revenue opportunities, lower lifetime value, lack of inbox presence, poor or inconsistent sender reputation, inability to maintain a clean list and avoid spam traps, and counterintuitively – increased complaint rates.
Overmailing, on the other hand, leads to decreased engagement, increased opt-outs, reduced visibility for all subscribers, and more total complaints.
As for the most optimal mailing frequency, there wasn’t one clear winner.
The primary email recipients (those who accounted for 83% of all email reads), were able to tolerate up to about five emails per week from a given sender before their complaint rates increased dramatically.
If you ask me, that number is a bit extreme and I wouldn’t suggest that you go out and start sending your email campaigns five times per week.
This all depends on your market and products.
Divide your audience into two or more groups, and see if sending one extra email campaign boosts your results – both in the short and long term.
If you’re not interested in experimenting, you can also ask your audience to manage their own frequency, using an email preference center.
Remember that while it’s easy to control how often you email, it’s often harder to see how many triggered emails are sent to your contacts each week – especially if they’re sent in response to an action.
4. Watch your deliverability and avoid the spam folder
Email deliverability is crucial to your campaign success. It doesn’t matter how interesting or beautiful your emails are. If subscribers never see them, they won’t convert.
Many marketers think only their email service provider handles email deliverability. But it goes beyond that.
Your email content, frequency, and list-building methods all impact your deliverability.
All the email campaigns best practices mentioned in this article will help improve your performance. But you should especially keep an eye on:
The old adage tells us that “consistency is key,” but what role does consistency play in our marketing? Why is it a necessity rather than a nice-to-have?
When you are focused on thoughtfully building the reputation of your brand, you’ll quickly realize how important it is to provide consistent value to your audience.
It’s not enough to capture their attention once and never connect with them again. You’ll need to keep their attention by consistently delivering content in order to leave a memorable impression.
The best way to keep your brand top-of-mind is to start an email newsletter.
By starting an email newsletter, you’ll have an opportunity to connect with your subscribers on a consistent basis with personalized, educational content.
To start collecting email subscribers, you can use a newsletter landing page to attract visitors and persuade them to join your list.
The benefits of creating a newsletter landing page
Think of your newsletter landing page as the “gate” between where your audience is right now and where they want to be. If you can position your email newsletter as a solution to a core problem they are experiencing, you’ll be able to keep an engaged email list.
So, why should you create a newsletter landing page?
Not only are landing pages the best way to grow your newsletter, but it will also allow you to accomplish these specific goals.
You can turn social media followers into email subscribers
If you rely on social media platforms to communicate with your audience, you won’t always have a direct line of communication to them.
Platforms like Instagram and Facebook only show your posts to 2-3% of your followers (without paid social media advertising), but an email service provider (ESP) will deliver your email newsletter to every subscriber without the hassle of changing algorithms.
Email subscribers are more likely to convert on your offers than a social media follower, so the main goal of your social media platforms should be to grow your email list. A newsletter landing page will help you do that.
You will provide consistent value to your audience
Email newsletters are usually sent on a consistent weekly or monthly schedule, but you can adjust the schedule to fit your email marketing content strategy. Once you choose how often you want to email your subscribers, it’s time to outline what kind of email content you want to send.
Many creators send regular updates about their business, clients, or new projects through an email newsletter. Others send educational lessons on niche topics, helping their subscribers learn something new that they can implement into their life or business. Others tell personal stories that inspire and motivate whoever is reading them.
One of the most effective ways to build links today is digital PR.
No other tactic gives you the opportunity to earn links from authority top-tier publications, at scale.
So long as you develop a process for coming up with great ideas and concepts for campaigns, it isn’t unusual to earn significant numbers of quality links from trusted publishers.
Often links which money couldn’t buy, however hard you tried, and it’s these links which drive real, measurable, organic growth.
Yet, I repeatedly see the same mistakes being made in outreach:
Terrible subject lines.
Subject Lines Are Killing Your Campaign’s Chance of Success
Think about it this way:
Email opens lead to reads of your outreach email. In turn, this leads to clicks to your campaign and, hopefully, coverage and links.
If your subject line doesn’t encourage the recipient to open your email, there’s a good chance you’ve lost the chance of a link from that publication.
Writing a great subject line is hard. It takes time and thought to get it right.
However, over the past few years, I’ve seen a few common mistakes made which result in bad subject lines.
Let me share with you, based on my experience of launching more than 100 campaigns each year for the past three years, how to write an excellent subject line for your outreach emails to help you improve your open rates and maximize the links earned through digital PR and content marketing.
What’s an Average Open Rate?
Hopefully, you’re already tracking the open rate of your outreach emails. But, if you’re not doing so, you need to be.
You can easily track this through platforms such as BuzzStream, Pitchbox, Outreach.io, and many more.
Open rate data is one of the most valuable pieces of insight which you can have on a campaign for the simple reason is that it gives you an accurate figure as to how many of the people you reached out to have actually seen your email.
This is so insightful as it means, quite simply, that you can change up your subject line and resend to these people.
They’ve not read your email or clicked through to your campaign, so you can have the confidence that you aren’t resending prospects the same thing twice. (This, assuming that your list has been put together properly and you’re not just blind targeting anyone without consideration as to whether your campaign is relevant.)
But, what’s an average open rate?
According to data from my own campaigns over the past six months, the average open rate on outreach emails is 41%.
That means that, even after extensive testing of what does and doesn’t work for subject lines, only 4 in 10 of the prospects reached out to actually open the email.
However, analyzing data from older campaigns which I’d now happily claim have terrible subject lines, the open rate was around 23%; only an average of 2 in every 10 prospects opening.
See why it’s so important to get your subject line right? – Read more