Let’s just start off with a few stats that’ll show you why you should be focussing on growing your mailing list and not just your social media following:
- There were 3.9 billion email users in 2019 & by 2024, numbers are expected to increase to 4.8 billion! Now tell me your audience isn’t using email! (And FYI – this is compared to 1 billion users on instagram).
- The average weekly mailing list sign-up per account, has increased by 34.9% since March 2020. This is clearly a reflection that the pandemic has shifted our shopping habits & where we are turning to for inspiration, learning, information and shopping.
- Recent US research shows that email marketing is the best marketing channel for ROI (return on investment), showing an average $42 return on every $1 spent).
- The average engagement on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram is 0.58%, whereas the average open-rate for email marketing is way higher at 22.86% and the click-through rate averages at 3.71%. This shows it’s clearly a more effective way of actually getting your message in front of your ideal client or audience (more so than social media is)
So hopefully you can now see that if you’re a solopreneur or small business owner, growing your brand and business online, then you need to be growing your mailing list.
I’m now going to take you through 4 ways to grow your mailing list, that you can implement right away!…
1 – Have a clear opt-in on your website or blog homepage
Are you guilty of having a tiny little “Join my Mailing List” box at the very bottom of your website pages? Or maybe you don’t even have that?
If so, then it’s time to think about your mailing list opt-in being at the forefront of your website or blog. The sign-up call-to-action (CTA) should be at the top of the homepage, easy to see and enticing to click.
Want something next level? Then add a timed pop-up too. For instance, you may have noticed on this website, that approximately 10 seconds after you landed on my site, you’ll be served a pop-up that encourages you to join my mailing list. I added a little video to mine, to increase that connection potential to my reader, but something simple will do!
Don’t be spammy and have something popping-up every few seconds, but a couple of strong and enticing CTA’s are absolutely legit and a great way for you to grow your mailing list with people who have discovered your website.
2 – Provide your readers with a clear CTA everywhere!
One thing I’ve learnt over the last 13 years of growing a brand and business online, is that people need to be told what to do next. You need to hold your user/reader’s hand and guide them to where you want them to go.
So every blog post or webpage should end with a CTA of some sort… why not point your readers to your mailing list? If you’re a blogger, you could round of a blog post with something like: “If you enjoyed this piece on XYZ, there’s more where that came from! Just join my mailing list to get articles like this, straight to your inbox”.
Or you could let readers know that they get “first access”, “exclusive insights” etc.
It’s not only on your website, where a good CTA to grow your mailing list is useful! Think about these places too:
- social media link in bio
- instagram swipe-ups
- podcast episode and show-notes (your own and guest appearances)
- youtube episode and caption
- linkedin posts
- guest blog posts and website articles
Basically, anywhere and everywhere that your audience might be primed with amazing content from you! That’s the time to get them onto your mailing list.
3 – Incentives to join your mailing list
If you’re guilty of having a boring “Sign-up here” and nothing else, on your website, then no-wonder your mailing list growth is static!
Instead, why not think about an incentive to sign-up?
If you’re a product-based business, this could be “10% off your first order”, or “bonus offers” . If you’re a blogger or content creator, this could be exclusive content or sneak-peaks. If you’re a service-provider, this could be inspiration, tips & how-to’s.
It takes a lot for a person to give up their coveted email address these days, so make it worth their while!
Which leads me on nicely, to the final tip on how to grow your mailing list…
4 – Create an awesome lead magnet!
As a small business, you’ve got to put yourself out there and showcase the good in whatever way you can, to allow people to get to know you, see your expertise and try before they buy!
So, if you’ve not heard the expression “lead magnet” before, then essentially, it does what it says on the tin… it’s a thing that you can offer your audience, that acts as a magnet to leads… leads being subscribers/sign-ups to your mailing list.
A lead magnet is enticing, it’s something that your audience wants or needs and it can be a really effective way of growing your mailing list, when you get it right!
How does a lead magnet work?
In a nutshell, you create something awesome that you can give to your audience instantly (usually straight to their inbox) in return for their email address. This awesome thing gives them a taster of what you or your business has to offer and leaves them wanting more. You want a lead magnet to have your audience saying “Wow, if her free stuff is this awesome, imagine how good the paid stuff is!!”.
Once you’ve sent over your awesome lead magnet, that person is on your mailing list and can be nurtured via an awesome email marketing strategy (more on that in another post!).
The finale: a few tips when it comes to the perfect lead magnet
The key to a good lead-magnet is to leave your audience wanting more. So bear these things in mind:
- short and sweet is usually preferable
- make it bitesize and easy to digest
- you want it to be instantly accessible (a code, a download, an attachment, a link to view)
- provide your audience with value
- give a “quick” win or some sort of result
- be sure to introduce yourself/your business as an expert, the best, the go-to etc.
And there you have it, 4 ways to grow your mailing list that you can head off and implement right away. Don’t have all your eggs in the proverbial instagram basket, make your list growth part of your ongoing digital marketing and content strategy.
No idea what I’m talking about when it comes to your digital marketing strategy? Head on over to this useful post where I outline exactly what a digital marketing strategy is.