Inbox influx: 24 ideas for encouraging email subscribers

Inbox influx: 24 ideas for encouraging email subscribers
by: Custom Toll Free , June 27, 2017

If you’re a solopreneur preparing to launch an email marketing campaign, one of your first tasks will be pulling together a list of subscribers.

That isn’t always easy when you’re starting from scratch — yet it’s well worth doing correctly. Email can be a low-cost and extremely effective form of marketing, especially when combined with methods such as call marketing in order to capture a broader range of customers.

One survey shows 72 percent of U.S. adults prefer email communications over postal mail, TV ads, newspapers, magazines, text messages, social media and in-person communication. Ninety-one percent appreciate promotional emails from companies with which they have relationships, and 69 percent have made purchases as a result of such emails.

You may feel you’re in a “Catch 22” in which you can’t find customers without emailing them, but can’t email them until they’re customers. It’s crucial, however, that you avoid the temptation to buy lists of addresses from so-called specialists; the contacts you gain are likely to be unreceptive, greatly increasing your risk of complaints, bounced addresses, unsubscribes and/or accusations of spam.

Your best bet is to build your list organically based on the business you’re already conducting — preferably by directly asking customers for their permission. Consider these tips:

1. Make sign-ups easier and less invasive by only gathering addresses, not other customer info.

2. Promote the valuable content you plan to include. Possibilities include discounts and special offers; emotional stories; compelling photos; info cheat sheets; email or video courses; checklists; interviews; resource lists; research summaries; e-books; FAQs; surveys or survey results; guest posts, infographics; access to webinars; photos of new inventory and/or free downloads of your business app.

3. Invest in paid ads on websites and print publications of interest to potential subscribers.

4. Offer customers discounts or freebies for referrals.

5. Take addresses from your customer orders, payments, etc.

6. Trade email lists and newsletter links with complementary businesses.

7. Include sign-up links in all your personal emails; on your firm’s LinkedIn page; with Pinterest pins and Instagram posts and within YouTube videos showcasing your products or company.

8. Post opt-in information on your receipts, business cards, sidewalk sandwich boards, within product shipments, in (or on) shopping bags and throughout your building.

9. Add forward-to-a-friend links to all promotional emails to increase exposure.

10. Cross-market by promoting your email on social media, your social media on your website, your website within your email, etc.

11. Designate a separate landing page on your website just for sign-ups.

12. Use a heat map test to identify optimal places on your site for opt-in buttons, such as your 404 page, sidebars, headers, footers, pop-up boxes, slide-ins or “sticky” forms.

13. Require and incorporate addresses from anyone commenting on your blog.

14. Use technology that automatically sends opt-in invitations to anyone mentioning your business on social media.

15. Create sweepstakes that require entrant addresses.

16. Stage a contest seeking 60-second videos on why customers like your products; list finalists on social media and ask voters to list addresses.

17. Gather business cards with addresses for weekly prize drawings.

18. Implement a QR code that makes opt-in by smartphone simple.

19. Ask all callers if you can sign them up.

20. Ask for email addresses as customers sign receipts or business agreements.

21. Gather addresses at in-house promotional events, at business networking events and via company booths at community events.

22. Mail postcards asking for opt-in.

23. Incentivize employees (and maybe customers) by offering commission for sign-ups.

24. Retain addresses after offering deals via Groupon, LivingSocial or other deal sites.

Talk to Custom Toll Free about how to incorporate effective call marketing techniques into your email campaign.

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