4 Tips for Building Your Mailing List

Stick & CarrotBuilding your mailing list is one of the most important parts of setting up a viable online business or membership site. Email marketing is the best way to direct potential customers to specific parts of your website and convert clicks into sales.

Did you know that readers are more likely to click links in emails than links on social media? That’s because the average number of emails you see in your inbox every day is generally much lower than the number of tweets in your feed every day. It’s easy to feel like you’re shouting into a social media black hole and your efforts are going unnoticed. In contrast, carefully written and timed email campaigns can be hugely successful in capturing your readers eye and targeting your specific demographic.

So today I’m bringing you 4 tips for building your mailing list of fans, friends, and future clients:

1. Strip off the excess.

A study over at Chartbeat earlier this year determined that 55% of viewers spend less than 15 seconds actively on a webpage. If in those first few seconds your viewer feels overwhelmed or confused, they are most likely going to click out of your website. And you can’t get people to sign up for your mailing list if they aren’t on your website anymore. First impressions count, so make sure your home page sets the tone for what their user experience is going to feel like.

2. Strategically place opt-in forms on your website.

The most common places to find an opt-in box on a website are under the header, at the top of the sidebar, at the bottom of the site, and on the about page. Another popular method is to install a timed signup form (that pop-up window that shows up shortly after you visit a website with a special offer or request), but be wary as some viewers hate this tactic and might be instantly put off. You can mix-and-match any of these options, but I don’t recommend that you use them all at once.

3. Dangle a carrot or freebie.

Many websites and blogs have found great success in growing their mailing lists by offering a freebie of sorts. The idea here is to “dangle the carrot” in front of viewers to entice them to subscribe. Your freebie can be a short ebook, a series of automated emails, a video, a complimentary service, or whatever you want. I recommend however that you pick or create something that will work at upselling subscribers into your larger packages or memberships.

4. Use keywords and adwords to grow your audience.

A little bit of SEO research will easily yield the top keywords and adwords associated with your website. With this information you can create landing pages for commonly searched topics on your site (don’t forget to include signup forms on these landing pages) and use pay-per-click advertising to funnel people directly to the your content. I also recommend that you create separate lists in your email marketing headquarters for these clients to distinguish their specific interests. This will help you target the right people with future emails and special offers on new products, services, and membership features.

Remember that a successful online business or membership site starts with a strong mailing list of curated and dedicated fans. And with these four tips you can be sure to start building an organized and relevant database of potential clients!

About Nicole Pamani

Nicole is a freelance digital strategist and copywriter. She helps solopreneurs and small businesses work smarter, launch better, sell harder, and run smoother. To find out more about Nicole you can visit her website, npamani.com, or say hi on Twitter, @npamani.