The importance and utility of email lists today are well known; they can generate sales on demand, establish your position as a trusted authority in your field, free you from dependency on Google or any of the social media giants, and much more.
The smartest marketers know that they want a clear channel to prospect and current customers and there is no more valuable tool for that than having a large and growing email list. Many companies invest deeply in building their email list and make a fortune from their list.
When you can market to your list via email, you cut the clutter and go directly to their in-box with your information, offers and messages that will create a feeling of knowing you and looking forward to what you bring to the relationship... free of any competition hogging the page with your message.
However, far less understood are the important details of building your email list and these are critical because if you don’t build your list properly, you can have 10,000 names on your list and still not be making any sales.
This brings us to an important principle that is the foundation for everything that follows: It’s not the size of your list that counts – it’s the quality of your list.
The implication of this truth is that you cannot take a random, unfocused approach to creating your list. You need to go in with a plan and execute your plan. Don’t be too concerned about numbers; make sure you’re getting the right people on your list.
Let’s look at the best strategies – the three secrets – for building a targeted email list that will become the most valuable asset in your company.
- Build quickly
Your list building effort requires your attention and dedication. Don’t let it become a little side project that you occasionally check to see how it’s doing. There are a number of savvy and successful marketing companies today that do one thing: build email lists.
They continue to grow their sales regularly and satisfy their customers because they focus on what they are doing and get the job done.
Their success comes because they understand the real value of having your own marketing email list of people who have come to know you, trust you and find what you deliver valuable.
- Develop a killer lead magnet
First, don’t judge the value of your lead magnet (the item you give away in exchange for joining your email list) by the sheer number of responses it creates. Remember, you want prospects of quality not just a quantity of prospects. This means that you must think deeply about the lead magnet you decide to offer.
Again, just as the size of your list matters less than the quality of your list, so does the size of your lead magnet.
Further, if you create content that is “evergreen” – that people will come back to over time – it’s even better. Evergreen content will also have a longer shelf life as your lead magnet.
The good news here is that once you find a strong topic, you don’t have to great a huge piece of content for your lead magnet.
Make a list of the problems your prospects are facing, then sort that list by the size of those problems.
- Choose the right format
I’m sure you’ve noticed that certain content formats are extremely popular on the internet. The list format for example, like Top 10 Lists, is a powerful format for generating clicks. Internet users like information presented in an easy-to-read format. The best lead magnet formats are similarly “easily digestible” for the user.
From your standpoint as a business owner or manager, they have a long shelf life, are reasonably easy to produce, and give you content that your prospects may share with others. Further, if you offer valuable and actionable information, these guides do a great job establishing you as a trusted authority in your field.
Now do it
If you were going to invest a big chunk of money in the stock market, you would be diligent in doing your research and planning because not only do you not want to lose the money, you want to see your investment pay a big return over time.
Take the same calculated approach with building your email list: get an understanding of your prospects, apply yourself in a concerted effort, and develop a great lead magnet using an appealing format.