Recently, at a seminar, I asked people “How many of you have a mailing list?” Just 5 per cent said they have a mailing list which I thought was a pretty low number. We tend to mostly get distracted by shiny objects. In this case, it’s social media. I do believe that building a mailing list is the core of online marketing.
Now that you have a mailing list, let’s focus on the next thing, which is to increase your email opt-in rate.
Here are some ways:
#1 Get personal
In my case, adding a photograph to my pop-up has increased my opt-in rate. It’s great to have a wonderful blog with some great articles but it’s even better when you give your readers a face and talk to them directly.
Invest in a professional photographer, who can click great pictures and make you look good.
In your articles and social media, let your personality shine. Show your vulnerabilities, your dark sides, and a bit of emotion. It all adds to your persona.
#2 Give readers a compelling reason to opt-in
Instead of your pop-up form just saying Join Our Newsletter, mention a benefit of joining your newsletter, it could say something like Learn the #1 secret to online marketing, Special tricks to double your sales is inside, etc.
A lot of marketers add a bit for their readers to entice them to sign up like “Get a free report of how to double your sales in 60 days.” A lot of people subscribe to newsletters just to get the report.
#3 Create strong landing pages
Landing pages are distraction free pages on your website created with just one purpose – to increase your opt-in rate. The reader lands on the page, and there are just two things he can do – either sign up or leave the page.
Sometimes, opt-in rates can increase from just 2 per cent to even 15 per cent with a good landing page. Some email marketing services softwares even let you create landing pages. Many of these tools let you automate your email marketing by suggesting the best time to send emails, and sign-up forms pop up based on user behavior. Use technology wisely to increase your opt-in rates.
#4 Build a strong online presence
Most people are hesitant to sign up to a newsletter until they’ve built some sort of relationship with you. If you are sharing interesting articles and are well-known, the likelihood of sign-ups goes up.
This is where social media plays a role. The barriers to people liking your page on Facebook or following you on Twitter are pretty low. So don’t ignore branding yourself on social media.
#5 Social Proof
No one wants to be the first to sign up on your mailing list. They want to know if other people have signed up as well. A proof of the number of subscribers, testimonials, reviews, mentions on media, all adds to your credibility online.
Get real testimonials from real people, video testimonials are better, and testimonials with photographs are not bad either.
Email marketing can be a lot of fun if done correctly. To me, it’s all about building relationships and connecting with people.