Do you want to build a huge list? Here’s how you do it.

If you put time and effort into creating valuable content, it makes sense that you want to have an audience to share it with. Having a strong and quality list allows you to cast a big net every time you send an email.

But growing your list, and maintaining that growth, is not something that happens without getting your hands dirty. You need to put in the time — just as you do with content creation — if you want to build a list with quality subscribers.

There are a few reasons why it’s important to have a strong email list:

  • It’s something you own
  • Having access to someone’s inbox is an easier way to get their attention over social media
  • It’s a cheap and proven way to stay in front of leads while also building a following
  • You can organize lists so that it’s easy and simple to send the right kind of messages to the right audience

Those are just a few of the many reasons why email lists are beneficial. In a nutshell, it’s a list of people who want to receive your content. They tend to be loyal, and a loyal foundation of readers can go a long way in building your brand.

Here are 10 proven methods of growing and maintaining an email list:

  1. Make it simple to sign up: allow interested people to sign up for your list easily, with a basic form that’s available on all pages of your site.
  2. Offer something valuable: give them the information they want as well as additional resources they didn’t realize they needed.
  3. Personalize the experience: send a welcome email to new subscribers and code the email so that it uses their name. Let them know you’re excited to have them and look forward to being able to communicate.
  4. Use CTA’s: you can use a call-to-action at the end of blog posts, social media media, and more to remind people that they can continue to enjoy your content by signing up.
  5. Allow people to Opt-Out: nothing is more frustrating than wanting to unsubscribe from a list but not being able to. Or, having to take many steps to do it. Allow people to leave if they want to, and make sure it’s an simple experience.
  6. Make it easy to share your emails: include social sharing buttons and ‘email to a friend’ button in your email templates, so that readers can share without putting in too much work.
  7. Add a CTA to your Facebook Business Page:  let the CTA button take interested followers to a place where they can subscribe.
  8. Test different copy: also called a split test, use different versions of content to see what generates the most subscribers. You can test different layouts and graphics as well.
  9. Guest blog: if you provide content to other sites and outlets, always include a CTA that will lead people to subscribe. Chances are, if they liked reading your article, they will be interested in keeping up with you.
  10. Collect emails: it’s a bit old school, but collect emails from events, trade shows, joint marketing efforts, etc. As long as you collect the email and interested parties know they are agreeing to be added to a list, this a good way to get people you meet offline to become online connects.

So, go forth and list build! It doesn’t happen overnight but it’s worth the effort you put in. You never know when someone will be ready to reach out and utilize your services, so stay top of mind and in their inbox!

Is email marketing your weakest link?

What is your most important marketing tool?

Advertising? Blogging? Videos? SEO?

How about none of the above. After people have seen all the internet marketing “special effects” they are probably going to send you an email.

And how you reply to that email will determine how the relationship will go forward.

We’ve all known incredibly nice people who are terrible on email. My dad is one. Every email he sends is all caps and never has a greeting or goodbye attached.

I know my dad, so I know it’s not personal. He’s just not up to speed on email etiquette. He’s also retired, so he’s not costing anyone anything with his accidental obnoxiousness (and I mean that in the nicest way pops).

But if you’re running a business, email etiquette is not something you can afford to let slide for yourself or your employees.

I once had a client who was so abrasive in emails, I often had to walk away from my computer and make a cup of coffee before I would respond.

And then when I called him, he was very pleasant. It was just that his ALL CAPS for emphasis, along with a lack of greeting or a goodbye, made what would otherwise be a normal business interaction come across as very abrasive.

So here are some tips for you to use yourself and pass along to everyone in your company with an email address.

1.  Always start with a greeting.
2. “Hi {first name}” is better than “Hello.”
3. Be casual in the the communication, but always try to come across as helpful.
4. DON’T USE ALL CAPS FOR ANY REASON. It’s as rude and off-putting to colleagues as it is to clients.
5. End your emails with a good-bye and your first name. I generally end my emails with Cheers or Thanks.
6. Have a signature with full name, position, phone number, Skype, LinkedIn and website.

 Follow these six simple rules and you and your team will have plugged one of the easiest holes to fix in your sales cycle. Did I miss something? What other things would you include (or exclude) in an email?