Simultaneously grow your social presence and your email list
Email is the leading channel for online marketing in 2016.
According to Hubspot, 75.8% of marketers are using more email than they were even three years ago.
The big question, however, is how to get started. What is the most effective way to grow an email list from scratch? Let’s take a look at how you can utilize your social media platforms to grow your email marketing list.
Optimize your profile
The first thing you need to do is go to the front page of your social media profile. Scan your page and ask yourself, if someone wanted to sign up to your page are they able to do so or do they have to go to your website to look for a subscription link?
If that’s the case, you are missing the opportunity to grow your email list.
Sign up links and buttons
The simplest way you can start to automate the process of creating an email list is to put your signup links in a highly visible place.
All social media platforms offer this function. Facebook allows you to add a customized button to the top of your page, which can function as a direct ‘sign up to newsletter’ button.
Instagram, Periscope, Twitter, and LinkedIn all allow you to insert clickable links in your bio.
Google+ offers a similar feature, and it also offers something more: Google My Business. Maximize your potential by creating a Google+ business listing. Your business will be visible in searches, making it a great tool to encourage visitors to sign up! If you aren’t already on Google+, why not consider using it?
Most social media platforms allow a pinned post, a static post that greets visitors to your page.
You can use this space to permanently post a call to action that directs new visitors to sign up to your emails or take up your latest offers.
The trick to this is making it relevant and valuable.
Develop lead magnets
Look at your business from the point of view of your customers.
If you offer your most valuable content straight on your social media platforms, there’s no incentive to sign up for more!
Instead, think of social media as an advertising platform where you preview your most valuable content. This change in direction transforms your social networking platforms into real marketing tools.
— ProSky (@ProSkyers) September 13, 2016
What can you promote as premium content?
Let’s take a look at promotable content that you can create and use to drive up your email subscription numbers.
Create a webinar
A webinar is a simply a seminar conducted over the internet and is typically an informative session where people can learn something of real benefit.
Just as a sign up can be gained when someone opts in for a webinar, a webinar can be used to entice viewers into purchasing further services, such as a paid course series.
Use this time to give your viewers real value, and they’ll be more likely to pay for your content in the future.
You could host a webinar yourself, or you could collaborate with a business or individual in a complementary industry. In this case, you get added exposure as your webinar partner will likely be helping to promote.
At the end of the webinar, you can share the links or offerings of both your businesses, enabling happy customers to engage further, share your work, or pay for future goods and events.
Offer a download
A sign up can be used to promote a free downloadable resource, such as a PDF. Ask yourself, what is the one thing you know that could significantly improve the experience, productivity or life of your customers?
What is the biggest problem they are having right now? What is a key issue facing their industry? What is the biggest issue you overcame in business and how did you overcome it?
This is the place to start when planning your resource downloads. Focus on what you know of value, and then focus on making a plan to deliver that information.
Let’s say you teach people how to write speeches and you want to make an introductory downloadable asset to showcase your skill set to potential customers.
The first step in planning your downloadable asset is to figure out the key steps you need to cover to effectively deliver the idea to your audience.
When you’ve established the key points you need to cover, you then need to expand on each step.
Your goal is to produce a resource that is not only clear enough for someone to understand, but also, it should be easy for them to implement straight away. If your resource is immediately of use, then your customers will come back for more as they will perceive you as delivering value!
— Lonely Planet (@lonelyplanet) September 13, 2016
3 Features of a Valuable Downloadable Asset
A downloadable asset should contain exclusive information only you can provide. This means people will be more willing to sign up to receive it, because why would they be motivated to sign up for information that is available almost anywhere?
It should contain information, not just opinion. Visuals are key, as is the visualization of any statistics. Make it easy on the eye and focus on one single takeaway. If you succeed in creating value, it’s more likely your customers will come back for more.
A great resource will outline the key steps your reader needs to take and will do so in clear language. It’s one thing to tell someone what to do, it’s another to offer a step by step resource that explains how someone can integrate a concept into their life right now. The difference is value.
Create an introductory course
Entice your customers to sign up to your email list by offering a short introductory course.
The keyword in this is introductory.
Don’t provide your entire course during this phase. Think of it as an appetizer that tempts your customers to purchase the not only the remainder of the lessons, but future lessons as well.
The key to planning a valuable introductory resource is to focus on the planning stage. If you decide to create your own email or video-based course, start your content plan by asking yourself the following:
- What will they learn in the first session?
- What will the customer learn after finishing the introductory session?
- What will motivate them to continue with the paid session?
- What will they learn after finishing the paid session of lessons?
It’s important that you use this introductory series to really promote value to your customers.
If your free introductory course fails to meet the mark, then you won’t convert that viewership into future sales. You need to ensure each and every resource has a learning outcome; that’s how you create value.
You can generate email subscribers with live videos on social media platforms. But be careful; use live streaming to tempt your viewers to sign up, not to give them all the information contained in your exclusive resources. To ensure your live videos don’t give away too much, choose one learning objective and set an agenda.
Make it QUALITY, include a link to your signup-gated content, and watch your email subscriptions soar.
Offer Exclusive Discounts and Giveaways
Have you ever signed up for something just to receive a discount?
Whether you opt for a one-time discount, a continuous discount, or even a holiday promotion, discounts are a great way to increase your subscriptions.
A great way to encourage signups is to encourage your existing users to share your links. Offer sharers a discount when they successfully get a friend to sign up? What could be better than your current customers doing your promotions for you!
This is a really effective way to boost that email list because people just love a good giveaway.
When you run a giveaway, why not include signing up or getting someone else to sign up as a component of your entry terms? As an example, let’s look at Facebook. Many users stick to the typical ‘Like and Share this post to enter the draw’. Beyond increasing your audience on Facebook, that isn’t creating much value for you.
Your goal should be strategic; you will create more value for yourself if you link your giveaway to a sign-up. The script will change to ‘Share and Subscribe to enter the draw’. These days, all likes are shared on Facebook so scrap the like, keep the share, and add in SUBSCRIBE as a key component of your giveaways across all social media platforms, not just Facebook.
You will boost your email subscription rates every time you run a giveaway; how’s that for a result?
Organically promote your offerings
You’ve added the sign-up links and buttons to your social media platform, you’ve pinned a post that directs to your most valuable resources, and you’ve decided to create downloadable content—what’s next?
The next step is creating attractive bite-sized posts that draw attention to the fact you are offering exclusive content to people who sign up!
Of course, your focus is on creating relevant captions, but what else can you do to maximize signups?
Social media is all about the visuals; more attention is paid to posts with images than posts with content alone. Here’s how you can ensure your images are working overtime in an age where everyone is competing for attention.
Showcase your content
The best kind of post is a custom image that includes the promotion of your exclusive content WITHIN the image itself. So let’s say you are promoting an introductory course that allows you to have a 4-hour workweek. Sure, a post with a picture of a beach does look beautiful.
But what if you overlay that image with content-specific text? What if the message contained a signup link and the following text ‘The 4-hour workweek: click to sign up for the exclusive webinar that gets you here.’
Create visuals of key statistics
If your exclusive content focuses on how to increase productivity, or any other factor, by a certain percent, why not showcase that visually in a simple yet attractive way? Results speak. Use them to their fullest, but ensure they are clear and easy to understand.
Too complex, and you risk turning off potential viewers.
Links in images
Let’s take a look at image-driven Pinterest. Did you know you can add a link directly to a pin? When you upload your image, go to the uploaded pin and edit it. When you select edit, you can insert the sign-up URL that corresponds to your image. Easy.
Showcase testimonials from real people
With so many ‘experts’ on the internet these days, credibility is exceptionally important. Potential customers are much more likely to trust people they deem as being credible. So how do you build credibility online?
You can talk about what you do all you like, but nothing is more valuable to your potential customers than an honest review. Encourage your customers to give you feedback at all times. Showcase your reviews as single posts on any of your social networking platforms. Link it to the course, product, or service your customer enjoyed and watch as people sign up.
Let the results speak for themselves
Let’s say you teach people how to maximize their income. Why not share your income as proof you are an expert in the field? This is exactly what Melyssa Griffin does. It’s fair to say that this technique has established her as a leader in her field, as she has the results to back up what she teaches.
Not in the field of earnings maximization? Share some other key figure that proves to your potential customers that you know how to get results. They’ll be more inclined to sign up with you if they can clearly see you’ve reached their goals. Let’s face it, only a person who has already achieved something can realistically teach others how to get there, too.
Connect with influencers
Who are the top influencers in your industry?
Influencers are known for sharing the newest, hottest, and most valuable content online today. If they like what you offer, there could be a chance they would share it. This means your email subscription system will be exposed to their large followings. Result; new users signing up!
You’d be surprised at how receptive certain influencers can be and just how well they can promote you if they genuinely get value from your content.
Get the most from paid advertising
Know your audience
It’s important to sit down and figure out who would want to sign up for your email subscription service before you pay for any social media based advertising. Why?
Because when you know WHO your target customer is, then you can target them more specifically, meaning your campaign will result in more signups than a broad approach that targets everyone.
Ensure your advertising is useful
Your strategy should focus on email signups that convert to introductory offers which eventually convert to paid content. To do this, your initial advertising campaign should contain your sign up the link, an image that promotes your resource, and a headline that positions your introductory content in a valuable way. Highlight the fact that introductory content is free after signup; those who find enough value to eventually pay will stay for the long haul.
Platform-specific paid features
The best platform specific feature you’re probably not using is the Lead Generation tool offered by Twitter. What this means is that you can embed a signup form inside a tweet, meaning you can get new email signups direct from your Twitter page!
You can also use Click to Tweet, what’s that? Click to Tweet means YOU write the tweet and your user simply has to click it to share it on their feed. Genius. You can even embed the feature into e-book offerings, meaning happy customers can share, and therefore promote your lead magnets for you.
Email marketing + social media strategy
Which strategy will be most useful for you when building up your email subscription list? No matter the method you choose, remember to always focus on the value you are providing for your customers. What do you provide better than anyone else? Do it. Watch your subscriptions rise.