Apparently, many of you are getting fed up with Facebook. Last week’s post generated several comments in regards to Facebook and its effectiveness. Throughout the discussion, email marketing came up as a solid alternative. Personally, I think it is the way to go. It’s a more direct and personal way to communicate with your fans.
The biggest struggle with email marketing is reaching new readers. How do we grow those lists? First, let me stress a basic point—any effort to grow your email list should be based in QUALITY not QUANTITY. Do not try to grow your list with gimmicks and tricks. If you are going to offer something in exchange for an email, make sure it is something that you would want if you were on the other side of that exchange.
Here are fifteen ways in which to grow your email list.
1. Include a “subscribe to newsletter” opt in form on your blog or website.
2. Make sure to have the above link on each page of your website.
3. Add an email signup as a custom tab on your Facebook page. You can find a “how to” link in this previous post.
4. Add a “Subscribe to my Newsletter” link in your email signature.
5. Include a sign in sheet that includes email at your book signings.
6. Put a link to sign up for your newsletter on everything you print including bookmarks, flyers, etc.
7. Offer a “Birthday Club” where you offer something special to people who sign up. It might take a little extra work, but you could send out a short story or flash fiction piece to your subscribers on their birthday. (You don’t have to do a separate one for each!)
8. Offer email-only discounts or freebies.
9. Use your “About” Section on your social media profiles or website to ask your readers to sign up for a newsletter.
10. Run a contest that requires an email address to enter.
11. Encourage your current email subscribers to share and forward your newsletter.
12. When creating content for guest blogging opportunities, include a link for readers to subscribe to your newsletter.
13. Include a QR code on material both offline and online that links to your newsletter sign-up form.
14. Consider using email sign-up to comment on your blog.
15. A whole host of paid programs: Rent, purchase lists, Adwords, FB ads etc.
This list is intended to help you get thinking about where you can grow your email subscriber list. I do not necessarily use all these methods. For example, I don’t use any paid programs for myself or my clients. The key is to find the methods that match your personality, style and that you feel comfortable with. The last thing you want to do is become an annoying marketer.
Lynne Cantwell recently wrote a nice post on MailChimp for adding an email signup form to your blog. MailChimp is chock full of ideas and tools for expanding your email list. Constant Contact is also a great tool for email newsletters and they offer many different tools for growing your list as well.
Your email list can quickly become your most valuable marketing tool in your possession. What type of methods do you use to grow your list?