How to build your email database

How to build your email database

A mailing list is one of the most valuable assets you can have in business today. You’ll find it right there amongst the fastest and most effective ways to drive sales of any online channel—with the catch being you have to build one first.

The fact is, it’s a privilege to be granted an invitation to someones email inbox. Especially today when it represents a rare place of calm in an otherwise chaotic world. Where else on the web can you really specify what information you see and don’t see?

In the eyes of the email marketer, this question translates to: where else can you really pitch something to a select audience and drive sales immediately?

However, it is a big challenge for most businesses to build a mailing list to a size great enough to see good returns (10,000 plus people). Traditional methods of giving away special reports or e-courses in exchange for an email address are losing their appeal, are becoming no longer effective on their own.

Thankfully, there are a lot of new ways which are proving to be highly effective in growing lists quick—and all for a lot lower cost-per-subscriber than in the past. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways out there today.

The SumoMe Apps

The SumoMe apps are often quoted among the best tools for building a mailing list. Here we are going to focus on two of their apps that are known for producing the best results: List Builder and Scrollbox.

The List Builder app is a popup opt in box, triggered after a certain amount of time on page (SumoMe recommend testing 15 seconds) or when a user is about the leave your site. For the guys over at Webprofits, the List Builder app has been shown to convert users about to leave to site at a rate of 2.24%.

Scroll box is a similar app which this time displays a pop up in the corner of the page when a user scrolls a set percentage down the page. With the Scrollbox app, Webprofits saw a higher conversion rate of 2.59%.

We recommend opting for the paid version of SumoMe which allows you to customize the apps for specific pages on your site, and also do A/B split testing. That means, instead of using the same generic popup across every page of your site, you can make individual ones which relate to the content on the page, and figure out which of them perform best. Using this method, Webprofits saw a jump in their conversion rate to 3.58%—nearly a 17% improvement!

Write Epic Posts

An epic post is long-form article—generally of around 3000 words or longer—which readers often turn to as the definitive guide on a certain topic in a given niche.

The post is of such quality and depth that readers are urged to bookmark it, link to it, share it, print it out, or come back to it when they need refreshing.

If you can find something of value to offer your readers in an area lacking in comprehensive information, create an epic post and use it to drive traffic to your site through social and search, and watch the number of subscribers on your list shoot up.

Content upgrades

A content upgrade is simply when you upsell an article by offering a related piece of content that provides additional value.

The trick here is to create something that perfectly aligns with the original—usually by expanding on the topic in question, or offering something practical. For example: offering an additional 25 ways to build your email list, a print out of instructions for making a DIY cabinet, or an SEO checklist PDF to use when building a website.

As you may have guessed there’s no one secret trick to building your list, but rather many methods, which when used in conjunction—for example an epic post, with customised SumoMe scroll box and content upgrade—can nicely pave the way for huge results.

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Author Owen Radford

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