Our front line staff hear it all the time. "No, I don't have a list yet, how do I get one fast?"
Well, for many, they turn to the dark side of buying or renting lists and as we have said many, many time, we highly recommend against that. You never really know what you are getting.
Building an email list that is organic and engaged, is probably one of the most crucial things in email marketing. Sure, writing great marketing copy and sprinkling in SEO tactics is very important as well, but if you don't have the list, who is going to read it?
An engaged email list allows you to promote and sell directly to the people interested in what you are offering. Also, and what's actually more important, many of those same people already believe in you and trust what you are doing. Since they have already subscribed means that at least they ready to trust you and become a lifelong reader.
But, building an email list is not an easy task. If it was easy, everyone would have lists that turned to gold. Building a list from scratch takes a lot of hard work but in the end, it is 100% worth the time and effort if you want to have a successful online marketing attack. The ultimate goal is to have a list full of people who want to read, share and most importantly, want more of your content in the future.
So now that we have made it very clear that building a list the right way is hard, we need to offer up some tips to help speed up the process.
1. Make your opt-in signup form prominent
Visitors to your website won't subscribe to you if they don't see your signup form. That is pretty simple. Have your opt-in signup form on top of your sidebar, or even above your blog posts. It is also a good idea to have a form on every inner page of your site. Thanks to search traffic, you never really know what page someone is going to land on. Remember, they are not going to search for a form, they will just leave.
2. Provide a reason to subscribe
Ask yourself "why would I subscribe to this site?" and if you can't come up with an answer, well, that speaks volumes. Make sure that you give your users a good enticement or benefit to subscribe. People love to learn and take away benefits rather than just getting sold to all the time. Don't push your product as much as what special tips or inside information you can offer them. A good example would be sending a free How To Guide once they join your email list.
3. Don't expect magic overnight
Yes, the title of this post boasts to help you build your email list fast. But for anyone who has done this before, there is no overnight solution (that is a best practice anyway).
There is no quick fix to building an engaged list. You will read false tales of people who built their email lists super quick but unless their name is Justin Bieber, it probably is not true. The cold, simple truth is list building takes time and you just have to be patient, increase the traffic to your site and write great content. Making it as easy as possible for people to join your list is also the way to go. The fewer hoops to get to your content (there should be no hoops) the better.