Email Database is one of the most effective strategies to increase sales through any internet channel. Consider it. What other method allows you to introduce something and immediately drive sales? The largest difficulty most organizations encounter is a lack of a large enough email database (which I’ll refer to interchangeably as a ‘list’) to reap the benefits of email.
Why does the ‘conventional’ way of creating an Email Database fail?
It is difficult to develop an email database of 10,000 or more persons (which is how big it needs to be to really start seeing the power of email marketing).
Giving free a special report, video, or e-course in return for an email address is the ‘conventional’ technique of establishing an email database. The problem with this strategy is that even if you can acquire a $5 cost-per-subscriber (that’s $1 per click and a 20% conversion rate on your landing page), you’ll need to spend $50,000 to build a database of 10,000 people. It will cost you $100,000 if your cost-per-conversion is $10.
How many firms can afford to divert $50,000 from their online advertising channels in order to expand their email database? Especially if you need to expand your email database quickly (you should aim to build an email database of 10,000 people in less than six months). The good news is that there are other methods for rapidly growing your list at a significantly cheaper cost-per-subscriber than $5.
Here are some of the most effective ways now in use.
Conduct a viral competition
A viral competition is one in which you participate with an email address and then receive additional entries for each person who signs up via your referral.
Here’s an example from a campaign we executed for Web Profits…As you can see, each individual who signs up using your referral link earns you three more entries. You can also share it by email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn.
In just over a month, we produced 2,987 emails for a total cost of $6,661.11 for this viral competition. That works out to $2.23 per email subscriber! There are three essential elements to organizing a successful viral tournament…
You need a reward that assures the contestants are from your target market (so they can buy from you in the future). The reward must be so appealing that contestants feel driven to spread the word about the competition to as many people as possible in order to boost their chances of winning.
You need an email marketing strategy that nurtures them from competition contestants to business prospects to clients.
Integrate Sumo applications into your website.
The Sumo tools are among the finest I’ve tried for creating an email database (and I’ve tried a lot).
List Builder is a popup that may be activated when a visitor is ready to leave the site or after a particular amount of time has passed.
We convert 2.24 percent of visitors who are ready to leave the site into email subscribers using the List Builder app.
When a visitor scrolls a specific percentage down the page, the Scroll Box app appears at the bottom of the page.
Here’s an illustration of the Scroll Box app…
We turn 2.59 percent of visitors into email subscribers using the Scroll Box app (note: these are mostly different email subscribers than people who subscribe via the List Builder app). We show the scroll box when a visitor scrolls 50% down the page (and we’re comparing it to one that shows when a visitor scrolls 20% down the page).
I also tested the Welcome Mat and Smart Bar applications, but they did not yield the same results as the List Builder and Scroll Box apps.
Note: This does not exclude you from testing them on your site.) It’s just that they didn’t work properly on our site with the configuration we utilized. We deleted these to avoid distracting the visitor while we think out other ways to evaluate them.
Tip: Include email traffic exclusion in all of your Sumo apps so that your database does not notice these applications when you email them (since they are already in your database). This may not apply if you’re marketing anything special in the applications (for example, the release of a new product).
Developing Sumo to the next level
You can easily get away with utilizing the Sumo applications’ free versions. However, if you truly want to improve your outcomes, you need to switch to the commercial edition of the programs.
Individualized message for each page
Sumo’s commercial edition allows you to configure the applications for certain pages on your site. Rather of having a generic popup inviting you to subscribe, you may tailor the popup to the information on the page.
Consider the following example.
Here’s an example of a basic popup that converts at 2.24 percent…
However, when we generated a popup just for this post…
The conversion rate has increased to 3.58 percent!
A/B testing of messaging
Sumo’s commercial edition allows you to A/B test messages in applications to increase conversion rates. Instead of simply guessing what will convert, you may develop two versions of each popup to determine which one converts best and then strive to improve on that.
Consider the following example.
The original popup we’re using converts at 2.21 percent…
Isn’t that the case?
Simply modifying the text in the popup, the new version converted at 2.58 percent – a 16.77 percent increase!
If your results remain consistent, you can cease the original and try to beat the new control.
One of the finest features of the Sumo A/B testing tool is the ability to test your new variant on a smaller amount of your traffic first, allowing you to avoid wasting too much bandwidth on an untested version.
Create epic blog posts
An epic post is one that is so wonderful that readers feel obligated to link to it, share it, print it out, forward it to colleagues, and so on.
An epic post is often longer than 3,000 words and provides significant value to its readers. It is frequently supported by evidence, offers insightful insight, and delivers concrete recommendations that readers can put into practice.
Not only does writing an epic article assist generate visitors to your website via search engines and social media. Because of the depth of understanding that visitors acquire from reading it, it also establishes your trust faster than most other internet marketing campaigns.
And when you combine epic posts with some of the other methods I discuss in this article (such as Sumo, content upgrades, and Lead boxes), you’ll notice a significant rise in your email subscribers.
Epic articles often take 15-30 hours to create and involve a significant amount of work from the author (this article took me about 15 hours to write).
Here are some epic post examples:
Iconic’s web marketing approach is examined. This is a lengthy piece I made for Web Profits. We received over 800 shares, hundreds of email subscribers, and a dozen or so new clients as a consequence of the material we shared in this piece in the first 12 months after publishing it.
Tips for Sending Significantly Better Emails This Vero article is a comprehensive tutorial on email marketing. This post ranks well for ’email marketing best practices (and over 500 other keywords), has over 10,000 shares, and over 1,000 links.
Include a content upgrade on your most popular posts
In return for an email address, a content upgrade offers a ‘upsell’ piece of material within an article.
On Lemonade’s growth study, here’s an example of content improvement.
This content update is a PDF containing the whole 4,000+ word case study for simple future viewing. (We apply a similar design approach to Brian Dean at Backlinko for the content improvement.)
The key to achieving the greatest results from a content upgrade is to design a piece of content that completely matches the original post and provides additional value so compelling that readers are driven to give their email address to get it.
Material upgrades work best when combined with an epic post, but the true need is that you have content on your website that attracts visits on a monthly basis.
To begin, identify up to ten of your website’s most popular content pages and design a bespoke content update for each piece. After that, proceed down the list until you have a content update for every page on your site that receives a significant amount of traffic each month.
Include a subscription link in your email signature
This technique was presented by Noah Kagan during the Digital Elite Camp conference I attended in Estonia a few years ago.
Every day, you and your staff send hundreds of emails to people who haven’t signed up for your email list.
To increase your email list for free, include a newsletter registration link right in your email signature (and the email signatures of everyone in your firm).
This is how Noah Kagan does it…
We utilize links in our email signatures to promote various items at Web Profits. This is how we marketed our Fluid Online Marketing technique while we were advertising it.
Launch a joint email campaign with a related business
We held numerous events with General Assembly a few years back.
The goal of these events was to provide value to both of our audiences while also expanding our reach. The General Assembly sent us its database, and we sent them ours.
Here’s an example of one of the advertisements we delivered to our database…
One unintended consequence of this campaign was that we both acquired information on those who registered for and attended the event, allowing us to add them to our respective email lists. Anyone who registered for the events as a consequence of our email marketing would have gotten emails from both General Assembly and Web Profits shortly after signing up.
The key to a strategy like this is to have an automated email marketing sequence that introduces your company to new subscribers and builds your credibility (e.g., by sharing high-value content).
You may use this method to promote an event (like we did), develop a collaborative content piece (such as a special report), or create any other value-added promotion you can conceive of that will benefit both of your audiences.
Employ the cliffhanger method in your material
A cliffhanger in content is analogous to a content update. The primary distinction is that with a content cliffhanger, you build a ‘list’ piece containing, say, ’25 methods to XXX,’ but only supply 10 of them. After that, readers may submit their email addresses to receive the remaining 15 things.
Personally, I’m not a fan of cliffhangers as much as I am of content upgrades.
Because a content cliffhanger leaves the material incomplete, it won’t be shared as much, you won’t receive as many links, and you may alienate some of your readers.
If you’re going to employ a content cliffhanger, make sure it’s a good one.