List Building Strategies
An email list is one of the most powerful business assets you can have. You must be smart about Email Leads Capture (or list building).
When you create your business website, you should design your website to effectively capture emails from your visitors.
The best email leads are visitors who are interested in your services or business, and you’ll have a good chance to successfully sell to these people.
Below are 31 strategies for capturing email leads. Apply a few tactics will improve your lead generation campaign and quickly get you more email addresses.
- 1. Create a landing page.
- 2. Provide a lead magnet.
- 3. Capture email with a popup.
- 4. Capture email with an opt-in bar.
- 5. Capture email with an exit popup.
- 6. Capture email with blog comments.
- 7. Connect to a call-to-action.
- 8. Optimize the author byline.
- 9. Use a teaser.
- 10. Optimize the call-to-actions on the button.
- 11. Focus on one call-to-action.
- 12. Get traffic to the landing page.
- 13. Get traffic with Google AdWords Remarketing.
- 14. Get traffic with Facebook Ad Retargeting.
- 15. Get traffic from LinkedIn Groups.
- 16. Get traffic from YouTube.
- 17. Launch viral pre-launch campaign.
- 18. Add a subscribe link in your email signature.
- 19. Launch joint email campaigns with a friends or business partners.
- 20. Add social sharing buttons.
- 21. Add customer testimonials.
- 22. Use the conversion words.
- 23. Show numbers to gain credibility.
- 24. Optimize the landing page funnel.
- 25. Link to the landing page from other blog articles.
- 26. Optimize email double opt-in message.
- 27. Create multiple landing pages.
- 28. Create a second lead magnet and repeat the process.
- 29. Optimize the about page.
- 30. Optimize the contact page.
- 31. Use homepage as an opt-in page.
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1. Create a landing page.
When you’re sending traffic to the homepage of your website or blog that isn’t designed for lead capture, it will be difficult for visitors to submit their email addresses to you.
So the first thing is to create a landing page that is specifically designed for email list building.
2. Provide a lead magnet.
To build an email list from scratch, your website visitors must have a good reason to give you their email addresses.
One way is to give them something for free in exchange of their email addresses. That something doesn’t have to be a physical item, but must be a lead magnet.
A lead magnet may be to provide:
- An industry whitepaper in a PDF eBook format.
- A case study that is sent through an email.
- A training course that is delivered through multiple email newsletter.
- A webinar hosted by a web traffic expert.
- A guide, cheatsheet, or to-do-list that the visitors can use later.
- A content upgrade.
3. Capture email with a popup.
Popup usually means entry pop-up. An popup that is shown to a visitor usually as soon as the landing page loads.
The popup is an overlaying window, but often it blocks the visitor from seeing the web page’s content before further action is taken by the visitor. Sometimes this isn’t very user-friendly.
Entry pop-ups are extremely effective when getting visitors to subscribe to your offers or submitting their emails. This is because the popup gets visitors to act before they can do anything else on your website.
In some cases, visitors may have already seen the offers, or whatever messages are displayed, and in fact they shouldn’t have been shown the same message again and again. This is why using an entry popup can annoy website users.
A slight change can be made to the entry popup. The website detects the visitor’s web browser cookie. If the visitor lands on the website for the very first time, the popup is immediately shown. If she is a returned visitor, the popup is not displayed.
Another less aggressive version is to set a time delay on the entry popup. The entry popup can be delayed for loading after the landing page has been loaded for say 30 seconds. This less aggressive approach allows the visitor to take a first look at the website before being prompted for popup actions.
4. Capture email with an opt-in bar.
An opt-in bar sits on top of some or all of your web pages (i.e. above the fold), and is visible to all your website visitors.
The opt-in bar contains a email entry field and a message telling visitors what they will receive if they provide their email addresses.
5. Capture email with an exit popup.
An exit popup sometimes is called an exit intent.
The exit popup gives you a way and is your last chance to capture a visitor’s email.
The exit popup is triggered by your website visitor’s mouse cursor movements. While a visitor browses your website, and when she moves the mouse cursor to an exit option, such as the web browser address bar, a new tab, or the close button, the exit intent triggers a popup window on the visitor’s screen with a message.
The popup message contains an entry field for the visitor to fill in her email, or sometimes also a second field for her first name.
An exit intent can be used for a blog feed subscription, a webinar registration, or other purposes.
The exit popup is seen by practically everyone who tries to leave your landing page, or tries to bounce.
6. Capture email with blog comments.
At the “leave a comment” section under each of your blog articles, add a checkbox with a reminding message that says:
“Don’t miss out on exclusive 200+ free web traffic tactics. Subscribe to my training guide.”
This will allow your visitors to opt-in to your email list.
7. Connect to a call-to-action.
The goal of a call-to-action feature is to get website visitors to immediately take an action.
The best practices for the call-to-action include:
- Make the call-to-action the most prominent feature on your landing page.
- Make the call-to-action an offer that cannot be refuse.
- Create a sense of urgency i.e. Use limited time offers, limited number of workshop spots, or short expiry dates.
- Show the obvious benefits or value exchange for the call-to-action.
- Include “action” words for visitors to feel they must act right away.
- Include competitive advantage by telling how your service is better than your competitors.
8. Optimize the author byline.
You should use every part of your blog article. In each blog article, the author name is usually displayed.
What you can do is:
- Show a link within the author byline that points to your lead magnet landing page.
- Show a link within the author byline, but when the visitors click the link, a popup will show up and prompt her to enter email address (in exchange to your newsletter).
9. Use a teaser.
Use the “fear of loss” factor to increase opt-in.
You may have a blog post about 200 tactics to get free web traffic for a new website.
For each tactic, you actually have more to offer – You are going to explain how your readers can use each tactic effectively like you’ve done. So you announce:
I’m going to explain to you how I will use the first three tactics to get you 500 new visitors to your website for a start.
Get access to using the first three tactics in practice.
10. Optimize the call-to-actions on the button.
You should always optimize the words (i.e. call-to-actions) on the buttons. Don’t just say the boring words such as “submit”, “subscribe”, “register”, “join”, “send”, etc.
Use words that stand out from the crowd, such as:
- I’m in.
- I want it.
- Sounds good.
- Let’s do this.
- Get the guide.
11. Focus on one call-to-action.
The tactic is to show two options as call-to-action on the entry popup.
Option 1 is a reasonable option, but having it on its own isn’t good enough to maximize your lead capture. The message will say:
“Exclusive free training course to get your website ranked in page 1 of Google.”
Option 2 is the obvious and wrong option. This second option is deliberately provided to your website visitors. For example, the message will say:
“No thanks. I don’t want free traffic for my site.”
12. Get traffic to the landing page.
All website owners (or webmasters) love free traffic.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the tactics or traffic sources that is in theory considered free traffic.
But there are way more. Actually I have identified more than 200 free traffic sources that a website can get visitors.
13. Get traffic with Google AdWords Remarketing.
Retarget ads to people who previously visited your lead magnet landing page, but didn’t submit their emails.
These are people who may be interested in your lead magnet, but for some reasons didn’t convert during the first time of their visit to landing page.
To do this, one option is to run remarketing ads (i.e. retargeting ads) through Google AdWords.
14. Get traffic with Facebook Ad Retargeting.
With Facebook’s ad retargeting, the audience of your ads are the people who have previously visited your website or lead magnet landing page, and then ads are shown to them while they are on Facebook.
15. Get traffic from LinkedIn Groups.
Create and host one or more LinkedIn groups. Start with engaging with the members in the groups.
From time to time, you can let them know you have this lead magnet which is on your landing page. And they are welcome to visit the page and have a look.
As you have previously engaged with them in the LinkedIn groups, some of these members are highly likely to subscribe through your landing page.
16. Get traffic from YouTube.
Record a video about a topic that is related to the newsletter or mailing list that you want people to subscribe. This content of the video is information or a free but short training session on that topic.
In the video, preferrably at the end of it, mention you are offerring more of that information or the training course. But it will require visiting your website’s landing page to get the information or course.
A more aggressive method is to embed an email capture form in the video.
And of course, upload the video to your Youtube channel.
17. Launch viral pre-launch campaign.
Start a viral pre-launch campaign for your product that hasn’t been officially launched to the public. For a product pre-launch, you give away free product or advanced access in exchange for referrals (i.e. email addresses).
Many startups don’t first launch a product and then figure out how to get customers. That’s the old strategy. Startups use this product pre-launch strategy to introduce their businesses (and/or new products) to a public.
For software product, in the pre-launch you ask the person to invite 5 friends to sign up, before she can get the software for free (or free for a year).
You get people to use your software (i.e. new product), and at the same time they are introducing your product to more people. You’re already building up customers (or users) who may later be suitable for giving you product reviews or testimonials.
18. Add a subscribe link in your email signature.
Include a newsletter signup link in your email signature of your work email (and/or personal email if appropriate).
Get your whole team to do the same. They should add a newsletter subscription link to their email signature.
If you keep doing this, then whenever you send or reply emails for work purposes, people start to notice the link, and you may get a few new newsletter signups from time to time.
19. Launch joint email campaigns with a friends or business partners.
Joint email campaigns can be implemented in 3 steps.
The first step is to find a partner website which has audience that are complementary in some ways.
The objective to launch joint partnership email campaigns is to deliver value to both of websites’ audiences, expand reach, and grow both websites’ email databases.
The second step is to host offline events for both businesses. People who registered and attended the events can be added to both websites’ email databases.
The third (and last) step is to follow up with an automated email marketing sequence that introduces your services (or products) to new subscribers and builds your credibility (i.e. by sharing high-value content in your niche).
20. Add social sharing buttons.
Let other people share. Make it easy for people to share your landing page URL to social media.
Add social sharing buttons on your landing page. Include at least the few major social media: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
21. Add customer testimonials.
Your customers are always the best people to show your credibility.
Place the testimonials of your customers on the lead magnet landing page so they are visible to new visitors.
22. Use the conversion words.
Include the following conversion words in your copy:
- Limited Time
- Special Offer
23. Show numbers to gain credibility.
Use the numbers you already have to build credibility before new visitors.
For example, 5,000 people have already subscribed to the newsletter of this blog.
24. Optimize the landing page funnel.
Now you have a perfect landing page with a lead magnet that can convert really well. But how do you get people to visit your landing page?
Identify a landing page on your website that converts better than other pages.
Design your website so that it funnels visitors to your best converting page.
Assume your homepage gets the most traffic, then add a link (on the main navigation) pointing to your best converting page.
On other pages of your website, do the same. Add a link on the main navigation (or any other parts of the web pages that are suitable), and point the link to your best converting page.
This setup will funnel internal site traffic to your best converting page.
25. Link to the landing page from other blog articles.
If you already have published many blog articles before creating your lead magnet landing page, then make use of the blog articles.
When the context in the blog posts are relevant, you can always create a hyperlink pointing to your lead magnet landing page.
Another more aggressive method is on every blog article page, include an opt-in prompt to capture emails.
26. Optimize email double opt-in message.
Double opt-in means anyone who have submitted their emails through your popup form, they will instantly receive an automated confirmation email from you, and they are required to click a link in the email to confirm indeed their emails are valid.
Getting your subscribers to double opt-in is good practice as this makes sure your entire list is full of valid email addresses. When you launch your next e-mail campaign, your message that are sent to your list of people will not bounce.
But one catch is that your subscribers may have left the confirmation email unattended. Your confirmation email may have gone into their spam filer. When this happens, they aren’t ready in your mailing list.
What you should do is optimize your confirmation email. In your confirmation email, include:
- Re-iterate the benefits of completing the subscription. i.e. People are about to get the free traffic sources guide.
- Mention a call-to-action which asks people to confirm the subscription. i.e. Need to confirm right away.
- Tell people exactly how to complete the confirmation. i.e. Click the link.
27. Create multiple landing pages.
You don’t have to always stick with one landing page.
After the first landing page works well to capture leads (via emails), you should create a second page, a third page, and more.
Having multiple landing pages allow to do have each page focused on a slightly different sub-topic (or sub-niche). This will maximize your chance to capture the most leads.
28. Create a second lead magnet and repeat the process.
When you start your second landing page, you will also have to go through the entire process again by creating a second lead magnet, and all the components along with it.
After the second magnet works well, start with a third, fourth, and more.
29. Optimize the about page.
When a visitor goes to your about page, she is trying to get to know who you are or what services you can provide.
Do include an opt-in prompt on your about page.
30. Optimize the contact page.
Obviously when a user visits the contact page, she is likely looking for a contact form to fill in and send you a message.
The user should be expecting a reply from you.
When you write your reply, do mention about your newsletter and ask if she wants to opt-in.
31. Use homepage as an opt-in page.
The homepage of a website usually gets the more traffic and starts with:
When you make your homepage also a landing page with opt-in prompts, you’ll have more opportunities to get more email addresses.
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