This is a guest post from Kevin Payne.
You must know by now that email marketing has been touted as one of the best channels you can invest in.
Reports consistently show that email marketing campaigns have higher conversion rates than, say, social media.
And, while you already know why you should start an email list, your next question is probably how to grow that email list and get more subscribers.
So, if you want to increase your email marketing campaign’s success, you need to grow the number of qualified leads in your email list first. One quick way to start getting leads? Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
How PPC campaigns can quickly grow your email list
While the best-case scenario for us marketers is getting leads organically through means like SEO, there’s no denying that it can be much slower, compared to PPC.
PPC allows you to grow your list more quickly by getting in front of your audience right away, instead of waiting months for an SEO campaign to pay off.
And, because you get to see results faster, you can compare and tweak campaigns as often as you like without waiting.
And, because PPC campaigns are heavily targeted, they tend to drive qualified traffic to your site, and you can direct that traffic immediately to a specific landing page for lead generation.
While SEO and other methods of organic traffic-building are equally important strategies, paid search just gets you immediate results.
Things to do before you create your PPC campaign
It’s worth repeating that PPC can get you results quickly, but it also takes a bit of work to set up. You can outsource the task to experienced PPC managers like Loganix or try to do it yourself in the beginning.
If you’re going for the DIY route, read on for a look at what you should do before actually creating your first PPC campaign.
Establish your goal.
You might have different PPC campaigns for different goals, but, to build your email list, you’ll be zooming in on lead generation as your main goal.
Know your audience.
To make the most of your PPC campaign, start doing customer research again or refer to whatever existing buyer personas you have.
PPC campaigns use keywords, so review what your customers want and what they’re searching for online, as well as how they’re searching for it.
We’ll tackle keyword research a little more in depth later on in this post.
Determine your PPC budget.
For your PPC campaign to work, you’ll want to set a reasonable budget for your ads to be shown. Too little and your ad may not run, but there’s also no need to go overboard.
There’s no hard-and-set rule for how much you ought to set aside for PPC campaigns, especially because each business is different, and even the average cost per click (CPC) of adwords vary per industry.
You can use this formula below to determine your maximum CPC per keyword. Know this number, so you can also be aware if you’re overspending on your campaign.
Max CPC = (profit per customer) * (1 – profit margin) * (website conversion rate)
Diversify your budget across marketing channels.
Refer back to your buyer persona again, and, this time, focus on the channels where they might be conducting searches.
Because your ideal customer is probably using more than one kind of channel in their day-to-day life, it’s worth diversifying your PPC budget to cover those channels. So, depending on your customer’s media habits, you might want to be on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
Don’t worry if you’re not sure how much to delegate for each channel. Over time, as you conduct more PPC campaigns, you’ll be able to determine which channel provides the most ROI.
Have your landing page set up.
Have a high-converting landing page set up and ready for your campaign. This is the page that your audience will be redirected to after clicking on your ad. Since your goal is to grow your email list, set up a free resource as an opt-in to start getting prospects on your list.
Set up your email drip campaign for leads who want your offer.
One great email marketing strategy is to set up a drip campaign or sequence that’ll nurture and educate your leads interested in your offer. So, after they’ve signed up on your list, you already have a high-converting sales sequenced locked and ready to go.
Create a UTM for your landing page’s URL to track performance across marketing channels.
UTMs are essentially pieces of code added to links to help you track where you’re getting traffic. These are helpful for telling you exactly which channels are bringing you the most traffic.
You can use tools like UTM.io, which are designed to help you build UTM tracking codes for Google Analytics and other major analytics providers. All you need to do is fill out the form on their URL builder and you’ll generate a new URL, complete with a UTM code.
How to create your PPC campaign to grow your email list
Conduct keyword research.
Create a list of keywords you think your audience is using, then validate your assumptions using tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
You can automatically find data on search volume, competitive data, and cost per click. See the example below to know what to expect when you’re using Adwords’s Keyword Planner.
Source: Neil Patel
Compile these keywords and use variations that are related to one another, so you can reach more of your audience. It’s good practice to include specific long-tail keywords because search intent often changes if someone uses a specific keyword versus a broad keyword.
Have a list of negative keywords.
Negative keywords are the keywords you want to exclude from your campaign.
Look at possible keywords in your list that might imply different search intent, such as if a user were only looking for information instead of having the intention to purchase.
Scour your list to exclude any keywords that you think will only attract the wrong kind of users. Doing so can increase the overall quality of your ad because you’re getting a good amount of both impressions and clicks.
Spy on your competition.
You can learn a lot from what your competition is out there doing.
Use a competitive research tool like SpyFu to see insights about your competitors’ ad campaigns.
Enter your competitor’s name, then go to Ad History to get a look at the PPC campaigns that they’re running. Take a look at their best-performing campaigns, then see what you can learn or try to tweak based on their previous ads.
Create your ad copy.
Forty percent of people are 4 times more likely to respond to personalized offers, according to this study by Autopilot.
So, after getting a good look at what kind of copy performed best for your competition, create your own personalized ad copy that’s meant to establish you as the superior offer.
Experiment with emotional words like “free” or “new.” Try to really get into the heads of your audience to see what they’d be looking for and present it in your ad copy.
If they were searching for a project management tool, for example, do you think they’d respond better to “free project management software for teams,” “award-winning project management software,” or “plan and organize projects online”?
Again, this completely depends on your audience and your offer—the more you can hit the exact benefits your audience is looking for, in their own words, the better ad copy you’ll have.
Craft a compelling CTA.
If the CTA in your ad can hit all the right notes in your customer’s mind, they’ll be all the more willing to check out your ad.
Words like “get” or “now” do well because they’re direct and action-oriented, while terms like “free” or “24 hour” or “expires today” are appealing because they answer other factors customers might be looking into, such as price, time, or discounts.
This, again, ties with knowing your audience. Are guarantees absolutely essential before they buy? Do they need it right away?
The more you can find out what they’re looking for, the better CTAs you can craft for your own ads.
The right CTA can entice people to sign up for your offer and get into your list. So, if you’re running an ad for a free opt-in, for example, you’d do best to include the word “free” in your headline.
Track and monitor your results.
Lastly, you’ll want to monitor how your campaigns are doing. This data is essential for you tweak and optimize future campaigns.
Review the ROI of each PPC campaign, track your best-performing channels, and evaluate where new leads in your list are coming from.
If a campaign is doing well, keep it going and add more budget into it. If you have a poor campaign, review where you can make it better and implement changes as soon as possible.
Remember, to be successful at any PPC campaign, not just for lead generation, you need to embrace the always-testing mindset.
Growing your email list should be your top priority, if you want to increase the sales of your business. And, for an added boost, pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns can do well to accelerate your growth and get you in front of the right audience sooner. Use the tips and strategies above to set up your own PPC campaign, and watch those leads come in like moths to a flame.
Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant that helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.