As an agency, you probably know that email is one of the most effective communication channels available to your clients today.
However, the success of your client’s email marketing efforts largely depends on the size and quality of their email list.
So how can you help your clients build an amazing email list that grows their business?
In this post, we’ll teach you a 2-part formula for capturing thousands of email addresses and give you a number of tools you can use to help your clients build a massive email list that grows their business.
When it comes to building an email list, it’s important that it’s done the right way. Buying lists, scraping emails from the web and other similar practices not only lead to poor open and click-through rates, but can actually be illegal.
Fortunately though, there is a straight-forward formula for building a large email list that gets results. That formula is:
A valuable incentive + simple subscribe opportunities = large email list
While it is a little bit of a simplification, it’s also just logic. No matter how many subscribe opportunities you present to a person, it’s unlikely they’ll act without a valuable incentive. And no matter how good the incentive is, you’ll never get people to subscribe if you don’t make it super easy for them.
The real question is, what makes for an amazing incentive? And how can you make subscribing to your client’s list really simple and easy?
Let’s dive in and answer both those questions:
There are an infinite number of ways in which you can provide an incentive for people to join your client’s email list, but the right one really depends on the nature of your client’s business.
For instance, eCommerce stores are likely going to have different incentives they can offer than a financial services firm, so the key is to pick out what makes sense for your client’s business and what would resonate with their audience.
Some incentives you could use include:
If your client has a blog or is using other content marketing tactics to attract visitors to their website, then relevant, high-quality content is a great incentive to offer people to get them to join your client’s email list.
This can take many forms, and we’ve seen many companies excel using a variety of methods.
For instance, the folks over at Buffer write some amazing content on social media marketing and productivity on their blog. The quality of the content they offer is a valuable enough incentive to entice 1000+ people each week to subscribe to their email list just to receive updates when new blog posts are published.
However, the team at ConversionLab take a slightly different approach. They offer an exclusive incentive (in this case, 7 conversion rate optimization tips delivered via email) that isn’t available anywhere else on the web, encouraging people to hand over their email address to get the incentive and ultimately join their list.
Regardless of what approach you take with your clients, the key is to ensure the content is high quality and relevant to the target audience, otherwise it isn’t enough of an incentive for visitors to give over their email address.
If your client sells something online, then offering discounts or presenting various other value-added offers can be a great incentive for people to join the email list.
For instance, online cosmetic store La Mer offer a fantastic first-order discount to new visitors to incentivise them to join their email list.
This is a particularly effective technique as not only is the potential to save money a great incentive to subscribe to their email list, but the actual discount itself is also a great motivator to make a purchase. So by offering first-order discounts to potential customers, La Mer is both building their email list and increasing sales at the same time.
If your have built up a reasonable level of brand love over the years, then offering early access and exclusives as an incentive to subscribe can be extremely cost-effective.
For instance, hair care company Oribe has thousands of loyal followers around the world and offers exclusive, early access to new products and promotions as an incentive to subscribe to their email list.
Just like there are many incentives that can be offered, there are also numerous ways to make it easy for people to subscribe.
To help you maximise your success, we’ve outlined some of the best ways we’ve seen businesses create simple subscribe opportunities. Not every one of them is going to be relevant for you and your clients though, and the key is to pick the ones that best match where your clients are interacting with their potential subscribers.
Here are a few ideas:
If a lot of your client’s customer interactions happen online, then including a subscribe form on their website is a great way to build their email list.
But where exactly should you include it? There are an almost infinite number of options, but here are some of the most effective we’ve seen:
If your client sells something online, then you can use their signup and/or checkout forms to capture email subscribers.
Clothing brand Nau does a good job of this during their checkout process.
Given that people are already entering their name and email address as part of the checkout process, including a small tickbox to join the email list makes it super simple for people to subscribe.
If your client’s website has a form where people can contact them, request a demo, etc, then adding a subscribe tickbox to the form is a great way to capture new email subscribers.
These people are entering their details into the form already, and clearly have a strong interest in what your client offers.
ConversionLab does a great of this on their website, including a simple opportunity to subscribe to their newsletter at the bottom of their website’s contact form.
If your clients runs a blog to help build their business, then this is a great place to be adding a subscribe form. In fact, people who subscribe to blogs via email are often the most valuable readers, accounting for majority of comments and sharing content 3x more than other visitors.
Campaign Monitor customer Freshbooks do a good job of this. They offer a simple subscribe opportunity in a prominent popup that appears once you’ve been on their blog for a certain amount of time.
If your clients have built a following on social media channels like Facebook, then it’s a good idea to try and convert those followers into email subscribers as well.
There are a number of different methods for doing this, but here are two of our favourite:
If you and your clients are using Campaign Monitor, you can easily add a subscribe form to any Facebook page using our Facebook Subscribe Application.
As you can see above, the form creates a separate tab on your Facebook page, which people can navigate to, enter their details and join your client’s email list.
If your client is active on Twitter, then a great way to convert their followers into email subscribers is using Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards.
A Lead Generation Card is simply a link you include in a tweet that expands it out to allow people to subscribe to an email list directly from the Twitter interface.
It pre-populates a user’s full name, @username and email address (as entered in their Twitter account settings) into the expanded area of the Tweet, meaning they can subscribe without having to manually enter their details.
If you are a Campaign Monitor customer, you can easily set this up using these instructions. You can even directly link it to one of your lists so that any email addresses you capture flow straight in.
Depending on the size of your client’s business, there’s a chance they could be sending hundreds, or even thousands, of emails to customers and prospects each month.
These personal emails are often highly engaged with, and therefore the perfect place to insert a subscribe opportunity.
Heartbeat do a great job of this in their employee’s email signatures, including a link to a landing page that makes it simple for people they do business with to subscribe to their email list.
For some businesses, online channels like social media and the website simply aren’t the most common customer touchpoints.
For instance, retail stores interact with their customers face to face much more frequently than they do online. So how can these businesses provide simple subscribe opportunities to people to encourage them to join their email list?
Here’s a few things we’ve seen work well for others:
By getting employees to ask every customer at the point of sale if they’d like to join the email list (in return for a small discount on their purchase for instance), brick and mortar business can hit every possible customer with a very compelling and simple offer.
One of the easiest ways to get started capturing email addresses in person is to set up a basic signup form in-store.
Clients can do this the old-fashioned way by simply placing a pen & paper on the counter, or you can save them some hassle by using an app to automatically turn any iPad into a beautiful email subscribe form that connects directly to their Campaign Monitor account.
Manually writing down an email address is a pain, and can be a barrier to entry that prevents customers from subscribing to an email list.
So instead, provide a method (such as a glass bowl) for customers to drop their business card into.
Now that you know the 2-part formula for building a massive email list, it’s time to start working with your clients to put it into action.
To help you make this happen, we’ve pulled together a list of tools that you can use to collect email addresses and build your client’s email list.
If you’re a Campaign Monitor customer, there are a number of free tools available to you and your clients to capture subscribers. These are all available within the app and include:
The Subscribe Button is a small and elegant button you can add to any website to allow people to subscribe to an email list. When clicked, a small popup appears where people can enter their email address.
These email addresses are then automatically added to the chosen email list in Campaign Monitor. To get started using the subscribe button, follow the instructions in this help article.
The Subscribe Form is a simple HTML form that can be added to any website. You can set exactly what fields you want to capture (I.e. Name, Email, Location, Gender, etc) and it seamlessly integrates into the style of your client’s website.
Any email address entered into the Subscribe Form is automatically added to the chosen email list in Campaign Monitor. To get started using the subscribe form, follow the instructions in this help article.
The Subscribe Page is a landing page dedicated solely to capturing subscribers. It’s customizable to suit your client’s brand, lives at your custom URL and can display whatever fields you choose (I.e. Name, Email, Location, Gender, etc).
All email addresses entered into the Subscribe Page are automatically added to the chosen email list in Campaign Monitor. To get started using the subscribe form, follow the instructions in this help article.
The iPad Application is a customizable application that enables your clients to capture email addresses on an Apple iPad. It can be placed on the counter of your client’s retail store or used on the go at events and trade shows. It is fully customizable to suit your client’s brand and can capture whatever details required (name, email address, location, gender, etc).
To get started using the iPad Application, follow the instructions in this help article.
The Facebook Application is a customizable application that lives within your client’s Facebook Page, enabling people to subscribe directly from the page. It fits seamlessly into the design of your client’s Facebook Page and can capture whatever details you choose (name, email address, location, gender, etc).
To get started using the Facebook Application, follow the instructions in this help article.
If you’re looking to get a bit more advanced with email subscribe forms, there are a number of 3rd party tools available that integrate directly with Campaign Monitor and pass any email addresses captured into the chosen email list.
These 3rd party tools offer more advanced functionality than the default Campaign Monitor tools mentioned above, but can also cost an additional fee.
SumoMe is a suite of tools that help you add simple subscribe opportunities to your client’s website. Using SumoMe, you can add more advanced types of subscribe opportunities like popups, slide-ins, and header bars.
Best of all, SumoMe’s suite of tools integrate directly with Campaign Monitor, so any email addresses collected can be sent straight to the chosen list.
Optin Monster is an advanced tool that allows you to add various types of subscribe opportunities to your client’s website, including popups, slide-ins, header bars and more.
It features advanced customization and targeting options that allow you to show the subscribe opportunity on specific pages of your client’s website, or to specific visitors (like people coming from Facebook, or people who have never visited the site before).
Optin Monster integrates directly with Campaign Monitor, so any email addresses collected can be sent straight to the chosen list.
If you’re looking to build your client’s email list using email addresses your client already has (I.e. their existing customers), then integrating their CRM, accounting package or eCommerce platform with their email marketing tool can be a great way to automatically add new customer information to their email lists.
If your clients are using Campaign Monitor, they can benefit from deep integrations with CRM tools like Salesforce, as well eCommerce platforms like Magento and Shopify, to automatically add new customer information (including name, email address, last purchase date, amount spent, etc) to their email lists.
Alternatively, 3rd party integration tools like Zapier allow you to easily integrate over 500 other applications with Campaign Monitor, including Google Sheets, SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Quickbooks, Xero, Freshbooks, and more.
With Facebook making it harder for your clients messages to be seen and Twitter’s click-through rates declining, an effective email list is fast becoming a powerful marketing asset for any business.
By following the two-part formula presented in this guide and mixing a highly desirable incentive with several, easy to use subscribe options, you can help your clients build a massive email list that grows their business.