Email Marketing – 5 Steps for Building an Awesome List

PropelGrowth Blog - Financial Services Marketing

Christina Oswald offers 5 tips for building a relevant lead list from your email marketing.

Email marketing consistently scores as one of the most effective marketing tactics. But with all the marketing noise out there, it’s sometimes hard to get prospects to stop and read your emails. This is particularly true when you are contacting them by email for the first time.

At this delicate stage in your relationship, it’s very easy for a prospective customer to immediately delete or unsubscribe from your email campaign without a second thought. This can make building an email list incredibly difficult. But there are strategic steps you as the marketer can take to increase the odds that contacts will want to subscribe to your email marketing. Here, I’ll discuss five.

1. Show What’s In It For Them

Impactful subject lines are critical to getting people to open and read your email. I wrote in a previous post about how important it is to not treat your subject line as an afterthought.

Instead, you need to give careful thought into crafting your subject line. In as succinct a way as possible, describe how the recipient will directly benefit from reading your email. If you can make your audience understand how you will make them better informed or more successful, then they’ll be chomping at the bit to read more. Don’t be afraid to use “power” words like “looming,” “eye-opening” or “miraculous.” Such language can make your message seem pressing and help your email stand out from the proverbial pack. But be careful not to over do it with these terms. Test your email in a spam checker to ensure that you don’t introduce language that might land your message in junk mailboxes or spam traps.

2. Shake Up Your Email Marketing

Let’s face it – most B2B email communications are snooze-worthy. They contain stuffy, impersonal language and bland stock imagery. Plus, many times these messages come from a generic company email address, making it seem as though there is no real person behind the brand.

But you can breathe life into your message by approaching prospects in a conversational, respectful tone, and ensuring that your email is being sent from an individual at your company as opposed to an automaton. In terms of layout, try toning down your corporate look by creating a more simplistic design. Steer away from distracting imagery or sidebars that only serve to compete with your message. Furthermore, don’t forget to optimize your email for mobile viewing. With most people regularly checking their emails on their phones, this has never been so important.

3. Don’t Underestimate the Power of a CTA

Getting caught up in perfecting language or even the logistics of sending out an email causes many marketers to neglect their call to action (CTA). But really, this is the most essential component in getting people to act on your message.

CTA buttons should be prominent, compelling and clearly direct prospects on how to take advantage of your offer. The text of the email needs to be tight and to the point, in order to place the main emphasis on the CTA. As for design, ensure that your CTA button is big enough to be noticed, but not so large as to be overwhelming. It’s also a good idea to use attention-grabbing colors that provide a good contrast with the rest of the page.

4. Consider Day and Time

A typical question on the tips of marketers’ minds is, “When should I send my emails for best results?” Unfortunately, there is no set formula that applies to all businesses across the board, so you really need to test what works best for you.

But generally speaking, many studies have found that sending emails mid-week (on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) yield the best response. When it comes to timing, refrain from blasting emails too early in the day. They’ll only get overlooked amidst the hustle and bustle of people’s busy mornings. Experts have suggested that afternoons between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. are likely a better time for getting your message noticed.

5. Ask Your Contacts to Opt In

One last best practice for building up a viable email list is asking your contacts to opt in to your communications. As opposed to simply asking them to opt-out, requesting an active opt-in will show you which recipients want to receive your emails.

This approach will allow you to generate a list full of individuals who are genuinely interested in hearing from you, rather than a group annoyed that they’ve been added to your list without consent.  One marketing study confirmed this hypothesis. It showed that open rates for emails being sent to customers that had opted-in were on average 82 percent higher than the open rates for those contacts that had merely opted out.

If your recipients are located outside the US, you’ll need to understand and comply with the laws of that country. Using a double opt-in policy that complies with the strictest regulations ensures that you don’t run afoul of various laws.

The Importance of an Engaged List

Whether you’re a new business trying to build an audience, or an established one looking to fine-tune your practices, an engaged subscriber base is paramount to the success of your email marketing program. Pay attention to the content and layout of your emails, test when and how to reach out to your list, and email only those who subscribe in order to generate an ROI from your email marketing programs.

What tactics are you using to build up your email list? Please share them in the comments section below.

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