The Secret to Email Marketing: List Growth!
That’s the title of the first section of The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing. That’s right. Jason and I dedicated an entire section of the book to email list growth. After all, if you don’t have a list of email addresses to send to … nothing else really matters.
Over the past few weeks I’ve made a concerted effort to practice much of what we preach in that section. Simply put: I’ve been pushing hard to grow my email list.
All of these efforts have led to my email list growing by 20% over the past 20 days!
As you can see by the pretty chart above, other than the February-April lull, my email list growth has been pretty steady. All of the sudden, the numbers began shooting up in October.
While this should not come as much of a surprise, in order to grow my email list, I’ve implemented many of the tactics we talk about in The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing. Specifically:
1. Make the opt-in process obvious and easy. Ask website vistors to subscribe. Since re-launching my new website earlier this month, I decided to give the email opt-in form prominent placement. As you can see below, it now sits in the top right of the header on every single page of my website.
Note: Here is how it looks on the homepage.
Thanks in part to this change, my second most-visited page over the past 3 weeks is my email opt-in page.
2. Provide incentive (WIIFM – What’s In It For Me?). When you click on the email banner, you land on the email opt-in page. On this page, I set clear expectations around the content - both in text as well as the preview link to a past email. I also include several testimonials from current email subscribers. In the next iteration of this landing page, I’ll be providing direct incentive for folks to opt-in (see comments below about the popup).
3. Using technology (QR Codes). I use this QR code on the back of my business card as well as in many presentations I give (see slides 2 and 112). The QR code points to … you guessed it! My email opt-in landing page. I recently included this QR code in a MarketingProfs Pro Seminar – over a dozen new opt-ins as a result. While not a ton, it’s better than nothing.
Try it now. Not working? You can opt-in here.
4. Use social media. I’ve been plugging my email opt-in on Twitter, with tweets such as these …
Tomorrow’s Waldow Social Weekly will be full of “the best of the best” email marketing news. Signed up yet? ar.gy/2C8Q
— DJ Waldow (@djwaldow) October 25, 2012
I also have been promoting it on my personal Facebook page.
One thing I’ve been watching closely are my key metrics – opens, click-to-opens, and unsubscribes. Over the past 10+ months, these metrics have remained steady:
- Open Rate: 38% average with a high of 53% and a low of 28%
- Click-to-Open Rate: 29% average with a high of 44% and a low of 15%
- Unsubscribes: a handful every month
My List Growth Goal for November: 50%
That’s right. You heard it here first. While I’m thrilled that I was able to grow my email list by 20% in the past 20 days, my goal for the month of November is to grow my email list by 50%!
Now, the question is … HOW?
First, I’ll continue to do everything that I’ve mentioned above. However, in addition, I’ll be implementing the following three tactics:
1. Using a popup (also known as BREAKING THE RULES!): Everyone hates popups. I know. I know. I know. So do I. So does Chris Penn. But as Chris recently found out, when he removed the popup, his list growth fell off the cliff.
In the book, Jason and I provide several examples of popups that have been quite effective in growing people’s email lists. So, I’m going to test it. Chel Wolverton is in the process of designing my new popup. Remember: Best practices are those that are best for your audience. Stay tuned.
2. Providing incentive: While I think The Waldow Social Weekly email kicks ass and the content stands on it’s own, I’m going to test providing some incentive. As of now, that incentive looks like a new eBook I published. Again, stay tuned.
3. This blog post: I’m hopeful that this blog post – all about how I’m growing my email list – will help to grow my email list. Makes sense, right?
So again, my goal for November is to grow my email list by 50%! While I realize that sounds awfully aggressive, I’ve always been of the “go big or go home” mindset.
You can help me reach that goal by opting in now to my email list. <–See what I did there?
P.S. Have you heard the news? Nick Westergaard and I have started a weekly podcast called The Work Talk Show, where we interview crazy-smart folks about how work gets done. This week’s guest is Ann Handley! Listen to what she has to say about working in virtual teams.
Are you someone who likes to break rules? Are you one of those people who is a bit on the rebellious side? If so, the book that my buddy Jason Falls and I just wrote, The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing: Grow Your List, Break the Rules, and Win, is right up your alley!
In the book, we talk about growing your email list as well as breaking “the rules” of email marketing. Break the rules and grab your copy today, right now. Here –> AVAILABLE NOW!
Reminder: There is no such thing as “best practices” when it comes to email marketing. Best practices are those that are best for your audience.