5 Step Email List Building Refresher

The days of “email blasts” are in the rear-view mirror, and today’s modern marketers are aspiring to send highly targeted, personalized email campaigns that deliver relevant experiences to their subscribers.

Consumers expect to see the right message to the right person at the right time. This is the new age of email marketing

However, to power those messages, marketers have come to realize they don’t just need a large email list–they also need a quality email list.

5 Steps to creating a quality email list

Having a massive email list means nothing if it’s filled with inactive subscribers, or worse, subscribers that find your content irrelevant and mark it as spam.

If this is the case, you’re likely to see massive declines in some of your most vital email benchmarks, along with a rise in the undesirable ones, including your unsubscribes, spam reports, and more.

The key is no longer building the biggest email list you can. Instead, you want to focus on building a healthy, powerful list that serves an audience that wants to hear from you. If you’re new to email marketing or are simply looking for a quick refresher on how to create your email list, here’s our simple five-step process.

1. Choose the right email marketing software.

Not all email software is created equally. While there are plenty of free email software options for those looking to save a few bucks, they don’t always provide the services that you need. For example, the average Gmail account only allows sending and receiving from a single address. That means a brand using this method has to create multiple accounts necessary to run their brand. Meanwhile, G-Suite allows brands to create custom email addresses and create more than one address so that multiple people/departments can have a brand email. 

When looking for the best email marketing software for your brand, consider the following:

  • What are you willing to spend?
  • What features does your team require?
  • How many users can use the software?
  • Available integrations 

2. Build a subscribe form.

Once you’ve got your email software up and running, it’s time to turn to your website and social media platforms to start encouraging subscriptions from your current audience. However, to do this, you need to have a subscription form designed and ready to use

As a marketer, you know collecting relevant data is vital. However, when trying to build your email list, you don’t want to ask too much of your new subscribers. It’s better to keep things as simple as you can. Remember, these are individuals who happened to find your site in search of information, so you don’t want to scare them off. 

simple email list subscribe form

Source: WordPress

3. Utilize double opt-ins.

Once you’ve started collecting emails from your new subscribers, you want to make sure you are building a list of people who genuinely want to be a part of it. The only way to do this is by using double opt-in. Many individuals sign up for an email list for a special incentive. Once they get it, they tune out or unsubscribe. 

So, to ensure you are collecting the right names for your list, send a second opt-in email asking them to verify that they want to be on the list. 

double-opt-in-example

Source: Really Good Emails

4. Offer value to readers with every send.

Once you’ve started gaining subscribers, you must provide them with value consistently. They’ve come to you for something, so make sure you are addressing whatever it is you’ve told them you could help with. 

This can be done through newsletters, blog sharing, sharing curated news, and so much more. Just make sure you are sending relevant information, or your list will start to check out. 

5. Maintain a healthy list.

Finally, once you’ve started growing your list, you want to make sure you are maintaining a healthy list. A healthy email list is one that contains active subscribers that are interacting with your messages regularly. If you start to notice a decrease in activity, such as email opens and click-throughs, then it’s time to see who is still active and who isn’t. If someone hasn’t interacted with your brand in some time, then try to re-engage with them. If they still don’t respond, then it’s time to remove them from your list. 

re-engagement email

Source: Really Good Emails

Wrap up

We’ve written about how to grow your list like a superhero and tips for improving your email sign up forms, and now we’ve wrapped it all up in an ultimate guide. This new guide outlines the 2-step process for capturing email addresses and includes numerous tools you can use to build a large, quality email list that can help grow your business.

Get your hands on the Ultimate Guide to Email List Growth today and discover how you can combine quantity and quality to grow a productive email list for your business.

The post 5 Step Email List Building Refresher appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

How Publishers Can Create and Use Effective Email Signup Forms

As a media or publishing company, you’re constantly looking for new ways to reach your audience with digital marketing.

You’re the best in the business, and that comes with high expectations to consistently develop content that inspires action.

While publishers have the opportunity to use social media to drive conversions, email marketing remains an effective tool to engage your audience and boost the bottom line.

Why?

Modern consumers are tired of seeing the same sponsored ads over and over again. They can see past superficial promotions and, instead, want brands to develop more personal marketing that feels like a one-on-one conversation.

Email solves this problem for publishers by opening up more avenues to send relevant and personalized messages to each of their subscribers.

In fact, personalized emails receive a 25% higher open rate than non-personalized ones, and 52.7% of surveyed consumers check their accounts more than 10 times a day. To sweeten the deal, there are over 2.6 billion email users worldwide, meaning email has 3 times as many users as Twitter and Facebook combined.

Email is here to stay, and it offers your publishing company a huge opportunity. Where do you start? An email signup form for publishers to attract more potential subscribers.

If you’re wondering how to create an email signup form for your publication, we’ve got your back.

Why are email signup forms important for publishers?

Before diving into how to create an email signup form for publishers, you need to understand why it’s a staple for your publishing email strategy. An email signup form is a way to collect email addresses from leads, which are added to your contact list.

In fact, growing your email list with signup forms is one of the simplest ways to capture existing traffic.

While a signup form is a smart move for many reasons, the main one is growing a list of opted-in subscribers who want to hear from your company. Additionally, signup forms help balance out attrition rates, which average at about 2%.

When a subscriber gives you their email address, they’re actively open to receiving your content and on the way to becoming loyal brand advocates. When you have opted-in subscribers, your email engagement rates increase to establish long-term conversions.

How to create an email signup form for publishers

Email is a win-win for your publishing company and one of the best ways to diversify your reach. To get started, you need to create a signup form on your website.

Let’s review three ways you can create an email signup form with Campaign Monitor.

Hosted signup page

You can use a signup page hosted by Campaign Monitor for maximum ease of use. Signup pages are standalone landing pages with a unique URL that you can share and promote to attract new subscribers.

Here are the steps needed to build your signup form:

  1. Click “Lists & Subscribers” and choose a relevant list
  2. Click “Signup Forms” and select Link to a signup page
  3. Customize your signup form and click “Save” to generate the link

Customize Signup Form Page with Campaign Monitor

Source: Campaign Monitor

In a few simple steps, publishers can quickly set up email signup forms without needing to know any code. You can customize the form with text, background color, CTA button, permission settings, and more to grab your lead’s attention.

Embedded signup form

If you want more customization, embedding a form into your website is a great way to give your publishing company more flexibility, in terms of style and placement. For embedded forms, you can develop HTML and JavaScript within the Campaign Monitor app and use the form builder to style it with CSS. Note that you need to understand HTML and CSS to work with this technology.

To get started with embedded signup forms, follow these steps:

  1. Click “List & Subscribers” and select the list you want to collect signups for
  2. Click “Signup Form” on the right sidebar and paste the code in your site
  3. Choose whether you want to create your styling with HTML or CSS or use Campaign Monitor’s style option
  4. Customize your signup form to your brand standards, if applicable
  5. Click “Save” to generate the final code
  6. Copy the HTML code and paste it into your website

Create a Custom Signup Form with Campaign Monitor

Source: Campaign Monitor

Embedded forms give you more flexibility to choose custom form fields and design them to match your publisher’s branding. Additionally, you can embed the form anywhere in your website to offer more opportunities to increase your conversion rates. For example, if you see users are landing or dropping off on a certain landing page, consider embedding a signup form on those pages to capture their contact information.

Pop-up forms

If you want to reach website visitors quickly instead of nurturing their experience, you can add a pop-up form to encourage them to sign up as soon as they enter your website. Adding pop-up forms is relatively easy:

  1. Click “Lists & Subscribers”
  2. Choose the list you want the pop-up form to feed into
  3. Click “Signup Forms” and choose the type of pop-up form you want
  4. Customize your form
  5. Click “Save” and publish
  6. View the code and copy the script code
  7. Paste the code into your website’s HTML before the closing </head> tag
  8. Save and publish the updates to your website

As with the other Campaign Monitor form options, you can customize the form’s aesthetics, set privacy, and adjust your confirmation messaging.

Email signup form best practices

Before you start promoting your email form, it’s important to use best practices to get the most out of your strategy. When building your form, consider these highlights:

Use a valuable lead magnet with a strong CTA.

Your leads should know the value you’re offering them when they complete the form. In a world of data privacy concerns, consumers have grown wary of submitting contact information. Add a catchy headline and brief description that helps your lead learn more. For example, instead of saying “sign up for our weekly newsletter,” say “sign up for our weekly newsletter to learn exclusive insider information from experts,” for example.

With consumers receiving over 121 marketing messages a day, your call to action needs to stand out and persuade your lead to take action. Here are a few tips:

  • Use an actual button to draw your visitor’s eye
  • Design the button with contrasting colors and font from the rest of the form
  • Write a personalized copy with “my” instead of “you”
  • Use words like “get” and “learn” to imply the user gets something in return

 Livingly Creates a Bold CTA Button

Source: Livingly

Use a double opt-in process.

More email signups are great, but, as a publisher, you want qualified signups that push your company forward. To promote quality form signups, create a double opt-in process that asks your subscriber to confirm their subscription twice.

The first time is when your users submit their information through your web form, and the second time is often an email confirmation. This method ensures your leads want to hear from you.

Keep it simple.

When a lead comes across your form, they should be able to quickly enter their information, hit “submit,” and move on. A successful publishing signup form needs to be concise and straightforward. If you ask for too much information right away, you may overwhelm your visitor and turn them off from your website.

If you want to develop a simple form that drives action, all you need is an email address to get started.

Morning Brew Keeps Form Simple By Asking for Email Address

Source: Morning Brew

Use a signup form to drive your marketing strategy.

Understanding how to create an email signup form for publishers is critical to your success. However, you also need to build a robust email marketing strategy that helps you build a long-lasting subscriber list that grows over time.

Developing a cross-promotional marketing strategy centered on your signup form is a step toward elevating your brand. While your signup form is the beginning point of your user’s journey, you need to center additional marketing channels around your goal. These include the following:

  • Social media: Engage with subscribers on social media to promote your brand and encourage their engagement. Many social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, allow you to create a separate signup form directly on the platform.
  • Content marketing: When you develop videos, blogs, or webinars, drive awareness around your email newsletter by using a CTA at the end.
  • Gated content: Offer an incentive, like an eBook or checklist, to offer added value.
  • Affiliate advertising: Work with an influencer relevant to your audience to promote your email list.

Once you’ve earned quality subscribers, you need to keep providing content that meets customer demand and stands out in a crowded inbox. From there, you can continue with additional digital tactics, such as targeted ads, webinars, or email journeys, that are personalized to the customer’s interest, actions, and more.

Wrap up

Publishing companies are always looking for ways to build new relationships and further brand awareness. Unlike social media sites, email marketing offers a unique opportunity to create a personal relationship with each subscriber.

To get started on your email marketing journey, you need to develop an email signup form. You can choose which form best fits your publishing needs to create a premier customer experience:

  • Signup page that’s hosted by Campaign Monitor
  • Embedded signup form that allows for ultimate customization
  • Pop-up forms that quickly connect with subscribers

With all forms, you need to keep branding, permissions, and data collection in mind.

Are you ready to take your publishing company to the next level? Try Campaign Monitor out for free.

The post How Publishers Can Create and Use Effective Email Signup Forms appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

7 Content Upgrades You Can Use to Grow Your Email List

Today’s marketers are faced with a variety of ways to communicate with their audience. The advent of digital marketing has allowed businesses to reach a broader target audience more cost-effectively.

Most consumers prefer email as their primary source of information from businesses they follow. Blog posts are also an effective way to increase ROI. In fact, 57% of marketers claim they’ve acquired customers through their blog posts alone.

Blogs serve several purposes. They allow you to post quality content on your website, which can increase SEO and boost your business in search engine rankings. They also enable you to expand your contacts. Provide more value and grow your email list with content upgrades. Not sure how to work this into your email marketing strategy? Campaign Monitor can help.

Why content marketing is a valuable asset

Blog posts fall under the category of content marketing. It’s digital material that builds interest in a product or service but doesn’t necessarily promote a brand. It necessitates a strategic approach focused on distributing relevant, useful content that resonates with a target audience. Its goal is to convert contacts to profit.

Content marketing can be anything from educational articles to instructional videos answering specific questions and providing information not found elsewhere. It’s a great way to help your product stand out from the competition, as well as portray your business as an authority on subjects that are important to prospective customers. This helps build customer loyalty and assists in strengthening your brand.

People are looking for information online. By answering their questions through content marketing, you’re providing valuable information that equates to improved search engine rankings. This leads to the right people finding your products and, ultimately, generates revenue. According to 74% of companies surveyed, content marketing has increased their number of quality leads. It’s clearly an invaluable tool for improving SEO and turning leads into profit.

How to use content to grow your email list

Your email list is crucial to the success of your digital marketing campaigns. These subscribers are individuals who’ve already alerted you, stating that they need your product. They consist of quality leads who are now easy to reach. The more quality emails you have on your list, the better.

Content marketing generates three times more leads than outbound marketing. The idea behind it is that people will share their contact information in exchange for valuable information. If viewers see a compelling resource on your website, there’s a chance you can get permission to contact them again. This enables you to gather quality email addresses that can be converted into customers.

Visitors are ultimately subscribing for free content, which enters them into your funnel. Determine your prospects’ needs and create content that fulfills those needs. The free content you offer should be useful and increase your credibility. By building trust, people will be more likely to leave their information with you for future communications. The more people whose needs you meet, the more quality email addresses you’ll acquire.

7 ways to upgrade content to grow your email list

Content upgrades are additional giveaways on your website that viewers can access in exchange for their email address. These materials meet a specific need that people are already exploring on your site. Here are seven ways to upgrade the content on your website to help grow your email list.

1. Gated content

Gated content is a way to gather qualified leads on your website. Its online material that’s locked behind a form readers must complete before gaining access. It could be guarding a video, the entirety of an online article, or a blog post. However, even though the information is locked, content continues to be available to search engines, so SEO isn’t impacted. Research shows 80% of B2B content marketing materials are gated.

Gated content gives material a higher perceived value and tempts visitors to complete a lead capture form, so they can see the information hidden beneath. Forms could require basic contact information. They could also offer more insight by asking in-depth questions like interests and behaviors. Once you’ve obtained this information, use it to strategize a marketing plan to grow your revenue.

Example of gated content

Source: The Times

2. How-to guides

When presenting complex information, sometimes it’s best to provide an abridged outline. People don’t necessarily want to invest a lot of time in learning new information. They often want to jump right in and get started. Provide a simplified guide that’ll save readers time while delivering valuable information.

For readers who are looking for more in-depth guidance, consider a comprehensive guide that walks readers through each step. Use images, infographics, and diagrams to offer visual interest and help to create digestible material for which people would be willing to trade their email address.

Content upgrade of a how-to guide

Source: Backlinko

3. Mini ebooks

Maybe you’ve written a series of articles that all discuss the same topic. Or perhaps you have several articles that could be categorized into themes. Either way, consider combining several previously written articles into mini ebooks that readers can download, once they’ve offered their email address.

Use analytics to choose popular posts on a related subject. Package them together as a PDF and offer these as bonus material. Promote them on each of the book’s original blog posts. The final product should be manageable, concise, and easy to digest. Overwhelming material won’t entice people to leave their contact information with you in return for eBook access.

Content upgrade with an eBook offer

Source: InstaPage

4. Checklists

Part of the appeal of content upgrades is that they make the execution of your article’s strategies easy for your readers. Checklists are great because they’re usually something people want to print and keep handy. This means you’re reaching your audience when they first download the material and every time they reference the printed copy.

Checklists are ideal for longer educational posts that cover several steps. Ideally, they could easily be divided into simplified, actionable points. Think step-by-step instructions, project materials, or bullet points taken from a more in-depth guide. The beauty of checklists is that readers love them, and they don’t take a lot of time for you to create.

Content upgrade offer of a checklist

Source: StartupDevKit

5. Printables

People are busy and often multi-tasking while online, so offering a downloadable PDF version of your articles will likely be more enticing to your website visitors. Repackage the posts with full-color graphics and easy-to-read formatting. Seventy-five percent of content marketers experience higher ROI when visuals appear in their content.

Printable files offer users a chance to display the information where they can reference it as needed. You might include an uplifting message or motivational quote, something to give even more value to the material.

Content upgrade offering a downloadable .PDF

Source: RazorSocial

6. Video or audio recording

Video is engaging, informative, and entertaining, and 64% of B2B companies cited podcasts as valuable content when beginning their buying journey. When writing a blog post, review past files to determine whether you’ve recorded a webinar, podcast, or another informational multimedia file relevant to your current post and offer the recording as bonus material.

If you don’t have something in the vault, consider creating a how-to video or an audio recording of yourself reading the post aloud. A multimedia summary is a great way to give visitors the freedom to absorb your educational information at their own leisure. It wouldn’t take you long to do, and it’d be an invaluable tool to encourage visitors to leave their contact information.

Content upgrade offering a webinar

Source: Kissmetrics

7. Reports or case studies

Conduct a survey, do some research, or learn more about a topic that’d interest your target audience. Share a case study about your own success and use your findings and experience to write a report that’ll further educate your readers about their interests. This process will also benefit you as you become known as an expert in your subject.

Content upgrade offering a downloadable report

Source: Lithium Technologies

Content upgrade best practices

Content upgrades can help grow your email list. Whatever content upgrade you choose to add to your website, you’ll achieve more success by answering these three questions.

Is it relevant?

Site-wide upgrades can certainly assist in capturing contact information. However, an upgrade that relates directly to the blog post a reader is exploring at that time will result in better conversions. Target your audience thoughtfully and create offers that’ll be the most useful.

Does it have value?

Remember, these offers are considered an upgrade. If someone is willing to provide their contact information, they expect worthwhile materials. Anything less will damage your credibility and lose their trust, so create materials that are high quality, useful, and provide a real solution to a problem or answer to a question.

Is it appealing?

Go the extra mile to make these giveaways something special. People value their contact information and don’t give it away to just anyone, so be sure what your visitors are getting in return is something attractive, professional-looking, and a true upgrade.

Wrap up

Content marketing is an effective way to drive traffic to your website and help gather contact information. Any email marketer can encourage email signups by incorporating these easy content upgrades into their website:

  • Gated content
  • Guides
  • Mini eBooks
  • Checklists
  • Printables
  • Video or audio recordings
  • Reports or case studies

By offering bonus materials that are relevant, valuable, and appealing, any business can grow their email list with quality content.

The post 7 Content Upgrades You Can Use to Grow Your Email List appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

How to Use Free Online Courses to Quickly Grow Your Email List

This is a guest post from Kevin Payne.

Before any business can make a sale, it first has to get leads.

Lead generation remains one of the most important processes you should be investing in, but, when it seems like everything’s been said and done, how do you differentiate from the crowd and score highly engaged and qualified leads?

In this blog post, we want to show why a free online course might be your next big lead generation tactic. Keep reading because we’ll show you why an online course is an effective way to grow an engaged email list quickly.

Read on to get the steps you need to create and promote your very own high-converting free online course.

Why use free online courses in your marketing funnel?

Curious about why a free online course should be part of your list building campaigns? Here are 4 compelling reasons.

You can provide instant high value.

While lead magnets like PDFs or workbooks also provide information or takeaways, an online course is able to deliver more value, as you take subscribers through different actionable lessons geared towards a specific learning outcome.

A course may also have higher perceived value than other types of opt-ins because of the scale of this type of opt-in. By giving a free opt-in with immense value right off the bat, you’re then positioning your paid offers as extremely valuable.

Subscribers are taken through the Know-Like-Trust journey faster.

Another reason a free online course is an effective addition to your online funnel is because it accelerates your sales cycle with your leads. An online course is a way to take subscribers through the Know-Like-Trust journey faster and in a single touchpoint.

Here’s exactly how a free online course takes subscribers through this journey:

Know. Through your course, subscribers already know your business and are beginning to know just what it is you can offer.

Like. By giving them multiple free lessons meant to help them attain a specific outcome, subscribers can appreciate the effort and scale your brand is giving them.

Trust. An online course establishes your credibility and authority in the field. If you do the work and pack your course with great content, subscribers are more likely to trust your expertise faster than your competitor.

You give your subscribers multiple quick wins.

In the age of digital, people now more than ever are exposed to instant gratification and quick wins. As marketers, we know that delivering a quick win is one way to delight our subscribers and associate our brand with positive outcomes and results.

Because you can design a free online course with multiple lessons and each with a specific actionable next step for subscribers, you’re essentially giving them a quick win after each lesson. Unlike, say, a PDF that contains all the same information, in an online course, one lesson can give its own feeling of a win.

A free course is an extra touchpoint.

A study by McKinsey showed that people are more likely to buy from a brand after they’ve engaged with them via multiple digital touchpoints. This study only emphasizes the importance of omni-channel marketing and including as many touchpoints your market may interact with.

A free online course is an additional touchpoint for your brand. Combined with an effective lead nurturing strategy, existing social media campaigns, and other brand assets you might have, you’ll be more likely to convert these new leads into sales.

How to use free online courses to quickly grow your email list

Are you ready to design and publish your first online course to grow your email list? Just take a look at these steps.

Decide where and how to host your course.

Because online courses are only increasing in popularity, so too have your options on how to host and deliver your course. Here are some common options for online course hosting:

Third-party Learning Management Systems (LMS)

With a third-party learning management system (LMS), your course is hosted on a separate platform. Popular options of LMS include Teachable or Thinkific.

The pros of using a third-party LMS is that your free online course content is delivered in a streamlined manner that’s easy for subscribers to navigate, as well as having multiple integration options to connect to your email marketing provider.

But cons include added monthly cost, not being able to completely customize the look and feel of your course to match your website completely, and subscribers having to go to a completely different domain to access course content.

Source: Course Method

Self-hosted courses on website

One great alternative to an LMS is self-hosting your course on your website. This is one of the more cost-effective options, especially because you can combine low-cost website hosting and online course plugins like LearnDash to create and deliver your course.

Some course building plugins that allow you to self-host your courses on your website only charge a one-time fee instead of a subscription, and your subscribers don’t have to leave your website to access your course content.

Source: Blog Marketing Academy

Self-hosted online courses mean your subscribers don’t have to visit different domains to access course content.

Email drip courses

And yet another option to host your course is to use your existing email marketing provider to deliver your course content. Set up a drip campaign to deliver course content over a number of days to keep subscribers excited.

Make sure each lesson is in a well-designed email template to make it easy for subscribers to go through.

Zoom in on a specific problem your course will address.

Next, you’ll want to highlight exactly what problem your free online course can solve. For this step, it’s helpful to refer back to your buyer persona, so you can determine which problems of your customers are addressable with an online course.

Because your online course is meant to be bite-sized and actionable, commit to helping your customer with just one specific problem, instead of too many at once.

Source: L&T

Your buyer persona can help you identify one specific problem to solve for your target customer in your free online course.

Let’s illustrate this with an example.

Say a marketing agency identifies that one of their target customers’ pain points is improving their business’s SEO strategy, among others.

After evaluating their target customers’ typical path to purchase, they found that their buyers will often resort to trying to solve their problem by themselves before hiring a consultant or agency to help them instead.

Decide on main learning outcomes.

Once you’ve identified the problem you want to solve for your buyer, you can determine your main learning outcomes, which then inform the main content of your course.

Calling back the marketing agency example from the previous section: knowing what it knows about their customers’ needs, this same agency can create a free online course that shows their consumer exactly how to optimize their website for SEO with a few step-by-step guides.

Here are a few guide questions to help you set learning outcomes for a free online course:

  • By the end of the course, what should course takers know?
  • What terms, processes, systems, or tools should course takers be acquainted with by the end of the course?
  • What should course takers know how to do upon course completion?

Brainstorm other value-adding freebies to go with the course.

Another way to make sure visitors convert into course takers is to increase the perceived value of the free course.

While the main benefits or transformations your free online course offers may be enough in themselves, you might want to add extra incentives to both increase conversions and improve the course-taking experience.

Before you decide to create any new PDFs from scratch, do a content audit to check if there are existing marketing materials you can throw in together with your free course.

For example, a company like GetWeave was able to create a library of eBooks. If they were to create a free online course, they can repurpose some eBooks as bonus content to increase the value of the course.

Source: Weave

You can repurpose other free lead magnets to accompany your course.

Always end lessons with actionable next steps.

Tying in with our mention of quick wins in previous sections, design your course to give subscribers actionable next steps to implement your free course lessons.

These next steps can be one simple task that they can accomplish in a short amount of time.

For example, a free social media course about growing your Instagram following might have one lesson about optimizing your Instagram business profile.

The next steps for the course taker may be to implement what they learned about how to create a benefit-driven Instagram bio to get more followers and bio link clicks.

Design a high-converting signup page for the course.

Just like any lead magnet, a beautifully-designed landing page can greatly increase conversions and signups. For your online course, be sure to follow the best practices for landing page conversion optimization.

Specifically, you should:

  • Create a benefit-driven headline that shows visitors what the course is all about
  • Write effective copy that highlights the exact benefits and learning outcomes one can expect from your free course
  • Show mockups of lessons, PDFs, and bonus items to add tangibility to your offer
  • Use action words in your CTAs: “enroll now,” “take the course,” “get free access,” “start learning,” etc.
  • Over time, include any testimonials from course takers about the contents of the course
  • Practice landing page design best practices, including spacing, paragraph lengths, trust indicators, and the like

And, because over half of the total population is estimated to access the internet only from a smartphone, don’t forget to optimize your course signup page for mobile. Keep all signup elements, like buttons, above the fold to ensure the best conversions.

Source: Lead Injection

Create a drip email campaign to help pace course-takers.

To improve course experience for subscribers, add them to an email drip campaign that sends them reminders of when to check out new lessons.

If your course has 5 lessons, you can space each email reminder one day apart, so subscribers are prompted to check in every day.

Needless to say, this is the process you’ll already follow if you’re delivering your course content via your email service provider. But, if you host your free online course elsewhere, sending reminders will be a good practice to keep subscribers engaged.

Promote your course across different marketing platforms.

Maximize the power of your omnichannel marketing campaign by promoting your course across your existing channels. Here are a few ways you can start promoting your new free course to capture fresh leads:

  • Add links and CTAs in key areas of your website, including your header menu or pop-up forms
  • Talk about your free course on social media posts
  • Partner with influencers or key thought leaders in your niche to promote your course
  • Send cold emails to potential leads who may benefit from your course

Bonus tip: take subscribers through your sales funnel upon course completion.

After a subscriber signs up for a course, you can immediately take them through to the next step in your sales funnel: making a sale.

Leads who finish your free course are more likely to be warm. You’ve shown them your value, and they’re probably ready to buy from you straight away.

Freshbooks makes a good example of following up a high-value offer with making a sale. They offer users a free 30-day trial of their software and supply them with the option to learn the ropes using online self-paced courses.

So, after a subscriber has finished their free trial, together with the free learning resources, they’ll be more likely to purchase a subscription.

Source: Freshbooks

Wrap up

As marketers, it’s important to constantly look for ways to grow your email list quickly with highly targeted and qualified leads. An online course can be a great lead generation tool to have in your repertoire, best for its ability to instantly nurture and engage your target customers in ways like never before. Refer to this post to help you create a high-converting free online course and start seeing those leads flock to your email list.

Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant that helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.

The post How to Use Free Online Courses to Quickly Grow Your Email List appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

Exit Intent: How Does It Work?

Site visitors bring huge potential to your sales marketing funnel. 

You’ve sent dozens (maybe hundreds) of emails, posted on various social media channels relentlessly, and optimized your SEO and content to perfection. That’s all paid off by driving traffic to your website—traffic that can actually convert.

But what do you do when a visitor goes to leave the site without subscribing or taking action?

This is a golden opportunity to engage with your site visitor and turn them into an email subscriber.

Read on to discover how exit intent works, as well as some strategies and examples of exit intent popups in action.

How does exit intent work?

Getting visitors to your site takes time and resources—lots of resources. When they get to your site, you want to leverage every opportunity to convert them into paying customers or subscribers.

That means you need to analyze visitor behavior, like what pages get the most views and when people are most likely to make purchases.

One critical behavior you can take advantage of is exit intent. By reviewing certain visitor actions, you can determine when a potential customer is about to leave your site. The right digital marketing tools look at visitor actions like:

  • Where visitors move their cursor
  • How far a visitor scrolls through a page
  • How long a visitor remains idle
  • The activity level of a visitor
  • Previous site activity and history

Why is this information important? It gives you a chance to connect with your site visitor one more time, and it doesn’t cost a lot to implement in most cases.

What are exit intent popups?

You know when you’re browsing a website and, right before you close the browser or click on a different page, you get a popup asking you for your email address?

That’s an exit intent popup.

Creating a popup that drives traffic is more than just timing it correctly, though; you want to give your visitors a reason to become email subscribers. Better yet, you want them to become customers.

Common exit intent popup strategies include:

  • Offering a discount code or coupon
  • Creating a free eBook or guide to download
  • Encouraging visitors to read reviews or watch testimonials
  • Asking visitors to complete a survey
  • Directing them to a new site tool
  • Presenting them with items in their cart

The right strategy for your business depends on your goals. A survey can help you optimize your website and a discount code can inspire an immediate purchase.

Capture more email addresses on your website

Why are exit intent strategies important?

When a customer is ready to leave your website, you’ve lost an opportunity. Exit intent strategies help you capitalize on those last few seconds. Whether you want to capture emails for your entire website or just on a specific landing page, exit intent popups are an effective tool.

The most lucrative benefits to effective exit intent strategies are:

  • Email list growth: exit intent popups that ask for an email address can encourage 4% to 7% of your site visitors to join your list. That could lead to two new email addresses for every 100 site visitors.
  • Improved conversion rates: average conversion rates are 3.09%, but the best popups can have conversion rates from 10% to 60% if you optimize them properly.
  • Popup optimization: if you currently collect emails in a sidebar, consider switching to an exit intent popup to see an increase in your list growth as high as 1,375%.

Exit intent is an effective way to expand your email audience and increase your conversion rates. That means it can also improve your digital marketing ROI.

6 examples of effective exit intent popups from real ecommerce campaigns

While it might be tempting to avoid popups, it’s clear that you should use them in some capacity. These exit intent popup examples highlight best practices for collecting email addresses with popups.

1. Use creative language that engages your site visitors.

Phrases like “Before you go,” “Don’t leave yet,” or “Wait, we have something for you!” can catch your reader’s eye and encourage them to read through your offer. Keep the message concise and get straight to the value-add—you don’t want them to close your popup because it’s a novel. Use a clever opener write a short message and include a bold CTA.

Language with a sense of urgency can inspire action from your readers.

Source: Sumo

2. Consider the design of a popup when creating each campaign.

You don’t want popups that are blinding and intrusive. Think about how your logo will look on the popup, how other graphics might complement or clash with the colors, and what fonts you want to use to make the text captivating and easy to read. Consider how the popup is going to look against any animated graphics or videos playing on your site.

 Popup design is as critical as email and website design.

Source: WordStream

3. Add value that your site visitors can’t find with your competitors.

While discount codes and coupons can be an effective sales strategy, you might have other goals. By offering content like eBooks and industry updates, you can provide value to your potential customers and encourage them to convert. It also keeps them from unsubscribing to your email list and differentiates you from competitors that don’t focus on inbound content.

Your customers need to know what they get in exchange for their email address.

Source: AB Tasty

4. Make it easy for your site visitors to close the popup.

Although you obviously want your visitors to sign up for your email list, it’s a popup best practice to make it easy to close. Even the best exit intent strategies can be wrong about a visitor’s intentions, so you want to make it simple for people to get back to what they were doing. Design a popup with a clear “x” or “close” to give your customers an exit strategy of their own.

 A “close” option can keep from frustrating visitors that intend to purchase.

Source: Joann

5. Include a free gift to encourage visitors to convert.

If you sell physical products or want to encourage people to visit a brick-and-mortar store, you can use exit intent popups to offer a free gift with purchase. As with discounts and coupons, people are more likely to spend with a company that adds value to their purchase. Free gifts are a great way to increase conversions, but they can also provide an opportunity to give away promotional products.

Free gifts are one of many promotions you can use to grow your email list.

Source: Half Price Books

6. Ask for additional information if it makes sense.

Collecting email addresses is just one part of creating an email campaign. The more information you have about your potential customers, the more effective you can make your email personalization and list segmentation efforts. Don’t overwhelm your customers with a long form though. Limit it to two or three fields and don’t require your visitor to complete all of them.

Request additional information to complete your customer profiles.

Source: HomeGoods

How you can implement exit intent strategies that work

Implementing the right exit intent strategy takes a little bit of research and planning. You need to think about your audience, sales goals, and what value you can provide your site visitors. You also want to be able to communicate why people should sign up for your email list.

If you want to introduce an effective exit intent campaign, follow these simple steps:

  • Analyze your site heatmap: A heatmap will show you where your site visitors spend the most time and where they click most often. This can be incredibly useful for analyzing exit intent.
  • Determine the best offer: You’re asking for personal information, so add value to your exit intent popup. Your customers are a great place to start when you want to know what to offer.
  • Find the right marketing tools: The right marketing and analytics tools will help you assess your heatmap, analyze site traffic, and create a comprehensive marketing campaign.
  • Design a compelling popup: You don’t want to create an eyesore. Hire a designer or expert for whatever aspects you don’t feel confident in creating, like graphic design or analytics.
  • Optimize popup timing: Some popups will be more effective if you display them quickly, where others are more effective after an action-based trigger. Use A/B testing to decide.

Your exit intent strategy should be part of your marketing plan, not just a one-off strategy. That’ll help you figure out the best marketing channels for your business.

Learn to create a list with those email addresses

Wrap up

Knowing how exit intent works makes it easier to create a popup that complements your website. You can use marketing tools to find the right approach and implement an effective campaign. The following key takeaways are critical to implementing the right exit intent popups:

  • Your website is a goldmine of data for determining the right exit intent strategies.
  • Popups can be an effective way to collect email addresses if you time them properly.
  • Marketing tools will help you optimize your popup campaigns.

Find the right solution for your business by researching your visitor behavior and asking your current customers for feedback on ways to grow your list.

Want an effective email automation tool for your growing list? Campaign Monitor has a comprehensive set of features to boost your campaign performance.

The post Exit Intent: How Does It Work? appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

What is List Verification and Why is it Important?

With so many strategies to implement in the market these days – marketing automation, personalization, mobile experience — it can be tough to truly understand them all. If the importance of validating contact data has fallen into that mix for you, look no further. As the trailblazers of list verification, we are here to be your experts on this area of marketing and database management.   

We’ve answered a few questions below that we hear most frequently around list verification. 

1. What is list verification and why is it important? 

Even the best admins and marketing teams struggle with invalid contact information. Stale email addresses, misspelled mailing addresses, and fake phone numbers impact critical efforts across the company. These prevent you from reaching your customers and prospects and have direct impact on customer experience, your ability to hit sales numbers, and ultimately the bottom line.  

List verification directly solves these challenges, ensuring you’re collecting and utilizing valid contact information across the business.  

Our list verification solution helps you validate data in three different ways. 

  • Verify addresses live, at the source of input. If the email entered is not real, there is an immediate prompt for correction. 
  • Drag and drop existing lists into the web application and receive a breakdown of the validity of each email address.  
  • Verify email addresses directly within Salesforce and get warned when one is invalid, keeping your CRM data clean. 

Whether you implement just one or, ideally, each of the three options above, you’re on your way to maximizing the customer experience, protecting the email experience, and increasing ROI. 

2. What are invalid emails and why does it matter if I send to them? 

Simply put, an invalid email address is an email that does not exist.  

Stale or invalid email addresses negatively impact your sending reputation, raising a red flag to blacklists and mailbox providers as spammy behavior. In turn, this jeopardizes your connection with valid email subscribers.  

There are three ways we determine an invalid email address: 

  • Invalid Format 

The email address format is incorrect. For example, james0uwerwe#com is not in the correct email format of inbox@domain.com 

  • Invalid Email Domain 

The email address is associated with a domain that doesn’t exist. For example, briteeeeverify.com is not a real domain capable of sending and receiving email, so inbox@briteeeeverify.com is an invalid email. 

  • Invalid Email Account 

The email account does not exist at the given domain. This can be due to a typo upon collection, entering of a fake address, or it was once valid, but churned over time as mailboxes naturally shut down.  

3. Is there a way to verify phone numbers and mailing addresses? 

Yes! With our real-time API, you can not only verify email addresses, but also ensure both phone and mailing address contact fields are complete and accurate at the point of capture. The API can verify mailing addresses in the US and phone numbers in the US and Canada. This includes determining if a phone number is a cell, landline, or VOIP as well as its location: residential, business, or small office. 

4. How does the security around list verification work? 

One of your most valuable assets is the personal data of your customers and subscribers. To help keep that data secure, we limit how long we retain your verified lists in our system for download. After your records expire, you can still access your detailed results for each verified list, keeping your aggregated data close at hand for analytics, but personally identifiable information is removed for the safety of your subscribers. 

Additionally, we are proud to operate in the most privacy conscious, industry tolerant, PII sensitive, way possible. We practice the GDPR principles of data minimization and pseudonymization. We only store enough information to deliver our solutions. All data is encrypted in transit, and any personal data we receive is also hashed and encrypted at rest as well.

5. Why do I need a subscription instead of a one-time run? 

This is kind of like asking, “Why do I need to clean out the refrigerator? I did so 6 months ago”. Just like with your aging produce that has been sitting in the vegetable drawer, contact data goes stale. Some of this you may need to toss out while adding fresh items back in.  

By verifying your list only one-time, you’re harming your efforts in a couple ways: 

  • Point-of-collection captures are left out
    Capturing accurate data real-time from point of collection ensures your data is clean from the start. By only allowing accurate contact data into your CRM, you’ll reduce maintenance costs and gain better customer insights to leverage for crafting relevant, meaningful, and timely experiences and services.
     
  • Lists are constantly growing and evolving
    Ideally your subscriber list will constantly be growing in an organic way. As this takes place, new data is infiltrating your database. At the same time, already-captured data is aging and possibly becoming invalid. It’s crucial to stay on top of these changes with constant verifications.

6. I already use a marketing automation tool. How is this different? 

In its simplest form, the main job of a marketing automation tool is to send your email. However, there are typically not steps taken within this solution prior to a send to verify the addresses you’re sending to are valid. By integrating list verification with your ESP, you’re able to ensure you’re sending to real email addresses before you hit send. 

7. How do I justify the cost? 

A fake email is not just a lost opportunity. 25% of all email addresses collected are invalid, making it a financial liability. Sending to valid addresses increases engagement rates, improves reputation with mailbox providers, and drives more conversions. Want to see how it could impact your program specifically? Hop into this ROI calculator to run your numbers and see the potential impact.  

Whew, that was a lot! Hopefully that helps clarify any questions you may have had around list verification and its value to your email program. When implemented, list verification streamlines your subscriber list, improving your reputation and impacting conversions and ROI. It’s a must-have for any serious email marketer.  

Ready to verify your data? Click here to learn more about BriteVerify, the industry’s longest-standing and most complete email and contact verification solution. 

Have a question we didn’t cover? Contact us and we’d be happy to help. 

Check Your List Twice This Holiday Season

It’s the holidays and so many marketers are under pressure to deliver on their lofty goals, beat last year’s numbers, and go from red to black as early as possible. Email is a low cost, high margin medium, and executives all over the world are turning to email marketing managers and their digital team in hopes that their email marketing program will propel the business to levels this holiday season. 

Two common asks from the top? 

1. Mail to more subscribers—Let’s stretch the limit of who we’re mailing to. People are looking to shop this time of year and we don’t want to miss out on potential customers because we have suppressed subscribers who want to get mail from us.

2. Push email sign up at the point of collection—There’s no better prospect than a consumer standing at a register or in our store. Let’s incentivize our employees on the floor to collect email addresses and then mail away! 

As a marketer, both of these asks can be frightening. Naturally, you have suppressed those subscribers in the past for a reason. Mailing to them again without proper precautions can cause serious damage to your reputation and deliverability. Even more daunting is the idea of adding a large number of addresses to your list that are either riddled with misspellings or the customer made up on the spot and don’t actually exist. That is a surefire way to get blocked from the inbox.  

Check your list twice
To accomplish your two new directives while also protecting your access to subscribers inboxes, you need to verify each address before you add them to your list. To make help ensure thilist doesn’t contain invalid addresses that can harm your reputation and impact your KPIs, run these addresses through a list validation service. Email validation services are able to identify email addresses pre-deployment as either valid or invalid in three different ways.  

1. Determines if the email address follows the correct syntax and has the physical properties of an email address (i.e., does it have an @ symbol, Is the suffix a recognized email format, such as .com, .org, .net, .edu or .gov, etc.,) 

2. Authenticates the validity of the email domain (MX record) for the email address to make sure the email domain can send and receive emails. 

3. Connects directly to the email server to authenticate if the email address exists on the server.  

Once you verify which addresses are real addresses, segment the subscribers you don’t normally mail to into their own list for a while to monitor engagement and interaction with your mailings before you add them to your larger mailing list. Your email reputation is sensitive and is a constant focus for your team. One hiccup in your mailing strategy can cause problems that take months to clear up, ruining your entire holiday season. Make sure you aren’t adding any grinches to your list that will ruin Christmas.