One of the most cost-effective strategies for driving web traffic and generating online leads is email marketing. Unfortunately, most small and mid-sized companies have an email database filled mostly of current clients, business partners and other friends of the firm. To put a fire under your email marketing and dramatically boost results, follow these seven steps for growing your email database.
Begin your email acquisition efforts by creating a reason to entice potential subscribers to turn over their coveted email address. Conduct an audit of all the original content you could offer subscribers -- either content you've already developed or could easily develop. Consider presentations, white papers, webinars, podcasts, case studies, articles, research, industry tools, and videos of training or keynote addresses you've delivered.
Next create a simple landing page for each of these assets that you'll ask new subscribers to complete in order to download that asset. Keep it simple with just a brief description of the content offered, a simple visual of it, and a short contact form. Ensure you provide enough of a teaser about the content to sufficiently entice the site visitor to subscribe, but not so much that they can do without the additional information. The fewer fields required to access the content, the higher your completion rate. In fact, consider making the only required fields name and email address. You can always make company, title, and phone number optional.
Next, work to convert your existing website traffic to email subscriptions by finding appropriate places on your website -- such as your blog, resources page and home page -- to promote your content offers. Design visually appealing banner-type ads accordingly that link to your newly created landing pages.
Promote your content offers through all of your active social media channels. LinkedIn is a particularly viable option for this purpose. Promote your content offer landing pages on both your personal profile and your company page. If you're a member of LinkedIn groups comprised primarily of your target market, promote your content offers through those groups. To ensure these group members don't consider your email opportunistic or spam, be sure to offer value with no benefit. Give away one content asset and promote a second that requires contact information in order to receive.
Lastly, organize each of your content assets into a resource center or library on your website to serve as an ongoing source of website traffic, email subscribers and new customers.
Most companies these days are already investing time developing original content of some kind. Why not get more value out of it by repurposing it in an effort to add valuable prospect email addresses to your database?
Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and CEO/Founder of RedRover, a sales training and marketing firm based in Memphis, Tennessee -- www.redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).