Building an email list takes time and effort. It can take some time & effort to build your email list beyond just your members, but the benefits are well worth it. It’s an excellent way to gather and qualify leads, build relationships with your audience, and promote your members to the general public.
FAQ: Can the public sign up for your newsletter & what do you send them?
While it takes a bit of work, here are some ways to speed it up and grow your list faster:
Make Your Sign-up Forms Stand Out
Create sign-up forms that grab people’s attention and place your forms in a prominent spot on your site. Design the form so it’s different from the rest of the page and surround it with benefit-laden calls-to-action telling people what they can expect from signing up.
Placement is also important for getting people’s attention. Put your sign-up form multiple places on your website. Some places on your website you can put a sign up form include:
- Timed or Exit Pop-Ups
- Inside relevant webpages or blog posts
Name and Email Address Only
Your form should have just two fields to fill in – name and email address. Don’t ask for anything more than that. I know you want to know what business they work for or what city they live in, but the more you ask for, the less likely they will be to complete the form.
And besides, how often do you actually go & check that data?
Advertise Your Email List Everywhere
In addition to your site, tell people about your email list everywhere you talk to your audience. Advertise it on social media (including your profile), email signature, marketing materials, and anywhere else people might potentially see it.
Relevant: No Ad Space Left Unused: Promoting Your Chamber for Free
Emphasize the Benefits of Your List
Nobody cares about newsletters anymore – that is not a benefit. However, is what you’re putting in your newsletter beneficial? Consider, are your subscribers: First to know about new businesses? Local events? Getting must-know business advice?
What unique value does your list offer? Identify this and explain it everywhere you talk about your list. Frame it in terms of how your email content will improve their life.
Additionally, consider the main email list you’re growing. While you can also have email lists to grow potential member contacts, the primary email sign up you plaster everywhere is probably going to be a general interest or list of locals. Embrace it! You can promote local events & your B2C members to them.
Use a Lead Magnet
You can entice more people to sign up by using a lead magnet. This is a free piece of content that people can get in exchange for their name and email address.
The lead magnet should be relevant to the emails they’ll be receiving from you. You can also use lead magnets to segment people based on interests. For example, a lead magnet related to business tips can funnel people to a ‘potential members’ list. A different lead magnet redistributing your relocation guide can be a ‘general interest’ or ‘locals’ list.
You can create as many lists & lead magnets as you want!
Recommended: The 7 Most Common Types of Lead Magnets to Increase Email Subscribers
Offer a Content Upgrade
Another way to offer a taste of your list’s value is to offer a content upgrade. Give people a blog post, podcast, or other free content that shows what they’ll be receiving from your list. Then, tell them if they want more help with issues they’re facing, they can sign up here.
Another way to think of this is as a blog post where you still give good information, but the presentation slides, next piece of information, follow up tutorial, etc – something very specific and almost exclusive to what the post was about – is used as a lead magnet.
Tell People Offline
Don’t forget to tell people you meet offline about your list as well. You can ask walk-in visitors if they want to be on your newsletter. You can put a sign-up form at your table if you’re at a community expo. You can tease your email list in print ads or other offline marketing.
Monitor Your Marketing Results
Keep track of where the bulk of your new subscribers are coming from. For example, if you find that your Facebook page is driving more traffic, focus your efforts there. You may also try other social media sites to see if you get similar results. Alternatively, if you find that some marketing channel isn’t sending new subscribers, drop it and try another. This is how you discover what works best for your chamber so you can repeat what works.