Building your mailing list – back to basics:
If you don’t have a mailing list, so you can contact the people visiting your site, you really need to read this post.
Many traditional business practices are relevant to website strategy.
In business I have failed more times than I have succeeded. Fortunately I’ve learned as much from my failures as from my successes.
The most important thing that you need to do in business is to get in front of people.
Then, when you are in front of people you need to, at least, set up the next exposure to your business or ideally get an appointment.
If you can not get appointments or set up the next exposure you are going to struggle.
What’s that get to do with websites?
If you have a website the first thing that you need to do is to get your website in front of people and then you need to set up the next exposure to your website.
If you make no attempt to do that it’s easy to assume that you will not see that visitor again, ever.
Or does your plan involve hoping that they will remember you and return one day?
This is how it works:
People have to be exposed to your business several times before they buy.
Within that process you have to build rapport,trust and get liked.
So if you make that exposure to your business a pleasant experience then people are far more likely to buy.
Sounds like we are going to have maintain contact with and to be nice to people – can we do that – yes, of course.
So what’s the plan?
We can start by giving away something for nothing.
People are always looking for something for nothing, right.
How about some free knowledge, that will give you a great opportunity to prove that you are useful to know, builds rapport, builds trust and could lead to the next exposure to your website.
That seems to tick a lot of boxes.
Next thing you know you will be asking people to sign up for your mailing list, so you can tell them about more free knowledge that you are giving away.
There’s the best bit:
IF they like the free stuff you gave them – they will sign up.
Now that sounds like you are on your way to getting yourself a direct marketing channel. Well done you.
Here’s the bottom line:
Building a mailing list to reach out and draw visitors back to your site when you have added something new and interesting is going to be your trump card.
It’s importance can not be understated.
A mailing list is traffic in your back pocket.
It’s also your existing client base, who might refer your business to others as you continue fostering your relationship with them.
It’s is also a list of potential clients who have expressed an interest in your product but are not ready to buy yet.
This is what happened to me:
I was on SitePoint.com mailing list for 2 years before I made a purchase with them.
The repeated exposure to their site made it very easy to buy when the time was right.
There kept telling me about new articles (great content) that showed off their knowledge of the subject I wanted to learn.
Then one day they offered me a book, containing in-depth knowledge (a content upgrade). It was exactly what I needed. I didn’t hesitate. I am sure they also had plenty of data regarding my responses to their newsletters and my activity when on their website. Helping them to suggest the most appropriate title.
Are you beginning to see how this works:
I have since made 30+ purchases and now pay a monthly subscription to them.
Their newsletter kept drawing me back and engaging me and making sure their site didn’t become a dim and distant memory to me and most importantly – built trust.
It’s was all about getting their website KNOWN, LIKED and TRUSTED.
A great newsletter (repeated exposure) will do that for you with clients. Plus the search engines will see that you can reach out, draw in and engage an audience. Happy days!
The first thing you have to take on board when reaching out to your audience is:
You are promoting your website content.
More of that free stuff that you are giving away, that’s what they signed up for.
You are not promoting your products.
Of course you are selling something, people get that, but if that is your only message it’s all going to be a bit dull and they will unsubscribe.
Give and you shall receive:
Keep giving good free information (keeping the exposures going) and people will more than likely buy from you, when the time is right, that’s something I’ve also learned about business, it’s all about getting the timing right.
There may be a time when the customer needs what you are selling.
So keeping in contact, keep being around and when the time is right (no one knows when it is going to be) you are going to be in far better position to make that sale, leaving your competition – no where – is that what you are looking for.
Time for a quick re-cap
In an earlier post we talked about improving visitor engagement.
Now we see the benefits of having a mailing list (staying in contact with visitors/customers/prospects).
What about the bits in between?
So it is very easy for me to simply say “start building your mailing list” and glossing over how that is actually done.
So I will show you
So where to start:
Well it’s pretty difficult to look past SumoMe
WordPress users can use a plugin (no code required) to install and connect to SumoMe.
In the admin section of your WordPress site:
Plugins > Add New > type SumoMe into the search bar > Click intstall
Other website owners will have to copy a code snippet into the header of their sites.
Within minutes you will be able to deploy various sign up forms:
A Welcome Mat (full screen)
Smart Bar (bar at the top or bottom of the screen)
Scroll Bar (appears when page scrolled a preset %)
These are available by clicking on the Sumo Store option and then selecting a sign up process of your choice.
All this and much more comes with the free version and of course there are various pro versions available once you have created an audience.
Anyone who is serious about their website should check out this platform.
All I would say is start collecting email addresses – even if writing and producing a newsletter is a dim and distant thought for you.
No one will complain about not receiving a newsletter some time down the line.
Just get that mailing list started – sooner rather than… oh to late
These are the headlines regarding WHY, WHEN and WHERE
Carrot content – bribing visitors with free stuff, you would be a bit worried if people signed up for no good reason!
Landing pages – big call to action above the fold.
“Happy” buttons – change the default button text from “Sign Up” something more original “Yes I want to be a design guru”.
Two-step opt-ins – cuts down on fake email addresses.
Entry pop-ups – timing is everything.
Exit pop-ups – last ditch attempt.
“Painful” buttons – sarcasm.
End-of-post forms – if they are still there that has to be a good sign.
In-line forms – placed within the posts.
Sidebar forms – left or right, sticky or static you decide.
Contact forms – never miss an opportunity.
See 11 sign up strategies for depth information on all of the above.
Having a newsletter for your website is a good business decision.
So get that sign up form up front and center on your website and see if you can collect some email addresses.
Here’s the bottom line:
You have to offer something in return. Clearly I am offering these Website Success tips and when new tips come online I will attempt to bring traffic back to the site with the offer of some engaging and informative content.
The pay off:
This is a legitimate way of generating traffic to your website even better it is also targeted traffic and it will help your business in so many ways.
1. Drives traffic to your website.
2. Generates engagement signal for search engines
3. Maintains contact with existing clients
4. Re-establishes contact with potential clients.
5. Gives clear indicators of your content quality.
6. Provides a clear strategy for expanding your business.
If you don’t get any takers review what you are offering. Either way you will be a step closer to website success.