This is a guest post by Christina Morgan. If you’d like to contribute to our blog, feel free to get in touch with us.
Businesses these days are jumping on the social media bandwagon for their marketing needs, but what still remains effective is a comparatively old technology – email marketing. Though many claim that it’s dead, the reality is that it’s far from dead. Email marketing is still the most direct and effective line of communication that helps turn leads into sales. Despite the hoopla surrounding social media, email still manages to outperform them when it comes to acquiring new customers, engaging with them regularly, promoting new content as well as services and products along with evaluating how well your messaging triggers the desired actions.
Since people guard their email addresses strongly and usually don’t give it away at the drop of a hat, reaching the mailboxes of people is the most personal form of communication that the savviest entrepreneurs are taking advantage of. With dismal click-through rates of Twitter (around 1.64%) and Facebook (which is worse than Twitter), open rates for emails are 20% for many industries and can even touch 40-50% or even more for some! Surely, it pays to use it for list building.
Let’s see 9 strategies that would help you build your email lists for WordPress.
#1 Popup Plugins
You may love them or hate them, but you just can’t ignore them – yes, that’s the beauty of popups. A popup is a window that is displayed in your web page’s foreground. It could be a mid-screen popup or take over the entire web page. With the help of best popup plugins, you can attract the attention of visitors to your WordPress site and encourage them to share their emails in order to subscribe. They may annoy some people, but there’s no debate about how effective they are. By making use of popups, several WordPress users have got a jump in their conversions by over 60%!
However, you don’t have much liberty when working with popups, which makes it important to target the right people at the right time and get your message across quickly. An attractive headline, an enticing description and a call to action, are the key to leveraging popup plugins to the optimum. You can display your popup plugins for WordPress based on a particular behavior, like when a returning visitor comes to your site, right before someone is about to leave, or after a visitor has stayed on the page for a certain duration, etc.
#2 Give Away Free Valuable Content
People would give their emails only when they feel they are getting some value in lieu of it. By giving them valuable content that’s helpful, relatable, entertaining or a blend of some or all these factors, you can increase the chances of your readers to sign up. Be it your social media posts or content on your WordPress site/blog, when visitors like what they see, they may be tempted to sign up for your newsletter to get more of it. You may create such pieces of content on your own or compile them from other sources before sharing them with due credit.
The key is to offer compelling content with a value that your users find useful. It doesn’t matter if you have created the content or are simply compiling them from various sources, thus saving time and effort of your target readers. To entice the readers into subscribing to your content, you may even promise them to deliver your next great piece right into their inbox (and thus making them not waste time searching for it on their own) provided they subscribe to your newsletter.
#3 Add Social Buttons in Emails
Since the target of your marketing efforts is to get people to visit your website and actually read your content, adding social sharing buttons in emails may seem somewhat counterproductive. You may think very few, if any, would be inclined to share your post without having read it. Interestingly, a study by GetResponse showed 6.2% as the average click-through rate for emails with social sharing options while those without stood at 2.4%. With a whopping 158% rise, emails with social sharing are worth a shot for sure!
Remember that even when your subscribers aren’t reading the article themselves, each of their shares is attracting multiple visitors and triggering website traffic, which is bringing you better ROI for every dollar spent on marketing. People today are impulsive and have very less time on their hands to do a task. To get something shared, you have to give them a single-click option, which social share buttons in your emails can do well. With a little work on these buttons, you can create better email engagement, improve your social reach, and create new leads for your WordPress site while nurturing your present leads.
#4 Speed Up Your Website
Your website speed affects your conversion rates together with all your critical metrics. So, you have to ensure your site’s load time is minimized as much as possible. According to some stats compiled by ViperChill some time back, Amazon improved its sales by 1% for every 0.1 second reduction in its page load time. By improving its average speed of a page load by 4 second, Shopzilla saw a 7-12% improvement in its conversion rate together with a 25% increase in its page views. The study also found 40% of visitors leaving a website after a mere 2 seconds of page load time. All these show the importance of focusing on improving your website speed before you start building your email list. After all, if your site visitors leave your site just because your pages take too long to load, you won’t be able to entice them into subscribing.
So, test all your pages (and not just the homepage) to find how your site is performing. You should turn off unnecessary plugins on your WordPress website and get the plugin “lazy image loader” installed as it will just load images on a blog post or page visible to the visitor, thus improving page load speed. The other images will automatically be loaded as the visitor scrolls down.
#5 Choose A Good Email Marketing Service
The first step in your list building for WordPress endeavor is to select an email marketing service provider. With the right provider, you can bring together all your subscribers’ email addresses and be able to send those messages, either as individuals or as a group. Depending on factors like demographics, interest and much more, you may even create subgroups to send more targeted messages. Among the most popular among email marketing providers are MailGet, and MailPoet. If you are getting started with list building in WordPress, either of these can be your ideal solution since they are user-friendly and offer useful features which will help you efficiently manage email lists.
Once you are through your early days or are looking for a comparatively feature-rich solution, you can opt for premium services that let you design an array of professional campaigns and promotions which you can mail out to your target audience with a few clicks. With advanced tracking features to get useful insight into how your recipients react to your emails, you would be able to tweak and fine-tune your email to get better engagement and results.
#6 Create a Lead Magnet
Over the last few years, people have become reluctant to fill their email addresses for joining mailing lists, primarily because they feel tired of getting their inbox filled with loads of emails that they aren’t interested in. To get them submit their email addresses, you now have to give them something valuable in exchange. So, build a Lead Magnet, which refers to a free gift that your mailing list subscribers will get on deciding to join. Your lead magnet could be a free product sample, a discounted service coupon, a free E-book, or some other valuable content that would be useful to your audience.
On your homepage, you can create a welcome gate with a high-standard, relevant lead magnet. Make sure to create an impressive lead magnet or your readers may either not return to your WordPress site or just not subscribe. If you are already working with a reliable email marketing service provider, you won’t have to worry about getting this lead magnet sent to your subscribers since the service provider will take care of it.
#7 Use an Exit Intent
Did you know 96% of your visitors coming to your website are likely to leave without buying? And once they have left your website, you would never see them again. If you are doing nothing to engage them before they leave your site, you are doing a big mistake by leaving money – a lot of it to be precise, on the table. But you don’t have to worry since the solution lies in using exit-intent popups. The moment a visitor moves the mouse to leave your page, an exit-intent popup comes on the screen. With them, you get a second chance to get an important message to the visitors before they leave your WordPress site. You just have to make the text copy enticing and the message relevant to the page where the exit intent popup is displayed.
For example, a discount coupon for shopping cart abandonment can work well. You can use exit-intent popups in various ways like:
- Exclusive discounts
- Promotion of other site content
- Member-only promotions
- E-books Newsletter signups
- Contest notifications
- For driving traffic to affiliate products
Just remember to keep it simple, use A/B test to check different message, design and offer types to boost your WordPress site’s conversion rates.
#8 Customize Your Welcome E-mail
Instead of using cookie-cutter message that appear soulless, take time to craft your welcome email that you will send out to all new subscribers automatically (your email service provider would get it done), welcoming them into the community and thanking them for signing up. Your welcome message should ideally emphasize the benefits of staying subscribed to the list and give some idea of what your readers should expect from your emails. You may even give it a personal touch by asking questions like how you could help them or what are the things they are struggling with. This would show your genuine feelings of trying to help and pave way to have open dialogues.
Asking such questions can also give you an ideas and inspiration for new products/service and blog posts. You may even include your lead magnet in your welcome message for creating better engagement. For instance, if you are giving away a free downloadable item, provide a direct link to the page where the file can be downloaded (rather than sending it as an attachment). This will entice your subscribers to visit the page, thus creating better chances to engage them with your content.
#9 Leverage Social Proof
Social proof is a powerful tool that can encourage your site visitors to subscribe. A study found 63% of consumers professing their inclination to buy from a site with product reviews or ratings. The keys to taking advantage of social proof lies in volume. The bigger your numbers are, the better it will be. So, if you have 400 5-star Yelp reviews, or 1000 e-mail subscribers, be sure to highlight them. You may even add your numbers for impressive results. For instance, emphasizing on having 2,000 Facebook fans, 4,000 Twitter followers, 1,000 email subscribers and 800 RSS readers is impressive but when you add up the numbers together to say something like “Join 7,800 followers/subscribers/readers”, it would make people think that so many people like what you are doing, encouraging them to follow suit.
To build trust and authority of your brand faster, you can also do these on your WordPress site:
- Place a testimonial beside the CTA
- Showcase an authority figure’s image with quote
- Press logos close to the CTA
Take advantage of social proof for your WordPress site to grow your email list.
With these email marketing strategies, you would be able to grab the attention of your visitors and encourage them to sign up for your list. So, go out there and make it happen!
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