All over the internet we hear people talking about email list; I believe the saying goes “The money is in the list.”
It’s one of the primary objectives of bloggers, marketers and small business owners alike. Almost every expert in the industry will tell you that you need to build a list. This is easier said than done, and there are some general rules as to how to make it happen, but first let’s answer some questions many of you may have. Let’s talk about aspects like, what is an emails list and why do you want to build one in the first place.
We will also be talking about aspects such as building a list in WordPress and some others as well. In this guide to email marketing article we will cover the creation of a list from every angle that goes into newsletters and WordPress. This also includes the very basic and advanced tricks, recommended services and plug-ins as well as tips of the pro and ideas to help you get higher open rates and a lot more.
So what is an Email List?
It’s simple, it consist of a list of email addresses that you have collected from various users and visitors who have voluntarily signed up and given you there address through your web page in order to receive your newsletters and other updates as well as any social announcements. It gives you the ability to build relationships and stay in touch with you previous users and visitors to turn potential clients into paying customers. It’s really up to you how often to stay in contact with them, although it’s best to be consistent and choose a time frame such as once a day, week, month etc. This gives you the ability to share exclusive opportunities and other product launches or to give secret tips to your subscribers.
Why Build a List?
Through testing it’s shown that emails far out perform social media in conversions with higher click through rates. Repeated test statistically show that emails get as much as ten times the amount of clicks on a piece of content as those on all social media combined.
So why do they do so well in performance? It’s a relatively simple answer in short. Email is more private and much more personalized. It’s tailored to your subscribers and if that’s not enough to get you motivated to start building a list today then keep reading.
Increased Reach – There is no guarantee on the social networks as to who sees your status updates and more often than not they will be missed by the right people. Emails on the other hand are checked often and most people get notifications every time they receive one so there is a greater chance of it getting seeing by the right audience.
Ownership – Everything on Facebook and Twitter is under their possession, they can shut down your account at any time and then bam, all your followers or friends are gone. And in the unlikely but always possible scenario where the websites themselves are shut down you’re out of luck. But your list is entirely in your control and possession plus you aren’t limited to what you can email as you are on the social networks. And you can even integrate your email list so that works within your WordPress blog which is much better than counting on the socials. (Keep reading to learn how)
Highly Targeted – If you are looking to launch a specific product or service to specified location you can do it better with email. You can target specific states and countries even down to the cities. This is the most efficient way to reach subscribers in a given area.
More Revenues – In the end it comes down to higher conversions and sales which is the name of the game.
Is Social Media the Way?
Too often we hear that emails are dead and social media is the only way. If that’s the case then why is that every site online including social media networks require an email address during the sign up process?
It’s because email is far from dead. The reality is that email marketing is still the most lucrative and reliable form of electronic communication and has been for more than two decades and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
What it comes down to is that building a list is much easier than building your Facebook friends list or building your Twitter following and G+ accounts. As it goes with the social networks, they limit your reach and the number of people who see your post with their algorithms and on Twitter it’s so fast paced there is no telling how long a tweet will stay on a person’s timeline. But if you send an email you know that it’s there in the box and has reached all of your subscribers until they make the decision to take action.
The message here isn’t to stop using the social networks; the message is that they shouldn’t be your primary method of conversions. Social sites are good for engagement and traffic, but in the end email list will always produce more in the way of conversions and sales.
Also social sites die with time and so does the engagement on them, and when that happens so do the followings. Emails though are forever and have been around as long as the internet itself, they are the primary source for internet communications and most likely always will be.
How to Build a Highly Targeted List?
The very first thing you need to do is to get an auto-responder set up. Without a good service provider it’s next to impossible to build a list and to engage with effectively. Email service providers are specialized in getting your message into the inbox of your subscribers rather than them being marked as spam.
You can use WordPress to send emails, but it’s highly recommended against as it puts your WordPress at risk.
The pros that handle email services on the other hand have the resources and money needed to keep their business updated with all of the latest software that get your emails passed the subscribers filters and keep them out of the junk and spam folders. Every company and website you can think of like Facebook and Apple uses a third party email marketing service.
So Who Do You Use?
There are tons of options for you to use, each with their own pros and cons, and since it’s a very competitive industry, most companies are good about keeping their services at a low cost while still giving a full list of features and offers. For the sake of this guide we will speak about a couple of the services available below.
This company has been around forever, they are extremely popular among internet marketers and bloggers. Their services allow you to send out newsletters and emails and to manage your subscribers as well track all the stats. Building an e-mail listing is a hot subject amongst blog writers as well as small business owners. Just about every expert will tell you to build an email list, yet a lot of fail to remember to cover common concerns like exactly what is an email list? Why build an e-mail list? the best ways to construct an email list in WordPress? and so on. In this email marketing 101 guide, we will cover every facet of e-mail e-newsletters as well as WordPress. This consists of the very essentials to sophisticated techniques, advised services & plugins, secret tips to enhance opt-in prices, and also far more.
This is another email service provider (and my favorite by far!) which has been around for some time and is fairly popular. MailChimp gives you the ability to send out emails and manage subscribers. It also allows you to track all of your messages and views the analytics for aspects like open rates and click through. You can create auto-responders with drip campaigns to automatically send out letters and broadcast your blog to your list whenever you post new content.
One of the attractive aspects of this company is you can use them for free with some limitations of course. You do have to pay however when you hit the limitations of the free account which is 2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month.
Other Email Service Providers
There are several others to name such as: Get Response, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor just to name a few. They are all similar in their capabilities and the prices vary on the options you choose.
Now Let’s Talk About How to Grow Your Email List in WordPress
After you’ve signed up for a selected email service you will want to integrate it with your WordPress website. A majority of your success online and in building a list depends on this aspect.
In order to get more subscribers you will have to find the best area on your website where the form for subscribing fits.
WordPress Popups are Also Called Lightbox
This is by far the best converting of the sign up forms; it is a highly effective popup which you can put on your site. The numbers are pretty staggering, where there have been a 600% increase in subscribers with a Lightbox Popup installed without a drop in page views.
Another great plugin is OptinMonster that gives you the ability to create WordPress Lightbox Plugins as well.
Another benefit of OptinMonster is the exit-intent technology that is available. This feature makes it possible to track the user’s behavior, even down to where their mouse pointer scrolls. The popup is set up to only show once the user is about to leave and is considered to be less invasive and spammy by users.
If you’ve been questioning as to whether a popup window is right for you, we suggest you give it a try for 14 days and see the results for yourself. We can almost guarantee that once you see the increase in subscribers you won’t ever want to go without it again.
People are typically very surprised when they see the benefits of how well the popups work and oftentimes wonder why they didn’t have it in the first place.
The Handy Floating Footer Bar
This is when you see the bar at the bottom of the screen on a WordPress site. If the bar is scrolled up or down the footer stays in site.
You can also add email subscription forms to the bottom of every page. If you don’t know how to or don’t feel like dealing with coding than we also offer you a built in one of these included in OptinMonster.
Besides getting this option when you use OptinMonster you also get all the other mutually beneficial features to really get the most power your site.
An example would be that if a user closes the bar, then you can opt to make the bar invisible for the next 30 days. You can also give different message depending on the category or page.
The footer bars don’t convert quite as well as popups but are still highly effective and have a higher conversion rate than a standard form.
Slide Ups and Slide In’s
These are the forms that are on the bottom right corner of the screen with a subscriber box. Where it differs from the standard side bar forms is they are much better at getting the attention of the user and are less annoying than other commonly used popups.
Most company owners are a lot more comfortable with one of these forms, it may get an OK conversion rate, but it’s nowhere near the results you get with a popup.
There are endless programs and plugins which can create this slide in forms.
After Post Forms and Other Generic Sidebar Options
It’s a standard these days to have a subscription box in the side bar and the bottom of a post. Forms of this nature typically get the lowest conversion rate and users typically don’t use them as they are easy to miss since they are built into the theme of the site.
Since they are so popular OptinMonster now has forms which allow you to split test and messages and see firsthand the real results. This makes it easier to tell how well a sidebar form and the post forms are performing when compared to other types of forms.
Unique Contact Forms
This could include user sign up forms, and type of generalized contact form, or a request form as well as a standard submit a request type of form.
You can also creatively add a type of check off box to your forms that state things like Yes I would be interested in getting updates from “XYZ.”
We have also seen this type of form used by several of the larger companies to accomplish terms and services and accepting conditions boxes as well as signing up for updates. This type of form would be next to impossible to code for beginners but is made easy with the WordPress forms easy to use plugin called Gravity Forms.
With the Gravity Forms plugin you can use a simple to use drag and drop type user interface and create forms to your design and requirements with ease. MailChimp can be fully integrated with this and can be put into a contact form. It’s a great way to stay in contact with your clients and can really be used in any way you wish.
Engaging With Your Subscribers
After you’ve begin building your list it’s important that you engage with them on a consistent basis. It’s important to give them regular updates and to not make every letter a sales letter; you should be delivering value to build trust. You can give tips and tricks or news updates for example.
That concludes our guide to email marketing and we hope that this document has helped you, we would love to hear back from you and appreciate your time.