WIth email marketing, you can’t just enter 100 different email addresses into your gmail account, send an email and call it a day. Due to spam laws, you need to have permission to send promotional emails and use a dedicated email platform for it. Most platforms have a free tier for those just starting out, and you will only have to pay for a subscription once you reach a certain number of subscribers or emails sent per month.
These are a few of the most popular platforms:
Do some research on each of these platforms to see which fits your business needs and budget best. You can try them out and switch between platforms, but as your list grows it becomes more of a headache to switch from one to another.
Getting Email Subscribers
Let’s start with how to get people to sign up for your list – using something called lead magnets! First things first – what IS a lead magnet? A lead magnet is a freebie, offer, discount, etc. that encourages a potential customer to sign up for your mailing list in exchange for your offer. You know how your favorite restaurant will offer you a free appetizer or $10 off your first purchase if you sign up for their mailing list? YEP – that’s a lead magnet!
A lead magnet helps grow your email list, which gives you an audience outside of social media. Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are great for business – but you do not own that audience. They can shut you down without notice, they have outages, they can change the algorithm and throttle your reach – but you can always send emails to those who remain subscribed to your list. Whenever you want!
Think of a lead magnet as the very top of your sales funnel. You offer a freebie on your website in exchange for an email address > your ideal customer signs up > you send them emails over a period of time (automated and/or regularly scheduled as part of your marketing plan) > your ideal customer purchases from you.
Lead Magnet Ideas
These lead magnet options can help attract and engage your target audience, encouraging them to join your email list and establish a relationship with your small business. Remember to align your lead magnet with your audience’s needs and interests to maximize its effectiveness.
You don’t have to stick to just ONE lead magnet. Create one, test it out, promote it, and then create another. You can A/B test your lead magnets just like you can (and should!) be doing with your email marketing. If a percentage off discount isn’t working, try an e-book and vice versa. Offer both, targeting the same customers, and see which one works better within your niche – both to get sign-ups, and for conversion rates on purchases after sign-up. Look at what other businesses in your niche are offering for inspiration (but do not copy exactly what they are producing).
Look at what businesses outside of your niche are offering. I sign up for so many opt-ins and business newsletters simply because I love to learn more about how others are promoting their products, what opt-ins are working, how they package their offers, what steps they have in their funnel, etc.
Brainstorm some ideas for your own lead magnet now.
Promoting your Lead Magnet
Promoting your lead magnet should be a part of your content strategy. The more times you promote it, the more likely someone is to join it – don’t bank on every single person signing up the very first time they see it.
You can promote your lead magnet by:
One thing to keep in mind is that conversion rates for opt-in landing pages are generally pretty low – less than 10%. And that’s a landing page dedicated to getting people to sign up – so it will vary even more for blog posts, pop-ups, etc. Test out different combinations of lead magnets, landing pages, and sign-up forms to find what works best for your specific audience.
Your lead magnet will always be evolving with your business and may not be the same a year from now that it is today.
Brainstorm 3 peices of content you can create (social media posts, blog posts, etc) to promote your lead magnet.
I’m growing my email list… now what?
Now you send emails to them! You can create an automated email sequence to go out when they first sign up, as well as sending out regular emails throughout the year. You can do weekly or monthly emails, but it’s best to stick to a specific schedule. If you only send emails when you have a new sale or offer, your customers won’t be getting to know you and you’ll get lower conversion rates from those emails.
As you continue sending emails, you can do A/B split testing on your emails to determine your best send times, subject lines, etc. A/B split testing is a powerful technique used in email marketing to optimize campaigns and improve results. With A/B split testing, you can create two or more variations of an email and send them to different segments of your audience to see which version performs better. This allows you to test different elements such as subject lines, email content, call-to-action buttons, visuals, or even the sending time. By measuring the performance metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, you can gather valuable data and insights to make data-driven decisions.
To effectively use A/B split testing, start by identifying the specific element you want to test, create two or more variations, and split your audience into random segments. Each email should only have ONE single aspect changed (different subject line, different send time, different button colour, etc – but only ONE per email), then track the results and analyze the data to determine the winning version. By continuously testing and optimizing your email campaigns, you can refine your marketing strategies, improve engagement, and drive better results for your business.