3 Ways to Boost your Mailing List (Part 3)

General

In this three-part series, we have been looking at ways to boost the number of relevant subscribers to your mailing list.

There are so many ways to boost your mailing list, so instead of just mentioning one way in this final part, it seemed more helpful to share several as well as a recap on what we covered in part 1 and part 2.

Opt-in forms

In the second part of this three part series, we covered how to use opt-in forms on your website to increase the number of subscribers to your mailing list. By using lightboxes, slide in forms, landing pages and feature boxes you can make it easy for your web site visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. We highlighted a number of plugins that you could use, including OptinMonster, Pipperty and OptimizePress– all of which integrate with the main email mailing list service providers.

Twitter Lead generation cards

In the first part of this three part series we covered Twitter’s free Lead Generation Cards feature. This allows your followers to sign up straight away to your mailing list in Twitter. By including your special lead generation card link when you reply to or mention someone, you share a simple card with them with a call to action. That call to action could be a “subscribe” button or a way to purchase a product. When the person clicks that button, their name and email address are automatically sent your mailing list provider (such as MailChimp, AWeber or InfusionSoft).

Webinars
If you are comfortable with giving presentations then why not offer webinars? They are a fantastic way of giving free (or paid) content to your followers in exchange for adding them to your mailing list. The big advantage here is that the people who sign up will be highly engaged people who are interested in you or your product or service.

There are a number of tools to help here. The industry standard is GoToWebinar which allows you to broadcast to up to 1,000 attendees. Unfortunately, GotoWebinar is based on a monthly subscription and can get pricey- anything between £59 and £299 per month. If you expect to have far fewer attendees, then you could consider GoToMeeting which handles up to 25 users (for £29 per month) or up to 100 users (for £34 per month). Another option is WebinarJam which uses Google Hangouts and allows unlimited attendees for a lower yearly fee. For more information on how to use Webinars, have a listen to this podcast episode on the MadLemmings website.

Social Networks
Why not create posts across your social networks with an engaging call to action to subscribe to your mailing list? We’ve discussed using Twitter’s lead generation cards which gives your followers a one-click method to subscribe to your mailing list. Creating a custom post does require your followers to fill in their details on your mailing list op-tin form, but it is still a powerful method.

First of all, create an engaging image with a call to action (for example “Never miss an update, subscribe to my free newsletter”). You could use Canva for this- an easy to use image design tool which makes it easy to create stunning images, even if you’re not a designer. Once you’ve done this, post the image with a link to your opt-in form. Make sure you give reasons why people should sign up to your newsletter, how frequently they will receive it and also explain that it is easy to unsubscribe if they want to. No one wants to get spammed and no one likes the hard sell! Visual networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ work really well for this type of post.

LinkedIn Group emails
If you manage your own LinkedIn group, then why not send an announcement email? This gets posted as a new discussion in the group as well as being emailed to all the group members. It’s easy to abuse this facility, so make sure you’re giving value to your subscribers and not posting too frequently. In the email you could include links to interesting discussions from the group and include a link to sign up to your mailing list. LinkedIn only allows you to send up to one announcement email every week. For smaller groups, sending an email once a month might be more appropriate.

Facebook Custom Website Audiences
If you use Facebook and are willing to get a little more techy, then do check out Facebook Website Custom Audiences. Facebook Website Custom Audiences (or WCA for short) allow you to target Facebook posts or adverts to Facebook users who have visited your website recently. You can even create adverts that target people who have visited specific pages or articles within your website. This is a powerful tool which could help you boost your mailing list further.

In order to use this tool you will need to use Facebook’s power tool, Power Editor. Once you have loaded up the tool, click the “Ad tools” button at the top right and select “audiences”:

Then click “create audience” and then “custom audience” on the left:

 

 

 

 

Then select “Custom Audience from your Website”:

Once you’ve done this, enter an audience name (for example “web site visitors”) and an optional description. You then have a choice between collecting visitors from the whole of your website or just from specific pages. I’d recommend starting off with the whole of your website- you can create more specific audiences later. Finally you choose how many days you want to store each entry for. Setting 30 days (the default) means that only people who have visited your site in the last 30 days will be kept.

Before clicking “create”, click the “view custom audience pixel” and copy the code. You’ll need to paste this into your website so that Facebook can gather the data. Your website developer or manager should be able to help you with this or you could use various plugins that allow you to add custom code to your website.

Once you’ve created your audience, you’ll have to wait for the audience numbers to build up. If you have a popular site this might take a day or even a few hours. If you have lower traffic, you might be best waiting a week or so. Once you have adequate numbers, you can create your ad. To target to the audience you’ve created, type the audience name in the audience field in Power Editor:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on this, I highly recommend reading Jon Loomer’s detailed article on Facebook Custom Web Audiences.

Conclusion
We hope you’re now excited about all the ways you can boost your mailing list. Are you using any of these techniques already? Which technique do you think you will be trying next? As always, let us know in the comments below and of course, sign up for the Social Media Experts newsletter!

About the Author

  • Ian Anderson Gray

    Ian runs a popular social media blog called Seriously Social and is a web developer and social media consultant. He is co-founder of Select Performers Internet Solutions - a family run web and digital marketing agency based in the North West of England. He has a passion for turning the techno-babble of web development, internet security, social media and technology into plain English. He also runs a local tech meet-up (Cheadle Geeks) and a co-workers event (Cheadle Jelly). As well as being a geek, husband and dad to two rather lively children, Ian is also a professional singer and lives in South Manchester.

    Web: http://iag.me/

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2 thoughts on “3 Ways to Boost your Mailing List (Part 3)

  1. Hey Ian
    A great series of posts indeed. Gave it some love from Triberr. And thanks for the mention, I think that is the first podcast link I have seen. Although interestingly it did not show on WordPress.

    I have been using Leadpages a lot for this type of thing and I think I seriously need to get into webinars. I have to start practicing. Think I will just take the plunge and go with WebinarJam and see what I can come up with. I am more impatient than what Sarah menioned on the show (with a wait of months) so I will see how I can start without making a fool of myself.

    thanks
    ashley

  2. Hi Ian,

    Good tips! Webinars rocks. I need a better connection from paradise to do em though. I enjoy running webinars, and folks really vibe with my teaching style. Again, I just need that better connect and I’ll get back to doing them.

    Thanks!

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