9 Ways to Keep Your Email List Engaged

You’ve built up your email list but as time passes it has started to stagnate. Your members don’t respond to your calls-to-action and the number of new subscribers (if any) can’t keep up with the growing unsubscribe rate. Building your list and selling to that list are, of course, vital. However, equally important but often ignored is nurturing a list: keeping it fresh, engaged and growing. An old, static or dying e-mail list will restrict your business and revenues.

How to keep your e-mail list fresh, growing and profitable

  1. Send out highly useful emails. The best way to retain your current subscribers (and convert them into paying customers) is to send them high-value content in your e-mails. What is high-value content? Any information that helps them achieve a desired outcome. A good starting point is to ask, “What are my followers struggling with? What would help them the most?” and create email around that topic.
  2. Include sharing and subscribing options in e-mails. If you want your subscribers to forward your e-mails – and you do – include call-to-action words in the text, as well as social sharing buttons and an “Email a friend” button which should be clearly visible. The more people share, the larger your e-mail list becomes.
  3. Encourage email sign-ups with a giveaway. Run competitions and prize-draws in exchange for email addresses. Companies like WooBox and Rafflecopter give you all the tools you need to operate a wide range of online competitions and giveaways.
  4. Promote on social media – Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Any giveaway you promote in your e-mails should be promoted on your social media too. Make the link to your giveaway, for which subscribers need to leave their e-mail address a pinned Tweet. Advertise your contests on your Facebook timeline and add a “Sign-up” call-to-action button to your profile. Create a Pinterest board advertising your product and giveaways. Include sign-up URLs in your YouTube video content – with social media, the possibilities really are endless.
  5. Create more than one e-mail collection channel. Chances are that not everyone in your current e-mail list is a member of your general target audience – perhaps some people are more interested in your audio/video products than your ebooks, for instance. Create landing pages and lead magnets that wire up to different e-mail lists, each sorted by subscribers’ interests.
         For example, you can create a baseball-related landing page and free incentive to build an “Interested in Baseball” list; a cooking-related landing page and free incentive to build an “Interested in Cooking” list and so on. You can create as specific or general a list as you want, e.g. a list of people “interested in renovating old Mini Cooper cars”; a list of “divorcees over 50 years old interested in dating”; a list of “people who want to learn to develop apps who have no programming experience”. The more landing pages you have out there, the more lists you can build.
  6. Encourage visitors to subscribe. Promote the sign-up form on your web page. Give it a prominent position and encourage visitors to sign up in return for valuable content upgrades e.g. a free report; a collection of checklists or a mini-course etc.
  7. Promote your email sign-up page in interviews and guest posts. If you’re ever interviewed or write a guest post, promote your landing page. (Only do this in the Bio box when you write guest posts – anywhere else would not be appreciated by your host.) It’s more important that you direct visitors to a page where you have the highest chance to convert them to your list (i.e. a landing page with a lead magnet incentive) rather your generic homepage where visitors may lose focus and click away.
  8. Use paid ads. Promote giveaways or gifts on social media. Note, some platforms may not allow the use of the word “FREE” in their adverts. So don’t announce “FREE reports” or “download our FREE guide”. Simply use the incentive’s headline without trying to deceive or trick a click.
  9. Host a webinar. Webinars aren’t just for selling. You can use them to grow and email list. If you’re nervous about hosting a webinar, here’s a guide to get you started. Make it easy on yourself: give a 20 minute presentation then and host a simple Q&A session. Offer a download (paid or free, up to you) and direct people to a landing page where they submit their email in return for access to the download. If you’ve provided high-quality content in your webinar, it’s easy to convert viewers into subscribers.

Takeaway points

  1. Old e-mail lists constantly need updating and aren’t a big source of revenue unless you look after them properly. That means keeping the subscribers happy with useful content; building a relationship with your members; and growing the list.
  2. Your e-mail content is what truly matters – it has to be compelling and relevant to the segments of your target audience. Send out content that helps your target audience solve a problem or achieve a desired outcome in their area of interest.
  3. Build several landing pages and promote them widely to draw in new subscribers to your lists.
  4. Require readers to provide e-mail addresses to access your most valuable content.

Action steps

  1. Aim to create a new landing page and lead magnet at least once a week. That’s 52 new lists every year, each drawing in new subscribers.
  2. Create evergreen content for your email subscribers. This is content that remains useful and relevant for years to come. For example, people will always be interested in how to make money; how to lose weight; how to have more rewarding relationships and so on. Add this evergreen content to your autoresponder. (An autoresponder is a feature offered by email marketing companies like Aweber that allows you to cue-up content which to be automatically sent out to your subscriber list on a scheduled date or sequence determined by you).
  3. Create a “Subsribe” form and add it to your Facebook timeline, other social media profiles, and your home page. If you’re unsure how to do this, check out this 2-minute video tutorial from Aweber.

Photo credit: Herbstrose via Flickr.com / CC BY-NC 2.0

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