Email marketing is still an acceptable and popular way of promoting services, websites and logs. But just sending emails to people or to unconfirmed email addresses can be offensive and most of such practices will be seen as spamming if it is not done within a properly opt-in system.
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Why is Building an Email List So Important
According to Direct Marketing Association in the United States, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses. This may not directly apply to your environment but definitely tells us of the termendous impact email lists can have on marketing campaigns. We have seen that email lists produce higher returns, up to 20 times higher conversions than social media campaigns. So mailing lists are important and here are some of the reasons you should build a mailing list:
Email is Personal – Email allows you to land into a user’s inbox. There is no ranking system limiting your reach. It is very direct, personal, and casual.
Email is Purposeful – To get your email a user needs to signup for your email list and confirm their email address. Someone doing this much work is obviously interested in hearing from you, and they are much more receptive to your message.
Email is Targeted – As we mentioned earlier the user has already shown interest in your products / content. Since you already know what they like, you can deliver them highly relevant content and offers to get better results. This is called segmentation, and we will cover that later in the article.
You Own Your Email List – You do not own Facebook, Twitter, or Google. Your social media campaigns and SEO efforts can go to waste when these platform change their policies. On the other hand, you own your email list, and it is not influenced by decisions of other businesses.
Email is One-on-One – People read email in the privacy of their inbox. The message is not on a public timeline or newsfeed. They can ask you questions directly in private with confidence. This helps build trust and connection.
Relationships: By continuously communicating through a mailing list, your business is able to establish new relationships with both prospects and customers, and can strengthen those relationships over time. Having strong relationships allows you to build trust and authority in your industry, making you or your company name the first to come to mind when someone is asked for recommendations about where to buy specific products or services.
Corpoeate Image/Status Along the same lines, maintaining regular mailings to your customers and prospects can also enhance your or your company's image over time. This is particularly true if your mailings send out helpful tips, information and resources related to your topic specialty or product industry. By providing mailing list subscribers with useful information, you are fostering a positive image in their minds that will generate more sales and revenue over the long term.
Prospects: Most people become aware of and interested in a given product or service long before they buy. In fact, it's estimated that a new prospect needs to see a given product or service from seven to 12 times before actually making a purchase. Maintaining a mailing list of prospective customers is one of the best ways to turn those prospects into actual buyers. By sending those prospects mails about your products and services, along with useful information, discounts and specials, you'll keep your company in the forefront of the prospects' minds. So when they're ready to buy, they're more likely to think of you, your company and your services first because you've been keeping a continuous line of communication open with them.
Sales: It is much easier to make additional sales to people who have already had a positive purchase experience with your company. By maintaining a mailing list and regularly sending out mailings, you can easily increase the number of times a person buys products and services from you. As long as customers are happy with the products and services they receive from you, all you have to do is stay fresh in their minds and they'll readily buy from you time and again, possibly for many years to come. Sending them mail regularly is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to keep the customers returning.
These are precisely why every smart business in the world has an email list. Email marketing is the best long term investment with a much higher return. Because people will continue to get their message at a very low cost for a longer period of time.
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What is an Opt-In List?
An opt-in list is a mailing list from contacts who have willingly given their email address, with the knowledge that they would be added to your list and receive emails from you. Usually, contacts sign up using an online subscription form as is common with most websites built on content management systems today.
A more preferable option is the double opt-in system which means that every person who signed up to be on your email list was also subsequently sent an individual “confirmation” email, which asked them one more time to confirm that they did indeed want their email address to be added to your list. This option guarantees that no individual was added to your list against their will, it shows a quality mailing system and is a sure way to avoid the spamming penalty associated with mass mailing.
Using a mailing list software or an in-built mailing application like Mailchimp is one way to avoid spamming and the penalties that follow.
Every web hosting account offers mail softwares for mailing lists. PHPList is a good mailing list service. It helps you send mails to a large number of clients without getting a penalty for spamming. You may choose to install PHPList which will allow your members to communicate through the mailing list as well (if you choose to do so). For a simpler approach, you may choose to install PHPList from our easy script installer QuickInstall. PHPList is a simple listserve script that allows you to even spread out your mailing batches if you wish to limit how many emails are sent out at a time.
PHPList will save your web hosting account from spam related penalties.
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What is Email Spoofing?
What is Spamming?
How You Can Determine if You Are Using an Opt-in Mailing List
That depends on how you have obtained your list, and the process that contacts went through when they gave you their email address.
Contacts who signed up using a subscription form on my website.
Yes. That is an opt-in system. If you have a subscription form on your website, which clearly states “fill out this form to sign up to our email newsletter,” (for example) so that individuals are aware that they are signing up to an email list, this is definitely an opt-in list.
Customers checked a box saying “please add me to your email list” when submitting a form on my website.
That is also an opt-in system. Any customer of yours who submit a form on your website (such as when signing up for an account, or placing an order), and select an option saying “yes, add me to your email list” (for example) when filling out this form, are considered opted-in. However, it must be explicitly stated that they are agreeing to receive a newsletter and/or email marketing campaigns from you. It is also best to send a follow-up confirmation email to ensure they qualify as “double opt-in” when using this method, to be absolutely sure they did not check that box by accident.
Lists obtained from business cards at tradeshows.
This is not an opt-in list.
Customers who have purchased products or services from me.
This will depend on the scenario. Usually, this is not an opt-in list. The only instance in which this would be considered an opt-in list would be if a contact checked a box when he or she originally gave you his or her email address, stating, “yes, I would like to subscribe to your email list,” as mentioned above.
Members on my website or forum.
This is not an opt-in list, unless these individuals checked a “yes, I would like to subscribe to your email list” box when signing up.
My Facebook friends (or friends on other social networking sites).
This is not an opt-in list.
Contacts in my email address book.
This is not an opt-in list.
Purchased or rented lists.
Purchased lists are not considered opt-in under any circumstances, and are prohibited.
Getting Started With Building Your Mailing List
By now, you should know why building an email list is so important, and why ignoring it would be a mistake. So let’s take a look at what you need to start building your email list.
3 Things You Need to Build an Email List:
- A website or blog.
- An email marketing service.
- High-converting opt-in forms
All three of these are fairly easy to setup, and none of them require you to know how to code.
How to Growing Your Email List and Get More Subscribers
While choosing the right email marketing service is important, getting more subscribers is even more important because this is how you make money.
The biggest mistake beginners make is not strategically placing high-converting opt-in forms.
While some WordPress themes come with built-in sidebar widgets, they don’t convert as well. Your email marketing service may also provide you with codes to embed in your theme, but that requires you to know how to code.
This is why we recommend our users to use OptinMonster. It is the most powerful conversion optimization software that helps you convert abandoning website visitors into subscribers and customers.
You can easily create high-converting optin forms such as lightbox popups, floating header and footer bars, slide-in scroll boxes, fullscreen welcome mat, after post and inline forms, and more.
Add beautiful signup forms
But what makes OptinMonster really powerful is the behavior automation and personalization features. OptinMonster allows you to automatically show different opt-in forms based on where the user is coming from, which page they are visiting, and what they are doing on your website.
For example, the Exit-Intent® feature track your users mouse behavior and show them a targeted opt-in form at the precise moment they are about to leave. This helps you convert abandoning visitors into subscribers.
This is important because over 70% of people leaving your website will never return.
That’s why influencers like Michael Hyatt, Neil Patel, and Social Media Examiner use exit-intent on their websites. It helped Social Media Examiner add over 95,000 new subscribers in 7 months.
But for smaller businesses, this is even more crucial. Nicolas Gagne, a small business owner, combined Constant Contact with a single exit-intent optin to grow his email list by 500%. This helped him triple his revenue from his online store (see the full case study).
There are tons more case studies and OptinMonster reviews that you can read as well.
Get started with OptinMonster today — Use the coupon WPB10 to get 10% off.
Note: OptinMonster was started by WPBeginner’s founder, Syed Balkhi, because he wanted to get more email subscribers, faster. It helped us increase our email signups by 600%. Due to popular request, we released this tool for public, and now it’s the most recommended lead generation software in the market.