How To Boost Your Email List Using SEO

Content + SEO + lead magnets = more emails
This equation outlines for you one of the best ways to get more emails to generate leads and new business.

If you combine brilliant content with SEO and sprinkle on top amazing lead magnets, you will be able to automatically grow your email list.

So, in this article we will show you how to do exactly that. We’ll cover how to:

  1. Find optimal topics to write about.
  2. Create awesome content optimized for search engines.
  3. Ensure your post brings traffic month over month.
  4. Convert this traffic into emails.

Using this exact strategy we optimized all our top-performing blog posts, added lead magnets and then left to go on vacation.

When we came back, we had a lot of new contacts in our email list:

Contact Lists

The best part is that thanks to proper topic research all the people in our email lists are highly interested in our services. This absolutely fundamental to create a loyal, long lasting relationship with your subscribers.

 

Topic Research

To start growing your email list, topic research is the first and most crucial step.
Why, you ask?
Because everyone’s Ultimate Goal is to get content ranked on top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), right?

To do that, we need to find a topic that can give us a good starting point. And spark interest in the reader.

Here are the steps you should undertake to be successful at this:

#1 Head over to the Topic Research platform of your choice

We use KWfinder because it’s user friendly and accurate.

This tool can help you find topics that haven’t been covered in-depth — but might have a huge potential.

KWFinder Search
  1. First you need to search for something simple like “marketing” – one-word keywords are perfect.
  2. Pick the location and language.
  3. Select Find Keywords.

And here’s where you will see GOLD!

Keyword Search Results

You’ll find all kinds of topics related to marketing:

  1. Obviously ranking content on the keyword “marketing” will be tough – Keyword Difficulty is very high.
  2. However, by clicking on KD – you can sort all the queries from the easiest to rank on Google.
  3. This will highlight some very interesting keywords for you to use, like:
    • Online marketing service
    • Internet marketing secrets
  4. The next step is to click on “Search Related Keyword” – and you’ll see the magic. 😲

Keep going through all related keywords until you see the one that makes most sense for your business. Remember, every topic you write about must help you sell your product.

#2 Find Topics

The Goal is to find the keyword with a Keyword Difficulty score of 40 or less.

If your site already has a high Domain Authority (more than 40), you will easily be able to rank articles with a Keyword Difficulty of 0-50.

In our example , writing an article about “internet marketing secrets” might be a superb idea.

Once you start clicking on “Search Related Keyword” you should be able to find queries that could get you plenty of organic traffic and at the same time has a low difficulty ranking on Google.

So to recap, after only five minutes of researching on KWfinder we found a topic that no one has covered in great depth and also has a huge potential to sell our services.

Once you’ve found a keyword that suits the requirements, you can feel confident that to reach the first page on Google will be possible with 1-5 backlinks!

Now let’s look at how you can transform this knowledge into action.

Creating the Best Content

After we have identified what we will write about, we need an in-depth understanding of the topic.

#1 Research the Competition

Find out who has already written something on the topic. You’ll want to collect the current top five articles about it. Be sure to read the posts carefully:

  1. What do they all have in common?
  2. How are they different?
  3. How can we combine the best parts of each into one article?

#2 Create the Article

No grand advice here. Just sit down and write the content.

You may prefer to outsource it to a freelancer who writes well if you don’t have time to do it or if writing is not your forte.

To make sure the article ranks well on Google it must be optimized according to SEO guidelines.

One rule is to place your focus keyword (and repeat it) where necessary in your post. Otherwise, you’ve thrown your work out the window.

Here’s the 10-step procedure we use to rank any content on Google:

  1. The H1 headline must start with and/or include the focus keyword (headline also has to be less than 70 characters).
  2. Create your SEO title. It can be either the same or similar to your H1 headline. It must also include the focus keyword.
  3. Use a clickbait keyword in the Headline – best, epic, awesome, deal of the year/month, etc.
  4. Include an image in your post with the focus keyword as the alt-tag.
  5. Drop your focus keyword in the first paragraph of the post.
  6. Add 3-4 related keywords in the content. Try to find synonyms and terms related to the main keyword.
  7. Make sure your focus keyword appears from 0.5% to 1% from the total content.
  8. Make sure your focus keyword appears from 0.5% to 1% from the total content.
  9. Also add a meta-description that includes your focus keyword.
  10. Finally, use sub-headings that include your focus keyword.

Once you follow these rules and create a quality article (at least 1,500-2,000 words), your content will be ready to be published and to get backlinks.

You need to secure backlinks to boost the rank of your content.

Essentially, Google views backlinks as votes. The more “votes” your content receives, the more important it is and thus it will rank higher on SERPs.

To make this happen, there are two killer link-building strategies that works 100% of the time.

Yes, these strategies are really that good.

Your goal will be to find pages that already link to posts that are not as good as yours. Then you need to email the site’s owner and ask if he or she would consider adding your content as an additional resource.

#4 Spy on Competitors and get their Backlinks

If your competition is a spot higher on the SERPs than you, they are probably doing something right with their link-building strategy (or something sketchy🤔).

You can use Linkody to find all your competitor’s backlinks. All you need to know is their website’s URL and Linkody will do the rest. This is how to proceed:

  1. Find the URLs on Google.
  2. Add them to Linkody.
    Linkody
  3. Linkody will find all your competitor’s backlinks.
  4. Reach out to the site saying that your tool would be a great addition to their resources.

Make sure you filter out the links that are from blogs (1), that your page doesn’t have (2), and are do-follow backlinks (3).

Then you can go through all the remaining websites (4) and reach out to them.

Backlinks Search

If you have managed to write an awesome post on the topic with keyword difficulty under 40 – all you need is 3-5 backlinks with Domain Authority above 30.

And your content will be on Google’s first page.
Simple, huh?
Next, you’re ready to work on using your content to produce leads you can use for email marketing, re-targeting or re-marketing. You choose. 😉

Leads & More Leads

Getting contact information from people who are interested in your service is costly and time-consuming.
But it doesn’t have to be like this anymore.
This process is now automated.

Lead Magnet

Once you have published an article and secured a couple backlinks, your post will be climbing the SERPs.

To launch your lead capturing machine, you’ll need to add a Lead Magnet. Most often this is a freebie in the form of eBook, consultation, etc.

This works by requiring people to provide their email to receive something valuable in return.

Lead Magnet

Before you design the the lead magnet, put yourself in the customer’s shoes:

  • The person has a problem or a need –Of course, they will use Google to seek out a solution.
  • They should then come across your article, which provides a solution to their problem/need.
  • For example, if your article is a list of “99 internet marketing secrets” – how do you create enough interest for the lead to leave you their contact information?
    • Offer an eBook with 150 internet marketing secrets
    • Or offer the chance for people to schedule a call with a professional to discuss these marketing secrets.

Find out what people experience at different stages according to the marketing funnel so that you know what could come next.

If you build your process around this and offer the site’s visitor a Lead Magnet they can’t refuse – they won’t hesitate to give you their email address.

Call to Action

A call to action is a small banner that appears in the selected location and handles this “email-for-a-freebie” transaction automatically.

You can choose many types of CTAs to generate leads. Here are few options you can incorporate depending on your specific business niche:

Abandoning Traffic CTA

This CTA comes in handy when you want to isolate a user’s attention on one site’s section. If you have something valuable to offer, it can be effective.

Once the site’s visitor has decided to leave the page, there is almost nothing that could keep the person from leaving. However, if you have a high bounce rate on your lead capture page – consider an exit intent CTA to try one last time.

Abandonment Whitepaper

If your page is incredibly engaging and readers spend lots of time scrolling through the post, embedding the CTA is a natural option.

On the other hand, if you know that your readers usually get distracted quickly and spend little time on what they should be doing, you can consider a welcome mat CTA.

Welcome Mat CTA

Note: There’s no silver-bullet CTA, so you should test them all, and hopefully, you will find one that works the best for your audience. Also, the top performers will change over time – so the secret here is to keep testing.

But don’t overthink it. 😉

Newsletter SignUp

In most cases, less is more, and 3 different CTAs is not a good idea, unless you want to annoy your site’s visitors…

How to Add Call to Action

There are ready-made services with easy integration, amazing tracking, and several segmenting features.

On WordPress and the biggest e-commerce platforms, you can use Mailmunch.

No matter which plugin you use, the integration usually is pretty fast and intuitive.

And when it’s done, you will have the ability to collect potential customers’ contact information without spending a penny.

Moreover, once you implement the CTA, you will have the final piece in place to ensure a steady flow of new leads month over month.

Pretty neat, huh?

One important thing to add, is that GDPR requires you to clearly explain how you’ll use the person’s email and to obtain explicit consent to add them to your contact list.

Since you won’t be able to edit the call to action in some cases, a double opt-in is a recommended alternative. This way, you can confirm the person’s email and explain the type of communication for which their email will be used.

Dog A Day Double OptIn

Now It’s Your Turn

Now you know the basics. Use this new knowledge wisely and offer something valuable to your potential customers.

Quickly, let’s recap:

  • Topic research is step number one – find a focus keyword with keyword difficulty score from 0 to 40.
  • Next, distribute the focus keyword and related keywords according to the 10-step guide mentioned in this post.
  • Then, seek out a few backlinks by reaching out to websites that mentioned inferior posts.
  • Finally, add a lead-magnet with a clear consent message and a CTA with an opt-in checkbox to collect addresses and grow your email list.

It is a never-ending game, but you are now ready to start playing. Go forth and conquer!

The Impact Of New Emojis In Email Subject Lines

First things first… Happy World Emoji Day! 🎉

You’ve probably already noticed it if you receive our newsletters or have been reading our content for a while, but here at Mailjet we’re addicted to emojis. Seriously, we love them. Which is why we’re so excited about being able to celebrate them today.

Fun fact: Did you know that the date for World Emoji Day (July 17th) was chosen because it is the date shown on the famous calendar emoji? There, something super hip for you to share with your friends during your next dinner.

calendar emoji

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at whether emojis work in email subject lines or not. To find out, we tested different options in four countries. The results are summarized in an infographic below.

 

What are emojis?

Emojis (Japanese for ‘figurative characters‘) are Unicode pictograms used on digital communications.

They were developed in 1999 by Japanese interface designer Shigetaka Kurita, as part of NTT DoCoMo‘s i-mode mobile Internet platform. The ideograms became an instant hit, first in Japan and then all over the world.

Even though the names sound quite similar, emojis are different from emoticons. Emoticons were developed in 1982, are purely text-based and reproduce typographic facial expressions. Unlike emojis, emoticons have the advantage that all browsers and devices can easily display them (but… they’re not as pretty 😉).

One of the main issues when it comes to using emojis is in fact that not all browsers support them in the same way. Actually, they can vary considerably from one device, browser or email client to another.

Emojis on a Windows laptop (left) and on an Apple MacBook Air (right).

 

Emojis in Email Subject Lines

When it comes to our newsletters, here at Mailjet we love testing different ideas (and sharing the results with all of you). Over the years, we’ve tested swear words in our subject lines (albeit British slang – we’re not that rude), Schadenfreudeemail fails and, of course, emojis.

Yeah, emojis are our favorite. Every July we get creative with our subject lines to find out whether emojis are still as impactful, and if they really work when it comes to driving email engagement and increasing open rates.

2016

In 2016, we tested four different emojis, across four geographies (US, UK, France and Spain). Globally, the best performing emoji, was the ‘joy’ emoji 😂.

You can check the results for our Emojis in Email Subject Line Survey 2016 here.

2017

In 2017, we decided to step it up and test eight emojis. We used the four emojis we tested in 2016, versus four other emojis, across five geographies (US, UK, France, Spain and Germany).

You can check the results for our Emojis in Email Subject Line Survey 2017 here.

2018

This year for World Emoji Day, we’ve decided to test seven of the new emojis in our weekly newsletters.

🤩 🤨 🤯 🤬 🤮 🤭 🧐

 

Results: Emojis in Email Subject Lines

This time, we wanted to conduct a survey to identify which one of the new emojis worked best to generate engagement. So we tested them by adding seven of these new emojis to our subject lines. The results were, as always, interesting and quite insightful. In some cases, even a bit surprising.

Curious? See for yourself:

 

Now it’s your turn to test emojis

Curious to know which emojis work best for you? Do some A/B Testing on your own newsletters!

If you haven’t heard about A/B Testing or if you just vaguely remember the concept, here’s a quick recap: A/B testing is essentially an experiment where two or more variants of an email are shown to users at random, and statistical analysis is used to determine which variation performs better.

A/B tests allow you to find the best option for elements such as the sender name, subject, content, and design of your email. You can test several and then the most powerful version of the email will be sent to the rest of the list. The advantage is that it maximizes your chances of reaching your target and optimizes the results of your emailing campaign.

 

Have you performed a similar test? Are you celebrating #WorldEmojiDay? Or, perhaps you’re a superfan of using emojis, just like us. Share your experiences with us on Twitter.

 

How To Build And Grow Your Email Marketing List

How to grow your email list?

OK, so… If you are here, it means that you have made the wise decision to use email as part of your marketing strategy. Very well. But how do you start?

There is a fundamental thing that you are missing, which is an email list to send your communications to.

In this blog post, we provide a practical guide to help you understand how to build an email list and how to grow your email marketing list.

Are you ready to master the art of email list building? Here we go!

 

What is an email list?

An email list is a list of names, details and personal information of people who have given you consent to receive updates and offers from your business via email on a regular basis.

Why building and growing your email list

When built properly, email lists contain details about people who specifically gave you permission to send them updates and promotions from your business. This, therefore, means that they will be interested in receiving regular updates from you and in what you offer. They are a highly engaged audience.

Building an email list is not an easy task. However, it is an extremely effective marketing strategy. In fact, email marketing is 40 times more effective at converting prospects into customers than social media or any other online medium. The reason why you should do it, then, is to create engaged contacts who will turn into loyal (paying) customers.

What are the advantages of having a large email list

In general, people think that the more contacts in your list, the better it is for your business, as this will mean that you have a wider target reach.

So many fall into the trap of buying or acquiring contact lists.

This is not only an easy fix that is detrimental for your business, but it is also, since May 25th, against the new European Data Protection Regulation – GDPR, for friends. By building your contact lists in this way, you risk incurring into severe financial penalties.

Instead, you need to build your contact lists using the right strategy, which is by earning rather than buying permission to get in touch with people.

Yes, okay, the money is in the email list, we all know that. But do you think it would be more valuable for you to have a list of 100,000 contacts who don’t even open your emails of one of 2,000 subscribers who actually engage with your content? You already know the answer.

Desigual highlights its privacy policy to those subscribing to the brand’s newsletter
Desigual highlights its privacy policy to those subscribing to the brand’s newsletter

Now that we’ve established that purchasing contact lists is a big no-no, we can focus on why you should put effort into building, growing and nurturing your email list.

Email List: how to build it effectively

Building your email list effectively, means that you allow people to decide that they want you to be in touch with them.

Forcing them to receive your communications is not good for either of you. For them, because they never opted-in to receive your communication and they don’t want them in your inbox.

Come on, think about it, don’t you get annoyed when you find yourself flooded with emails you don’t want to receive? Well, the same goes for them – yours is just another business.

Newsletter Inbox
Yours is just another brand in a full inbox

For you, this means two things: bad stats and low deliverability.
People won’t open or click your emails.
You will start getting hard bounces, and people will want to unsubscribe. You won’t allow them to unsubscribe not to lose contacts? BAD!
That’s just bad emailing practice, and again, not GDPR compliant (Fines, fines, fines, coming your way…). (Unwilling) subscribers will start reporting spam, and your deliverability and sender reputation will be impacted.

Purchasing contact lists is just a big, bad idea. But how do I do this, then – you may be wondering – if I ask my friends, relatives and other people I know for their email address, I won’t get nearly enough people to use to build a contact list.

Purchasing Lists Forbidden
Purchasing or acquiring contact lists is bad practice

Don’t fret, we are here to explain to you how to do this in the best possible way. And without having to ask your grandma and aunt for their email addresses.

Grow your email list with the right strategy

The first step in building your email list properly is to create opt-in offers that people won’t think twice about. This is a critical step as not crafting the right offer means that you won’t obtain the desired outcome, and critically, it will not convert, regardless of the amount of traffic it gets.

Create irresistible opt-in offers
Create irresistible opt-in offers

Finding the right messaging and offer will take time and probably a few attempts. Once you find the best opt-in offers, you need to place them in front of people who could be interested in them.

Build and Grow your email list organically

Following email list building and growing best practices upholds your brand and sender reputation, ensures higher engagement and ultimately improves deliverability. To get people to sign up to your email and to give permission to be added to your contact list you can use a variety of channels.

Here are some examples for you:

  • Adding widgets to your website: You can place sign-up widgets in many places on your website, like on the homepage, on blog posts, on resource pages… And you can even decide to implement a pop-up page that comes up in front of visitors. They won’t be able to ignore it. 😏
    Time Out Subscription Pop Up
    Timeout implements a tiny pop up in the shape of an envelope on the right bottom corner

     

  • Get social: Your business social media accounts are another great way of promoting your sign up offer. You can use CTAs on your profile page or use Ads for promotion.
    Adidas Sign Up Social
    You can Tweet about a new upcoming product and incentivise people to sign up to get updates

     

    Epoch Times Sign Up Twitter Bio
    Or you can include a link to it in your bio

     

  • Email signature: Maybe you hadn’t thought about this one, but your email signature is a great place where you can place a newsletter opt-in or where you can promote your most recent content. People with whom you have established a personal relationship through email exchange may be more interested in hearing from you regularly.
    Email Signature Sign Up
    Include a newsletter opt-in in your email signature

     

Other places that you can get people to opt in is through live events, partnerships and guest blogging opportunities, or even through existing relationships.

Email List Building: Optimize Your Conversion Rate

One way to organically grow and build a healthy, permission based email list is on-site retargeting. It works by monitoring the behavior of your visitors in real-time on your site. When a visitor’s behavior indicates they might be looking towards the exit, an additional message can be displayed to them – usually in a pop-up overlay.

FOMO Newsletter
Leverage on FOMO to drive sign ups to your newsletter

 

This exit-intent technology works by monitoring the movement of the mouse. When the system detects that a visitor is about to leave your site (by the movement of their mouse towards exiting the page or clicking bookmark links) a secondary message pops up to appeal to your visitors and engage with them further. Let’s see specifically how you can use this to maximise the number of visitors signing up for your newsletter.

    1. Create an email list: Include a sign up offer in an exit-intent pop-up
      There are several types of pop-ups that can be used to keep otherwise departing visitors engaged. But when it comes to list building, the most effective ones collect contact details. A well-timed and controlled sign up pop-up is a strong way to keep your prospects engaged at the right time and get them to opt-in to your email list.

      Leafing So Soon Privy
      Cleverly play with words in your pop up to attract people’s attention, like Privy does

       

    2. Build your email list: Use YES-NO pop-ups in multi-page campaigns
      The average website visitor prefers to click first and then fill in a form. You can take advantage of this and create multi-step on-site retargeting campaigns to increase your subscriptions. One approach is a simple YES-NO pop-up which appears before the subscription form.

      Yes/No Pop Up
      Implement a Yes/No pop-up before your subscription form

       

    3. How to build an email list: Personalize your message
      Visitors are more likely to stay engaged with your business if the pop-up is relevant to their specific needs and interests. This means you’ll be able to organically increase your subscription rate by communicating the right message at the right time to each segment of your audience. For example, if a visitor shows a specific interest, the most relevant pop-up will appear.

      Pull&Bear Sign Up Form
      Pull&Bear asks subscribers about gender to provide a personalised experience

      For more advanced personalization, use Dynamic Text Replacement in your pop-ups to alter the text based on any variable you wish. This way, you can display highly targeted messages to individual visitors using only one pop-up.

    4. Use nanobars to grow your email listJust like a less flashy on-site retargeting pop-up that appears on exit intent, a nanobar or notification bar, can be used to gather subscribers. Nanobars are also called “sticky bars” because they “stick” to the top or bottom of a website.
      Design My Night Newsletter Top Bar
      Design My Nights Implements a opt in offer on the top bar

       

      Nanobars are typically triggered based on engagement. If you feel your visitors find exit-intent pop-ups too intrusive, nanobars are a great alternative that can be adapted to fit your site’s user experience.

    5. A/B test your messages to optimize your list building
      A/B testing gives you the power to test which on-site retargeting campaign generates more subscribers. You can learn what design and content elements should be changed, what should be removed and what should stay.
      You can improve your subscription rate by eliminating your under performing pop-ups. This can boost your opt-in subscriptions by as much as 40%.

 

  1. Build an email list: Promote a free giveaway
    Your visitors are more likely to provide their email address if they receive something useful in return.

Your giveaway should be easily consumable content and helpful for your prospects. We’ve found the following giveaways usually work well: e-books, cheat sheets, checklists, case studies, webinars or video series.

Pinch Of Yum offers subscribers a free eCookbook
Pinch Of Yum offers subscribers a free eCookbook

As you can see, there are a variety of great on-site retargeting methods and tools available to engage your visitors and get them excited to opt in to your emailing list.

That being said, make sure to only email consumers about the information they signed up to receive. For example, if they sign-up to receive a freebie, it’s not cool to automatically add them to your newsletter list without asking them first.

A suggestion? Include a newsletter opt-in check box directly on your retargeting message or if you are capturing sales leads, be sure to remind your sales team to ask the prospect if they wish to sign up to the company newsletter before adding them to your organisation’s marketing list. Last but not least, always remember to have your data privacy link readily available on your main website.

Email Communication Policy
Data privacy policy available for subscribers when signing up

 

How to build an email list: Best practices

An email contact list is a huge asset for Marketers in terms of lead generation and customer retention. It is especially useful in gaining insight into how a customer base consumes and reacts to your brand over time.

However, despite its many benefits, list growth often gets a bad rap. Not only does it takes time to organically acquire new contacts, customers are opting out on a daily or weekly basis.

First of all, to build an engaged and profitable contact list, here are three rules of permission you should never forget:

Email List best practice #1 – Permission is earned, not bought

Promises are the currency of permission. You’ll only get people onto your email list by making a promise. And they’ll only stick around if you fulfill that promise. Here’s what does work:

  • Acquire contacts organically. Commit to never buying a list or tricking people into getting on your list. When contacts engage with you on their own terms, they’re far more likely to stay engaged and become customers.
  • Make a compelling promise. A great promise is what will get people on your list and position your new relationship with them. The more relevant and personal the promise is to your prospect’s life, the stronger the relationship and the better your chances of converting them into customers.
  • Put your promise in the right place. Go where your prospects are. If you have an active blog, place opt-in offers there. If there are popular websites in your niche, guest blog on those sites and point readers back to an opt-in offer. Advertising on social media is another excellent way to get your offers in front of people.
No Spam. Except in the kitchen.
The promise: no spam, except in the kitchen.

 

Email List best practice #2 – Permission is a journey, not an event

Get the news you choose
Allow subscribers to decide for themselves

When a contact opts in, you’ve earned the lowest level of permission. The goal is to continue escalating the relationship to higher and higher levels of permission until, eventually, customers decide to buy whatever you want them to buy. Here’s are a few tips to help get started:

  • Build your permission ladder. What are the levels of permission on your list? How can you escalate relationships from opt-in to sale? Most email marketers haven’t clearly defined the steps they want subscribers to take between opt-in and conversion. This is an important place to start.
  • Segment your list by journey. Your subscribers are not all identical. Different customers are on different journeys and their motivations for engagement will vary. Define the different pathways to becoming a customer and segment your list accordingly to make sure your content is always anticipated, personal, and relevant.
  • Automate permission-building. The real power of email marketing lies in automation. Once you’ve built your permission ladder and segmented your list, make good use of autoresponders and other automation tools to put the process of escalating permission on auto pilot.

Email List best practice #3 – Permission is temporary, not permanent

The idea of losing permission is a scary thought. It’s the marketing equivalent of a breakup.
But the great thing about email marketing, as opposed to relationships, is that you’re able to see the warning signs long before you lose permission for good. To do this, you must pay attention to these three numbers:

  1. Open rates measure how much subscribers anticipate receiving your emails. If your open rates start to drop, it’s a good sign that you’re not consistently delivering on your promise or the topic itself isn’t as interesting to your subscriber as it used to be.
  2. Click rates measure how effective your content is at inspiring action. It’s nice when people read your email, but if they’re not taking the intended action, that’s a sign that you’re losing permission.
  3. Unsubscribe rates track when you’ve finally lost permission for good. When someone unsubscribes from your list, it means they’ve gotten to the point where they’d like to formally revoke permission and never hear from you again. Marketers tend to focus on unsubscribe rates as the ultimate measure of when permission is lost. But the truth is, you probably lost permission far before your subscriber reached for that unsubscribe button.
Stats
Numbers you should pay attention to

Email List best practice #4 Always ask customers to opt-in. Double opt-in, if possible

The purpose of asking customers to opt-in to your email marketing is two-fold; to protect your sender reputation and to ensure customers are engaged and receptive to your brand and content.

Some may argue that asking for opt-in results in a smaller contact list since customers have to perform this extra step. However, not asking for permission before sending puts you at risk of being marked as spam or worse, being blacklisted by an ISP – and obviously at risk of fines, since May 25th. Just one abuse complaint can lead to having both your Domain name and IP addresses blacklisted.
We, at Mailjet recommend using a double-opt in process. As an added layer to the standard opt-in, customers receive a triggered confirmation email that they have to click on to reconfirm their email address and subscription preference.

Fearless Sign Up

First you sign up

 

Then you confirm your email address

This ensures that the customer provides an active, accurate email address which helps avoiding spam traps and bounces – both of which ISPs look at very closely to judge the quality of your emails and decide whether or not you are allowed to enter through their pearly inbox gates.

Email List best practice #5 Never buy email lists, no matter how tempting it may be

Yeah, we’ve said this already more than once, but… It may seem like a quick and easy way to a high ROI, but buying email lists is forbidden by ISPs.
Not only is there is no way for you to determine the quality of the customers on your purchased or rented list but, more importantly, these customers are unfamiliar with your brand and will be quick to penalize you for sending them an unsolicited message. You run the big risk of being blacklisted and/or marked as spam in a matter of seconds.

Email List best practice #6 Start with good content

Engage customers by first presenting them with rich, relevant content through your blog, ebook or white papers. Provide these users with an option to subscribe to this content via email.

Include rich, relevant content
Include rich, relevant content

This indirect approach will ensure a higher list quality and sender reputation because customers who opt-in to receive your messages are already familiar with your brand and will be receptive to your contact and stay engaged.

Email List best practice #7 Leverage other social channels to grow your list

Beyond awesome brand recognition and content, online sweepstakes may be an additional way to to grow your brand recognition and contact list but be careful, it has to be done correctly.

They need to absolutely know that the counterpart of submitting their email address for a prize or giveaway is that you are also asking them for their permission to add their email address to your contact list. This needs to be done with full transparency and an opt-in mechanism.

Spin the wheel and win NL pop-up
Grow brand recognition with online sweepstake

 

Email List best practice #8 Create a landing page that highlight benefits of joining your contact list

It may seem a bit repetitive to you, but including a dedicated landing page on your website for those who subscribe to your emails can be beneficial.

This is because subscribers may want to learn more about how frequently they can expect to receive communications from you and what sort of content you will be sending out.

Highlight the benefits of signing up
Highlight the benefits of signing up

 

Email List best Practice #9 Use creative CTAs that draw attention to your gated content

Using creative CTAs is a great way to direct people (AKA possible leads) towards your gated content, and obtain their email address.

Asking people only for an email address does not qualify them as good leads, but if your goal is to build a contact list, this is the simplest possible way to slowly introduce people to your brand. You can then later on accumulate more information about the subscriber, as more interest is manifested on their side.

Just bear in mind, that you state clearly that by giving out their email address to receive that piece of content, subjects are also giving consent for you to send out to them your email marketing communications.

Extra Tip: Use Side Project Marketing To Your Advantage

According to Brian Clark, the golden rule of online marketing is this:“Give something valuable away in order to sell something related.”

If you feel like your content production, advertising and other practices are not really working enough to get you where you want to be, a side project may be the answer. It is a great way not only to grow your email subscriber base but also to grow brand awareness.

No, don’t worry, we haven’t gone completely nuts. Side projects are a product or service that is clearly not your business’ main offering, but is a related and free offer provided to your audience in exchange of their email address.

Still sounds scary to you, right? It may seem like a lot of work at first, but the reality is that it doesn’t have to be. It could be just a free version or free trial of your product. Or it could be something completely different.

For example, Crew, a company who matches companies with hand-picked freelancers, offers a number of different side projects to their customers, including things like a calculator to help people figure out the cost of an app they want develop, a collection of free stock photos, and a list of what they call ‘unicorn’ coffee shops to work from that have the ultimate combination of working perfection: good coffee, good wifi, and plenty of outlet plugs.

HowMuchToMakeAnApp

Yeah okay, now you’re panicking cause you don’t have the money, nor the time, nor the resources to do this. But bear in mind: your side marketing project doesn’t have to be something huge and great, it can be something easy and simple that people can benefit from, like a simple spreadsheet.

Build your email list with the right tool

Several things have to fall in line before a consumer is willing to share their email address. There has to be trust, a good incentive and it has to be easy to opt-in – each additional click means a drop off in sign ups.

As far as trust and good incentives go, consumers are looking for content that is specifically valuable and relevant to them. Personalized content drives a 20% increase in sales. You therefore need to pick the right email partner, which will allow you to create and customize subscription widgets according to your (and your audience’s) needs.

The subscription widget is a no-brainer when it comes to maximizing your website for lead generation. Visitors are already interested or engaging with your brand, and email is a great next touchpoint for sharing non-promotional, value-adding content. It’s a free resource and a low commitment way for your prospective clients to get to know your brand.

Mailjet Blog Widget
Widget on the Mailjet blog

Mailjet’s subscription widget allows you to easily create opt-in forms, integrate them into your site(s) and automatically see your opt-ins added to your contact lists within your Mailjet account. All with little or no design and coding experience.

As consumers tend to prefer a personalised experience, the subscription widget also allow you to collect a variety of customer information up front (first name, last name, birthday, mailing address etc.). Fields can be marked as mandatory – to strike the right balance between requesting information and making it easy for your users to sign up.

All of the data is then automatically sorted and synced with your Mailjet contact list. Collecting this data at the beginning of your touch point with customers allows you to build deeper demographic testing over time.

Create as many subscription widgets as needed and test their performance across your sites. The subscription widget’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor allows customize your forms with a few clicks of the mouse. Edit the layout, text, image, and color scheme order to fit your brand’s visual aesthetic. When you’ve landed on a design you’d like to use, the tool will generate an HTML code to be copy and pasted into your website’s source code.

Create widgets easily with Mailjet
Create widgets easily with Mailjet

At Mailjet, we know how much hard work it takes to build, grow and nurture your contact list. And that’s why, we try to make your life easier by providing you with the most intuitive and handy tools to help you at every stage of your email marketing strategy, as well as with guidance on the best practice when it comes to emailing.

And now go, make us proud, and build contact lists that will last you a lifetime!