Building your email list: getting people to join
In a previous post (9 things to include in your email newsletter) we talked about what to put in your newsletter now you’ve decided to get serious about sending an e-newsletter on a regular basis. This assumes you’ve got ways to get people to join your email list so they can get your mailings, including your newsletter. The missing part of that conversation is how to get people to join your email list.
There are several ways to get people onto your list and one of the best ways to get people to join your list of contacts and subscribers is to gift them with what’s called freebies. Freebies have a distinct way of converting ordinary, casual readers or passersby into well-paying customers. This time-tested method of using freebies to get more clients and subscribers has proven to help grow email lists quickly and cheaply.
As far as an email list is concerned, a freebie or a giveaway is something that your clients can download for free. The main purpose of a freebie is to get a lot of people to view your site and get them to sign-up.
Technically speaking, it is a way to get more traffic to your website, with a definite link to increasing sales and profits.
What are the advantages of freebies?
There are many advantages to giving away gifts to your clients. Here are some of them:
They generates results. A give away is almost always sure to get new clients to subscribe or sign-up.
They don't need much. You don’t have to be an IT expert to send freebies to your clients. Since everything in an email list is automated, you should have no worries about search engine optimization, website design, and other technical stuff.
They are efficient. Once the freebie is ready, all you have to do is send them to your mailing list form and the rest will be taken care of by your email service provider’s automation rules.
They Work. As a visitor signs up for the freebie, they will need provide their email address at a minimum to download or get it. If the freebie is seen as something valuable, interested people may people decide to sign-up.
What freebies do you give away?
There are many types of freebies that you can give away to your clients and subscribers. Your freebies must be something digital, for the obvious reason that you are sending them through the internet and email.
Having trouble determining what gifts to send? Well, you may want to look at this list of most commonly sent freebies and giveaways that many businesses ahead of you usually send.
- Resource guides
- Free Reports
- Software scripts
- Free audios or Mp3s
- Short video clips
- Product promotions
- Announcements and coupons
As previously mentioned, these are some of the most common freebies that are sent through email every day. If you come up with a new one, please feel free to share.
How to set up your list and freebies
After choosing which kind of freebie (gift) to send, you’ll need to come up with an area where clients can download your freebie. Some Email Service Provider (ESP) services have this option built in, other’s will need you to create a page in your website that allows the clients to download the freebie. Here is how you do that.
Let them sign-up
This will be the page or form where your visitors will sign-up to download their gifts. You’ve seen and probably used these forms or pages in the past. The person inputs their email addresses in the web-form or page area provided which automatically saves their information to your list.
Based on what service you are using, they will see a note telling them they can always cancel their subscription anytime, which should get them to thinking “Well, it’s just this once…” and make them click the “download” button.
Say thank you
This serves two purposes. One is to say “thank you,” and the second is to make sure that you are sending the freebie to the right people. Your thank you page also cuts down on people from giving you fake email addresses.
After they sign-up and give you their email address, you will send an automatic response to the email address that they provided. The response will not include the gift, but instead a short thank you note. Below the note is a link that leads to the download page. So, if they gave you a fake email address, they will not be able to click the link and download the gift.
Let them download
After you have verified that the email addresses are real, it’s time to give them the freebie through your download page. Make sure to include instructions on how they can download their freebie (for example, “to get your gift, right click this and save as that…” and so on).
You might want to also provide links to download any software required to run your freebie. For example, if you sent an ebook in PDF format, you may want to include a link to help them download a PDF reader.
What to do now? Download a PDF copy of this blog post for future reading! Do you have an idea for a great freebie? Let us know in the comments because I'm always looking for something that can wow my blog readers!