Quite the contrary. Email is alive and well. In fact, it’s still one of the best channels to communicate with users and customers. According to data compiled by Litmus, email has a higher conversion rate per session than search and social media combined – search has 2.64 percent, social 0.48 percent, and email boasts a fantastic 4.16 percent.
Litmus also mentions that 44 percent of users prefer email to look for a deal, instead of search (six percent) or Facebook (four percent). And above everything else, email marketing severely outperforms keyword ads and banner ads in terms of return on investment.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, although social media and other channels have their merit, email still trumps them all.
This is for a number of reasons:
- Email is a medium of direct communication. Your message arrives directly in your user’s private inbox, instead of being a mass update, like Facebook.
- Email means a higher degree of commitment. If someone gave you their email, it means that in some way, they are interested in what you have to offer. A like or a follow comes way easier, and isn’t as significant, so treat it accordingly.
- Email provides the opportunity for private communication, as no one but the two of you will see it. This means users have the opportunity to open up and tell you their fears, problems, pain points and needs – things they wouldn’t on Twitter.
Why building your list is important, and why start now
People have been debating furiously: Is email dead or not? PC Mag claims the days of emailing are numbered, Entrepreneur believes that it’s still alive and kicking, while the Harvard Business Review maintains that it’s neither dead nor alive, it’s evolving.
You should understand that email plays an entirely different role than social media in terms of engaging with your audience.
We covered above how email trumps all other mediums in terms of ROI. Also, according to a 2012 study, email is still an important part of many people’s work lives, with the average person spending up to 50% of their time in the inbox. That’s half of their working hours.
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The real question is – why should you start sooner rather than later?
First, the sooner you start, the more subscribers you will have after a certain period of time. If you start your list now, instead of two months from now, it means you have two extra months to engage with your audience, turn them into loyal fans, and learn from them.
Second, you should seize the opportunity and provide a service. If the content you produce is relevant, a lot of visitors will go to your blog or website, enjoy it, and they will ask for more. By putting an opt in form and grabbing that attention, you won’t be leaking potential fans.
Third, the sooner you invest in your list, the sooner you can reach out to your subscribers with information to monetize them. After all, you are building a business!
Finally, and most importantly, procrastination. If you don’t start now, you run the risk of never doing it. As Derek Halpern, from Social Triggers, puts it:
If you’re running an online business, brick-and-mortar small business, or ANY kind of business, you NEED a way to stay in touch with your prospects and customers. And since every single person in the world has an email address, building an email list is one of the cheapest, most cost-effective solution for doing that. When’s the best time to get started? Right now. Don’t wait for a “bribe.” Don’t wait for things to look perfect. Start building your email list today.
So let’s start!
How to use infographics to grow your list
Infographics are a powerful tool for list building. Usually, people believe infographics are only meant for engagement, but there are numerous creative ways to use them to attract subscribers.
Below I will describe three of them. Because I’m a bit OCD, I segmented each tactic into different skill levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
If you follow the instructions carefully, and step by step, you’ll be able to perform the three of them, but some basic understanding of certain tools might help you navigate the most advanced tactics.
Use your infographic as the hook
As a marketer or business owner, your job is to attract people to your offering. But to do it, you shouldn’t show all your cards at once. Instead, use a hook – a tease, a sample, a mental appetizer. Something that leaves them begging for more.
Lucky for us, infographics are perfect hooks. They are beautiful, shareable, and can condense a lot of information into an easy to read graphic.
The goal is to distribute an amazing infographic to potential customers, and when they are craving more, ask for their email.
Start by creating a Piktochart account, grabbing one of our beautiful pre-designed templates, and repurposing that template into a beautiful infographic of your own. We wrote a whole series on the topic, so feel free to browse around!
Drop that infographic into your blog, and add one of the countless list building tools on the internet. This will allow you to collect your reader’s email address and send them to your email list. At Piktochart, we use SumoMe’s Scroll Box, but you can use OptinMonster, HelloBar, or many others.
They are really easy to install and configure, and you don’t need to know a thing about HTML, CSS, or anything.
The final step is finding a way to distribute your infographic to new audiences who might get hooked, and ask for more content. We did a whole series on marketing infographics, but a good idea is to share it with your audience, try to maximize its chances of going viral or use Facebook Ads to promote it.
To wrap up: All you need is a quality infographic, a way to distribute and a way to gather email addresses with tools like HelloBar and you can easily turn casual visitors into email subscribers.
Give an infographic to your readers as a content upgrade
Picture this fictional scenario. You’ve just arrived at a botanics blog, looking to learn how to plant your recently bought petunias. You find what you were looking for – a post called ‘The 3 Secrets Everyone Should Know About Planting The Perfect Petunias’.
Amazing! You are thrilled! You read it a couple times, and get all the information you were looking for about petunias.
Right next to it, there is a small offer to join their email list in exchange for a free report called “7 Steps to Buying The Perfect Flowers.” But you don’t want to buy more flowers. You already have your petunias, so even though you loved the post, you leave.
This is something that often happens but internet marketers don’t have a solution. Enter content upgrades.
This interesting strategy is right out of the Blogger Sidekick’s playbook (thanks Will!) and it’s pretty straightforward: write an amazing blog post, and at the end, put a tangible offer that’s directly related to the content.
Most blog owners create one, two or three lead magnets for their site and throw them out there for people to subscribe. Instead, they should create something called a ‘content upgrade’ for every single blog post.
A content upgrade is a free downloadable resource that complements your blog post, but it’s only available to readers who join your newsletter or give you their email address.
If we go back to the flowers example, instead of ‘‘7 Steps to Buying The Perfect Flowers”, at the end of your post you should offer people “7 Steps to Planting The Perfect Petunias in Under 30 Minutes.”
It is created, optimised and specific to an individual blog post. This targeted offer is 10x more compelling as a way of capturing emails because you can guarantee the reader is interested in that specific information.
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Robbie Richards, who writes Actionable Online Marketing Strategies, claims that with generic CTAs he had 5-6 percent conversion rate, but after he implemented a few, targeted content upgrades, it skyrocketed to up to 57 percent.
Let’s take a look at how to use an infographic as a lead magnet.
- Create an amazingly valuable blog post. The first step is to craft valuable content that will act as the initial hook to your readers. If they feel like they didn’t get value out of it, chances are they won’t exchange their email address for more.
- Turn that blog post into an infographic, or a checklist using Piktochart. We’ve covered how to transform articles into infographics by capturing the most important points.
- At the bottom of the blog post, offer that extra resource to visitors in exchange for their email. The easiest way of doing this is with OptinMonster for Wordpress.
Let’s take a look at this example on Blogger Sidekick. After a post on writing content, Will offers the Write Like a Boss bundle, in which he includes a checklist, a template and extra information on how to write killer blog posts.
Use infographics to create a remarketing audience
If you aren’t aware of what remarketing is, you’ve probably experienced it in some way or another. If you’ve ever searched for an Aeropress Coffee Maker on Amazon, and then, you started seeing this all over the internet…
… followed by a BUY NOW button, then chances are Amazon is remarketing to you.
Essentially, remarketing offers businesses a way of targeting visitors that recently visited your site, outside of your site. By personalizing ads based on your previous web history, publishers have some level of certainty that you are interested in their product.
If you visited the Aeropress website, even if you left without buying, it means you have a higher degree of interest that someone who has never even heard about the brand.
This is an extremely powerful tactic and although it’s a bit more advanced, it’s equally doable. It takes some previous knowledge and following instructions closely, but anyone can do it.
- Design an infographic using Piktochart. The first step is picking a topic or an article, and designing a beautiful and valuable infographic around it. This infographic will be the hook that attract people initially.
- Download your Piktochart, and upload it to your blog. Simply create a new post, and add it as an image. If you have some coding skills, you can get the code snippet, and add it to an HTML website.
- Add your remarketing pixel. To set up remarketing for your website, you must first implement a small piece of code into your site. Every time you get a new web visitor, your site will drop an anonymous browser cookie. Now, when your “cookied” visitors go to another site, your remarketing ad service provider will know when to deliver an ad from the your website. Luckily, Wordpress has countless plugins for that which don’t involve coding. This is a fantastic one. Each advertising platform (Google, Facebook, Bing, etc) has it’s own remarketing conversion code, so you’ll need to do this multiple times.
- Create a landing page using Unbounce or Leadpages. The landing page should share the same specific topic than the infographic because you’ll leverage the visitor’s previous interest in it. For instance, if you design an infographic about tips to build an email list, your landing page should be about more tips and hacks to build an email list.5. Get the ball rolling. With some luck and work on your end, your infographic should start getting visits, and that remarketing pixel will slowly but consistently generate an audience you can remarket to. Simply login to your preferred advertising platform, and select the people who have visited your infographic in the past 30 days as your target audience. This should only show your ad to people who visited your infographic in the past, which are also interested in what you have to offer on your landing page!
Thanks for reading! Do you use infographics to grow your email list? Do you think there is something missing? Share it in the comments!