Content marketing and blog posts are an excellent source for increasing website traffic and expanding your company’s email list. Instagram and SnapChat might be all the rage, but they’re no substitute for the written word. Furthermore, no blog post will ever require expensive equipment such as video cameras and live recording devices in order to communicate valuable information to your consumer audience. The truth is that when your posts deliver coveted answers to consumer questions regarding your brand, the search engines take notice. With a little SEO work and some optimization, your blog content can rank highly in SERPs (search engine results pages), attracting visitors to your website. In fact, companies which blog eleven or more times each month average three times the website traffic than businesses which blog once a month (or not at all).
Your blog posts establish your brand’s credibility, positioning your business as an authority on a subject. However, failure to include a next step for readers is a common, costly mistake.
Here’s what you SHOULD be doing with your blog posts in order to grow your customer database:
Offer opt-ins. While 95% of users have a functioning email address, they can’t sign up for your newsletter if they don’t know you have one. Incorporate links to sign up for your email list throughout your entire blog as well as the individual posts. Opt-ins can be a form in which readers input their email addresses or a link to a sign-up page. You can incorporate opt-in forms on your website header, footer, sidebar, as a pop-up or at the end of each post. You want to place them where readers will notice.
Incorporate personalized CTAs (Call to Action). A personalized CTA which offers something to your customers will compel them to stop and fill in their email info. Be sure your CTAs stand out and are noticeable among the existing content. CTAs should be visually appealing while matching the rest of your website. In addition, be sure to use direct, interesting copy to describe your CTA so that customers will want to click on it.
Lead magnets are crucial to a thriving email list. Lead magnets are offers which attract consumers to your email list. A good lead magnet is the entire reason a consumer will want to receive email from you, so you need to think carefully about what it is you’d like to offer! Readers will want to know what kind of email they are signing up for and whether or not it will be of value to them. Imagine being invited to a restaurant without having the ability to choose what you will be served. I doubt you’d go.
Clarity is key and you need to offer your readers relevant content and info in order to get them to subscribe. AND, while this might seem obvious, don’t forget to connect your CTA with your preferred email platform. Your landing page sign-up form, should you choose to have one, will connect new subscribers with your email list so they are signed up to receive your next email.
Email is one of the most important tools in your brand’s arsenal. In fact, email list building should definitely be incorporated into your marketing strategy! Afterall, 80% of online users say that email is their preferred marketing method.
Your email is a core tool for your business and it needs to be professional in order to consistently present the best image of your brand to your customers. For most business owners, their first venture into having a business email address is either a free or cheap email account purchased through a web host. While this might be acceptable as a short-term starter solution, free email addresses can be a serious red flag for consumers who feel it lacks credibility. In other words, you get what you pay for and free email is not good business.
When people see an email account that is from a free service, they may assume that you are reluctant to spend money, therefore the products and services that you offer may not be of the highest quality. Consumer perceptions are critical to the success of your business. Having a free email address may make those who are considering doing business with you think twice before they enter into a relationship with you. An easy remedy: register your business domain name in order to have a professional business email address. Businesses with professional email addresses are viewed as more established businesses. You might be surprised at how this simple, inexpensive step can easily open up a large amount of new business opportunities for you and your business.
No domain? No business investment.
Registering your domain name is very inexpensive. Failure to register your domain will likely be viewed as a direct lack of investment into your business. Customers may wonder where else you’ve cut costs (a.k.a. corners). This feeds into the perception that your products or services are of inferior quality.
Are you here to stay?
If you aren’t investing in one of the most inexpensive purchases a business can make, consumers will begin to question whether your business is here to stay. Customers need to be able to trust that you will always work with their best interests in mind. A professional email address reflects your willingness to invest consumers’ hard-earned money reassuring them that your brand is trustworthy and that you plan to stick around for a very long time. Having a legitimate business email address and email system is evidence of your willingness to invest in your business for the betterment of consumer experiences with your brand.
‘Free’ means ‘No technical support’.
I don’t know who you plan to call when your free email service goes out of commission because I can guarantee you that no one’s answering the phone over at Yahoo. With a true email hosting service, you will very often get technical support (you certainly would with us). In the event that your email service stops working at that critical time, you will be able to get the help you need. AND, let’s face it: any time is a critical time because communication is a top priority in any business.
It’s not for a business.
Although a free email address might be enough for your business now, it will definitely not be a good option as you continue to grow. Free email services offer a consumer-grade set of products and so the clever features offered in a business-standard email platform are immediately missed out on. Your business services need to be able to scale actively with your business successes. You don’t need the stress or potential downtime of having to change email services when you get busy. You won’t have time for that!
You are missing out!
Using your domain name in your email address is similar to how product placement is used in the movies to get people to remember that product looooong after the movie is over.
When you use your business domain name in your email communications, you are continually presenting your company name over and over again. It’s like free marketing. Failure to take this opportunity to market your own business is the same as putting a sign up for somebody else’s business over your front door. In other words, you are advertising for Gmail and not your own business. Google thanks you, but your customers won’t.
If your email has your domain name in the email address, you are cementing the name of your company into your potential customer’s mind. Do this over and over again and the customer will remember your company before any other company when they are about to buy your products or services.
Custom domain – cheap billboard.
Hosting your email separately from your web host is definitely worth considering because you can ensure that your website’s disk space doesn’t run too low. You want to make sure you have plenty of space for website content and, quite frankly, your business email shouldn’t be a “bonus feature” of your web hosting. When your emails and hosting are in the same location,you risk losing temporary access to everything if there is a problem with the server or the data center. Fortunately, there are a number of budget-friendly options:
- Google Workspace – One of the two best options for most businesses with excellent deliverability rates and access to a whole suite of tools.
- Office 365 – A great option with access to the Microsoft Office software that you probably already use.
- Zoho Mail – They have a very cheap starter plan that is good for conservative budgets and there are additional reasonably priced options available.
- Rackspace – Offers affordable, per user email plans.
- Namecheap – Affordable plans with good options, especially if your domain is already registered with them.
It’s worth spending a small amount of money so that you can register your domain, representing your brand to consumers as credible and trustworthy. In addition, is anything in life truly free? I think not, but the general cost associated with a business email system is significantly less than the cost of a customer facing issues such as deliverability or customer service problems. Customer relationships need to last for a very, very long time. An investment in your business email system shows consumers that you will be around for a long time.