Less is more
Are you getting okay results from the lists that you buy in the first couple of months then experiencing a drop-off? If so, you’re not alone. That’s often the way it works with bought in data and most of us deal with this by ignoring the signs for a while and continuing to target the wilting lists before giving up and simply buying in more data only to repeat the experience, amidst growing frustration, a few months later…
We’ve all done it – guilty as charged – and there really is only one way to break the cycle. Start building an opted-in list. It will be much smaller and it takes a lot of hard work to create one of these but, trust me, the results are worth it. If you decide to make this a New Year’s resolution, it will pay and you will definitely increase customer engagement but this is no quick fix. It takes time and commitment to build a genuine opted-in list as you are wooing each contact and drawing them in individually in the hope that they will engage with you.
These contacts are gold as they have actually chosen to engage with you either by filling in a contact me form or because they are existing customers – who you would very much like to buy from you again! How much easier to communicate to a prospect that is already ‘warm’ to you than with someone who may not have heard of you and who probably isn’t in the market for your goods and services? (Depending on the quality of the list, they may not be relevant at all but that’s a separate discussion!).
If a visitor has opted in to receive information from you, they are far more likely to open any emails that you send. They have taken affirmative action, maybe they have subscribed to your website with the intention of learning more about your products and services, and they are ripe for further engagement.
So how do you get visitors to opt-in? The most popular method is to come up with some offers in exchange for the visitors’ contact details. This could be some sort of manual or advice sheet that they need to exchange for their email addresses in order to download or it could be an invite to press a button to speak to a member of staff. It could also be a discount voucher or a promotional code.
If it’s some sort of guide or white paper that you are inviting them to download, the content must be good in order to encourage the visitor to opt-in. You can flag good content by making sure other content, such as your blog content, is premium. By consistently producing valuable blog content, you are demonstrating to your audience that the material you have to offer is useful and informative. You become an industry voice with something worthwhile to say.
Social media is another good route to your audience. Having a presence on platforms that your audience uses and posting links to content from your site on these platforms is a way to fully engage interested parties and draw them in as visitors.
Keep opt-in forms in clearly visible positions and don’t make them too long – in fact, make them as short as possible by only requiring the minimum of contact details in the first instance. They can always be asked more questions further down the line.
It will take a while to build up a good list and it will probably never be as big as a bought in list but it will be significantly better – the online equivalent of a little black book and that is, of course, invaluable.
For more tips on building an opted-in list, drop us a line or give us a call on 0161 870 8194.