I wrote a blog a couple weeks ago about one of my pet peeves in the digital marketing world right now. It’s those annoying new-wave pop ups that try to get you to sign up for an email list without giving anything in return. This week I want to play devil’s advocate a little bit and talk about how you can effectively use aggressive CTAs to amplify your email capture campaign without pissing off your audience.
(With that said, I stand by last week’s rant. As a tactic, it may have a decent looking success rate, but in order to maximize its value for you and your audience, it needs to be done in good faith.)
Here’s my view on how to use your social media to help execute and amplify an email capture campaign that doesn’t put your audience out.
- Build a solid foundation first.I feel like I’ve said it a million times, but social media is about building relationships between your brand and your individual audience members. Your product or service alone is likely not enough to create an emotional connection and foster lasting loyalty. In order to do that, you need to maintain a fairly regular presence in the lives of your audience members. That means posting regularly on social media, publishing insightful, useful blogs at least once a week, and, if all goes according to plan, appearing in their email inbox with news and offers.
- Create pieces of content with extra value.Publishing regular blog posts is an important part of providing value to your audience. But honestly, today it is a baseline expectation for brands. If you want to use your content to amplify your email list, you need to create pieces of content with additional value. These are your white papers and eBooks, primarily. Spend the time (and money, if necessary) to create longer-form content with more actionable, consequential value. Give information or a perspective that no one else in your industry could.
- Set up email capture.If you don’t already have a system set up to capture emails, manage and track your subscribers and send emails, set one up. It is incredibly useful and (probably) easier to manage than you think. We use MailChimp and are very happy with it.
- Place CTAs on your website and social feeds.Here’s where you get to do the asking. And if you really want to use a pop up here and there, fine, but you really don’t have to. Have a few places on your website where your customers can clearly see what’s available (e.g. “Download our new white paper for free when you sign up for our email newsletter”). Also, place CTAs throughout your social media messaging, on whatever platforms you use. If more than about 10% of your social messaging is a direct CTA, your audience will feel like they’re being sold to. At that point, they wouldn’t be wrong.
Bottom line: if a practice makes you stickier with your audience, it’s a good idea. But remember, the indicator of whether this is a good idea/will work/is working for you should be based on how high quality your ‘extra value’ content is.
If it’s really well-done, valuable information from a source that I’ve already come to trust through my previous experiences, hell yes I will give my email. If it’s a pop up that greets me two seconds after my first visit to your website, forget about it.
Image Credit: CC by mkhmarketing