Let’s first clarify that the term “List Building” may be new but not its goal: to build your subscriber’s list for your newsletter.
List Building versus Lead Generation?
In the world of B2B, developing a newsletter was always important. To generate quality subscribers, we developed a communications program strategy to encourage, engage and entice our prospective clients to subscribe. This was a top priority…ergo, the term Marketing Communications Director.
List Building, demand generation, lead generation are all synonyms and created equally to reach the same goal – to get your target audience to subscribe. The goal for Lead Generation is actually more specific, it’s to create warm sales leads but for this post, I’ll put them all together.
We want them in our newsletter because the more they know about you, the easier it is to sell to them. The sales process should be shorter. It is a captured targeted audience that wants to hear from you. The only difference is that List Building is primarily based on online marketing tactics, whereas B2B communication programs develop a wider array of tactics that incorporate on and offline tactics, such as webinars, seminars, trade shows and so on.
Why Implement a List Building Program?
It’s becoming obvious, right? Content marketing is unsustainable. How many of us can actually post 16 times a month, create a variety of free reports and info-graphics as well as run our business. Do you find yourself asking where is time better spent, cold calling or writing a blog post?
I’m sure you’ve noticed that content marketing is time-consuming and at times it feels that we are giving away the shop for free! And, as soon as you write something really great, there are 25 others who took your idea.
Plus, the time and effort in developing quality content are now getting drowned out by lots of weak content designed for SEO and commentators who comment just to link with popular blogs.
Even searching on Google is now skewed to websites with large amount of content designed for SEO.
Who needs it?
List Building Tactics
Here are a few tactics:
- Free: Create a free course or report where they can download once they subscribe.
- Webinars: Try to get another expert to be a part of your webinar. You both promote the webinar to your subscribers while building your brand image.
- Social Media Advertising: Yup. At this time, Facebook is affordable and worth a try if your target audience is on this platform. If not, then consider LinkedIn, Pinterest or Twitter.
- Google Plus: While Google states that their search engine doesn’t favour companies with large Google Plus fans, SEO experts tend to disagree. So, don’t omit to build this on your social media platforms.
- Contests: Who doesn’t love free stuff? Try one of the many new software platforms that incorporate social media fan building with contest example, for every share that’s one entry.
- Networking: Local events and conferences are great platforms to expand your network and build your list.
- List Building Program: Some programs are free, and you will get a chance to build your list with the other members during the program. However, you just need to make sure that it’s the right target audience for your business.
- Opt-In Forms: Have a strong blog or a popular website page, then don’t forget to add that all-important “Call-To-Action” everywhere!
- SEO Best Practices: Make sure your website incorporates all SEO best practices. You can do a search on our blog to get started.
Remember that you probably won’t get the subscriber numbers you’re looking for if you hold a contest with a small social media following. Not unless they are a very loyal community and will help promote your content.
To build your list, do the following:
- Update your website with best practices; SEO, Opt-In Forms, properly organized.
- Develop your online community, expand your social media followers and improve your network.
- Develop your gated content, such as a case study or webinar
- Promote, promote and promote. You can start to tease your community about the content or webinar as you build your community, too.