As a marketer, there’s nothing better than getting into your audience’s inbox. An email newsletter is unobstructed by finicky algorithms, cheaper than advertising, and allows you direct, unfiltered communication with your audience. Whatever your brand’s industry or audience, one of your goals should be to grow your email list.

A recent Ascend2 study found content marketing is the second-most effective tactic to grow an email list — but it’s also the most difficult. That means that while your brand needs a solid content marketing strategy to boost its email subscriber list, that strategy has to be carefully developed.

Here are some content marketing strategies to help you grow your email list.

Produce Great Content

All the incremental changes you can make to your marketing emails — optimizing subject lines, or tweaking delivery schedules — won’t make a difference if you don’t have great content.

That’s a high bar: great content, not merely good or passable. There has never been more content out there. Consider, for instance, that the average person has around 380 unread emails in their inbox at any given moment. Your content simply won’t inspire someone to subscribe to your newsletter unless it stands out from the crowd.

So what is great content? It’s content that helps your audience do their jobs better or live a more rewarding life, presented in ways that appeal to them.

Think creatively about what kind of content you can create—there are tons of options beyond blog posts and whitepapers, such as:

  • Webinars. Ask for participants’ email addresses when they register, and there you go. Instant list-building.
  • Vlogs. Certain channels (such as Facebook) prioritize video content over other types of content — videos and vlogs may get you more eyeballs than other types of content.
  • Podcasts. Podcasts are having their moment. Consider hosting a podcast and using it to promote your email list.
  • Email courses. Create an entirely new email course or re-work that webinar to be an email course.

Create Content for Your Audience, Not Anyone Else

An email marketing study conducted by DMA found that 42% of marketers say that at best, ‘some’ of their emails are relevant to their audience. Don’t let any irrelevant emails be from your brand—irrelevant content is ignored, and soon enough brands creating irrelevant content are ignored too. 

Why are so many marketers creating irrelevant content? Probably two reasons—they feel pressure to produce content, and they’re not keeping their audience in mind.

Link your content to your buyer personas. Use your content to address their needs and pain points. Speak in their language.

Resist the temptation to develop content that you or your team find interesting—keep your audience in mind. Don’t haphazardly develop content just to fill a spot on your editorial calendar. Identify those for whom your content is not intended.  

Offer a Free Tool or Resource

Spend some time developing a great tool or resource that will be very useful to your audience. This is often longer, more in-depth content or a practical tool, such as:

  • An ebook with everything your audience needs to know on a particular topic, from A-Z. (A good starting point for an ebook can be blog posts your brand has written around a certain theme.)
  • A report with important industry data. (If you have data that is hard to get in your industry, this is a good option.)
  • A tool that simplifies a task your audience does on a regular basis.

Promote Your Email Newsletter

Simple, but not to be overlooked—promote your email newsletter. At the end of your blogs posts, include a call to action for people to subscribe. Do the same in your brand’s videos and social media. Make sure there’s a sign-up form on your website, and on your social media accounts.

With great content geared towards your audience and clear calls to action to direct them to your list, you’ll see your subscriber numbers rise in no time.

Want even more techniques on building your email marketing list? Download our ebook on how to build your email marketing list – the right way.

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