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SOCIAL MEDIA 5 magnetic ways to strengthen your email list BY CATHERINE HEEG IS YOUR EMAIL list a bit skinny? Does it lack the strength to bring new leads? Love it or hate it, email is part of our culture, and it’s a workhorse when it comes to marketing. Did you know that 44 percent of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email?* Let’s think about this from a tourism perspective. Imagine a consumer opening an email from you about an upcoming tour. They not only see the trip info, but they’re also reminded of their wanderlust, and maybe they’ll recall fond memories of their last tour with you. They get excited and pass along your email to a friend. You’ve hit the mark with an emotional spark and inspired them to take some action. Email is a cost-effective way to: 1. Build stronger relationships 2. Rekindle fond memories and emotions 3. Grow your brand awareness 4. Inspire top-of-mind recognition 5. Increase web traffic and SEO Growing your list Lengthening your email list doesn’t have to be a tug-of-war. Earning the right to email people can be simple with these easy tactics—and a downloadable lead magnet (a giveaway in exchange for an email address). Here’s where to start: No. 1 Call-to-action buttons Choosing the “Sign Up” or “Learn More” button enables you to direct people to your website or landing page so they can sign up for your newsletter or free lead magnet. Facebook provides you the opportunity to edit the call-to-action button on your business page and insert your own website URL. No. 2 Social posts No matter where your social fans hang out, you can easily create a social post that drives people to your website sign-up form. Craft a graphic that tells people what they’ll get and has a call to action. Then write some text inviting them to sign up or download. Here’s an example of what I use: No. 3 Your blog We all know the SEO value of writing a blog, but what about the opportunity to build stronger ties with your readers? Give this a whirl: At the end of each blog post, insert a graphic (maybe the same one you’ve used in your social posts) inviting readers to sign up or download your lead magnet. No. 4 Your website We’ve all seen pop-up boxes on websites inviting you to download a free e-book or to sign up for a newsletter. Do you have one on your website? Your web design team can create this, or you can check out supsystic.com for suggestions. You can customize the pop-up box appearance, timing and location. You may want to also have your email magnet live right on your home page. Here’s an example of how to place your sign-up box front and center: No. 5 Paid ads Lead generation ads on Facebook are relatively easy to set up and can be a powerhouse in your email list growth strategy. The Facebook template walks through each step and even provides sample questions. While you can have up to 21 questions (yikes!), research shows that one to three questions lead to the highest conversion rates. Tip: You will need a privacy policy on your website to use this tool. Lead magnet ideas Armed with these strategies to grow your valuable email list with interested and intrigued potential clients, you’ll need to give away a valuable resource: content. Think about the kind of questions your clients ask and the types of visual content that can help you stay top-of-mind. Your evergreen content might include: • Top 10 lists • Destination guides • Dining guides • Packing lists • Travel tips • Before-you-go checklists These downloadable lead magnets may take the form of infographics, e-books or simply a checklist. Here are some tools to create these visual wonders: bit.ly/1jCh8bU Maximize your leads Now that you’ve added all these potential new clients to your e-blast lists, you’ll need to keep in touch with them. Creating a Custom Audience for your Facebook ads is an easy step you can take to stay topof-mind and to build brand awareness. When you’re ready to increase your market share and your bottom line, remember this: People who make purchases marketed through emails spend 138 percent more than people who do not receive emails.* Get ready for your sales to skyrocket. * Source: convinceandconvert.com Catherine Heeg, international speaker and trainer, focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. An NTA presenter since 2009, she understands members and their businesses. Connect with her socially and at cmsspeaking.com. 12 January 2018