Once you’ve manufactured your product and worked with a designer to create your branding and packaging, you might be wondering how to launch your product. How do you build buzz and start with strong sales? The short answer: Email Marketing! Building an email list of potential customers gives you the ability to market directly to people who are interested in your brand. Read on for tips on building your email list.
How to Launch Your Product: Choosing an Email Provider
You will need an email provider before you can start building an email list of potential customers. This doesn’t have to take money out of your budget. Free email marketing is a great way to start building your list. Just make sure you use a provider that gives you the option to expand contacts for minimal cost as your business grows. We have a couple of suggestions to get you started:
When it comes to free email marketing, responsive customer service, and low upgrade charges, Mailchimp checks all the boxes. Their free plan includes up to 500 email contacts with 1,000 email sends per month at a daily limit of 500 sends. You will also get marketing CRM (customer relations management) to identify target customers, a website and domain, and limited free email support. Then, when you’re ready, you can upgrade to up to 10,000 monthly sends for $13, with additional upgrades available.
You will get half the number of free email contacts and email sends with the Omnisend free plan than you’ll get from Mailchimp, and no website builder. What Omnisend offers for free that Mailchimp doesn’t is SMS marketing, integration with Facebook Messenger, and push notifications to tell email subscribers your latest news.
Both Omnisend and Mailchimp free plans both include signup forms plus branded landing pages that allow you to collect email subscribers. Each option is a win as you explore how to launch your product.
Now that you have an email provider, you can start building your email list. Marketing tools like popup forms, giveaways, and online challenges are quick and easy ways to collect email subscribers. This checklist will lead you through 15 tried-and-true email marketing techniques that can help you build your list of potential customers.
15 Ideas to Build Your Email List
- Create a landing page and link to it from your social media
- Create a website popup offering an incentive such as a discount code or gift with purchase
- Offer exclusive content such as an e-book or how-to video
- Host a giveaway
- Host an online challenge that fits your brand (ex: healthy habit challenge, social media posting challenge)
- Collect emails at in-person events (ex: workshop or launch party)
- Add a QR code to your business cards and other printed marketing materials
- Create an in-line signup form on your website that offers early access to new products and helpful newsletter content
- Manually reach out to your personal contacts
- Create a referral program for new signups
- Have booth at an event and collect emails
- Link to your signup form in your email signature
- Cross promote through guest blogs or guest newsletters
- Create an online quiz with results or follow up content sent via email
- Run an Instagram or Facebook ad with free content (such as a workshop or guide) to collect emails address
Create a Landing Page
A landing page is a web page that gives people a place to “land” and check out your brand. Once someone lands, you can use free tools like popups – email subscriber signup forms that appear on a webpage or website – to invite them to join your email list. Social media posts that invite people to subscriber-only content, like discounts or online workshops, are a great way to link to a signup form on your landing page.
Host a Giveaway
With an email marketing conversion rate of almost 34 percent, social media giveaways are a stellar choice for building your email list. Just link your giveaway promotion to a signup form and select the winner from your growing email list. The freebie should be worth the effort to sign up, but it doesn’t have to be extravagant. A sample of your product in beautifully designed packaging makes a great giveaway prize.
Host an Online Challenge that Fits Your Brand
Launching a wellness brand or beauty brand? Why not post a habit-tracking challenge on social media to engage your audience and expand your email list? Walking challenges that invite people to walk more steps or hydration challenges to increase daily water intake are competitive and fun ways to promote your brand in exchange for prizes like discounts, recipes, or brand swag. Plus, you get another name on your email list with each entry!
Collect Email Addresses at In-person Events
Mixing your digital marketing with face-to-face events gives customers a 360-view of your brand. Consider jumpstarting your email signups by showcasing your products at a trade fair or exhibition show, or a regional market or fair. You can also hold workshops or product demonstrations to boost your email marketing.
Offer Exclusive Content
Blogs, e-books, or videos that relate to your product can be valuable content when it comes to expanding your email list. Let’s say you are launching a functional coffee product that has Chaga mushroom as a key ingredient. You can post a Chaga trivia question on social media that invites your audience to click for the answer, then directs them to sign up for a blog or video on the subject. Or you could offer a downloadable guide on the uses of Chaga. Branded toolkits, how-to guides, and webinars are also great ways to expand your email list.
Create a Website Popup Offering an Incentive
Email marketing popups are called popups for a reason: They appear suddenly – or pop up – on your web page or website sometime after a viewer links to the page by email, social media, or an ad. Each popup has a fill box for potential customers to submit their email address. Adding another fill box for a first name can come in handy if you want to personalize your email list.
If you have a website, consider using popups only on specific pages. A discount or giveaway popup on a product page can generate leads, but using that same call to action on another page can be confusing and off-putting – especially if someone has already signed up. Remember, less is usually more.
Add a QR Code to Business Cards and Other Printed Marketing Materials
Adding a QR code to your printed marketing materials and business cards can also build your list as you explore how to launch your product. A QR (Quick Response) code is simply a scannable mark that directs someone to a digital signup page. Email marketing companies including Mailchimp have QR code generators that allow you to create a code, post it to an email or in printed format, and invite people to scan it with their phone. Once they do, they’ll be directed to a digital signup form – and you’ll potentially have a new subscriber!
Create an In-line Signup Form on Your Website for Early Access to New Products
Unlike popups, in-line signup forms always appear as part of your website. You can change where the form appears (at the top or bottom of the page, for example) and even embed it inside popular content, including blogs or sales pages. If you want to encourage signups organically instead of diverting attention with a popup, an in-line form is worth considering.
Manually Reach Out to Your Personal Contacts
Reaching out to people you know personally and professionally can also jumpstart your email list. Something as simple as a quick call or email is all it takes to let your contacts know you are creating an email list and ask if they’d like to receive your content. While you’re at it, why not ask them to spread the word? Word-of-mouth marketing drives 13 percent of global sales on average, so why not put it to work for your brand?
Create a Referral Program for New Signups
If you have already started to build your email list, then a referral program may be a logical next step. Referral programs allow you to build your list by rewarding existing subscribers on your list for each new subscriber they recruit. The better the deal, the more likely you are to see new subscribers, but there’s no need to go overboard. Focus on those discounts, giveaways, or other offers that best fit your budget.
Have a Booth at an Event and Collect Email Addresses
Sometimes engaging with people in person is the best way to grow your list. An event booth lets you bring your product to the table (literally) and invite people to learn more by subscribing to your emails. Think of it as networking with an immediate payoff. How about promoting a contest where everyone who signs up is entered in a random drawing for a product giveaway? Or handing out art postcards or bookmarks that invite people to register in exchange for discounts and updates? The choice is up to you.
Link to Your Signup Form in Your Email Signature
An email signature is a block of text (and maybe graphics) at the bottom of a marketing email that lists your company name, logo, and contact information – but did you know it’s also a marketing tool? Something as easy as a link in your email signature that invites someone to “learn more” or “explore” your product is a great way to direct traffic to your web page or website. From there you can use signups to expand your email list.
Cross-Promote through Guest Blogs or Guest Newsletters
Collaboration with others in your industry can give you access to their followers – and potentially their customers. It can also help you expand your email list as you explore how to launch your product. A good way to collaborate with other businesses is by sharing expertise on social media or other marketing channels. Consider writing a guest blog for another company’s website that links to your signup list and promotes your brand. Or maybe cross-promote a workshop that is mutually beneficial. The more exposure you receive, the better.
Create an Online Quiz with Results or Followup Contest Sent by Email
Making the signup process fun and useful can go a long way in driving engagement to your email list, too. Quiz plugins like these from WordPress allow you to drive signups to your list by asking for an email address before you send quiz results. Quizzes can be easy or complex, custom or premade, with popular quiz types based on personality, survey, percentage, and right-or-wrong choices. The more games people play, the more your list will grow.
Run a Facebook or Instagram Ad with Free Content to Collect Email Addresses
Running an Instagram or Facebook ad with free content (such as a link to a workshop or downloadable guide) is another way to generate email leads for your startup. A quality online beauty tutorial or how-to guide, for example, can boost signups by offering valuable content in exchange for an email address.
How to Launch Your Product: Never Buy Email Lists
There are plenty of “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to building an email list as you explore how to launch your product. At the top of the do-not list is buying an email address list.
Yes, these lists are easy to get. The problem is they aren’t real leads. What you get when you buy an email list is a list of addresses of people who may not be interested in your product. Sending emails to those people is a form of spamming – and it can really hurt your reputation. Making signing up an individual choice is the only way to reliably (and responsibly) build your email as you explore how to launch your business.
A successful product launch depends largely on reaching the people who are likely to make a purchase. That may sound overwhelming, but it’s not really that hard to do once you know how to build an email list to promote your brand. You don’t need a website to get started, either. A simple landing page is the perfect place for people to learn about your brand and sign up for your newsletter. Investing in email marketing has a better ROI than investing in social media.
By finding clever ways to entice people to sign up for your newsletter and giving them engaging and useful content, you are building a receptive audience that will help sustain your business beyond your product launch. Do you want expertly crafted copy and beautiful email designs to help your brand shine? We can help. Let’s talk!