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Article by: Devon Mayor
How to build an email list using direct messaging
Direct Messaging Email Marketing

Joe Pulizzi the founder of Content Marketing Institute once said, “getting an email address is the first critical step to figuring out who my reader is, and hopefully in the future, my customer of some sort. If our goal is to drive sales or keep customers happy in some way, we first need to get them as part of our audience.” 

Here at Direct Heroes, we couldn’t agree more and want to fill you in on how you can turn emails into your most valuable asset. 

First, what is an email list exactly? Quite simply an email list is a designated list of names and email addresses from people who have given you permission to send them information, updates, discounts and other information to their inbox. 

Even though you may think that getting an email can’t be that valuable, it is in fact an extremely powerful piece of currency for your business and here’s why:

  1. You own the email addresses that you collect 

Unlike other forms of marketing that are constantly changing, any emails that you collect are your own and are your direct line to your customer both now and in the future. 

  1. They’ve asked to hear from you

As mentioned above, when someone has given you their email address they’ve opted in to receiving updates from your brand or company. There was obviously something that originally enticed them to provide you with their email in the first place and now you can continue to send them amazing content that validates this decision. In fact, they may just share your content with others as well. 

  1. It’s personal and private

In today’s increasingly public world, there is something powerful about a direct line into an individual’s private mailbox. Like we explained with direct messages, having this personal conversation thread allows you to provide one on one support and answer questions, all while erasing their fears that others are listening or chiming into the conversation—building their trust and confidence with your brand. 

  1. Half of the population on the earth has an email address

I know it’s crazy right? There are currently about 3.8 billion active email accounts in the world. With numbers like these why not take advantage of this method of communication? 

Okay you’ve convinced me. Now how can I build my email list with direct messaging? 

Using direct messaging to build your email list is not as difficult as you may think. Here are the steps:

  1. Keyword Opt In

As part of your Instagram campaign you can provide a keyword opt in. Opt-ins are quite simply permission by the customer to allow the marketer to send them additional information. For example, a common opt-in that is used is ‘DM me a keyword for exclusive offers or content’. 

  1. Incentivize the offer

People live very hectic and busy lives so incentivizing the offer is a good way to ensure that an individual follows through and provides you with their email. With so many offers filling up people’s bandwidth every day, make sure that what you offer is something that people would actually be interested in. After they have opted in with the keyword, Direct Heroes is now able to send them a message that says, ‘reply with your email to receive [incentive]’. 

A good way to judge whether your incentive would be effective is to ask yourself if you would respond to what you are offering. Usually 5% to 10% in the world of e-commerce is not enough of an incentive in our experience. Outside of discounts you can also do giveaways, e-books, exclusive guides, etc. 

Although you may feel as though you are giving away too much or that it will take too much time to create something truly valuable, it is important to remember that this incentive is part of your marketing budget and is key to building an email list that you can turn into future sales. Also, if you truly believe in your product or service, use the offer as a way to get new people to try it out. If it’s as good as you say it is, it will convert. 

  1. Connect through Zapier

Zapier is an extremely valuable tool that will automatically take the emails that individuals have provided and add them to an email list. What is so great about Zapier is that it is able to be integrated with any email or newsletter service you work with including Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, Gmail, Outlook and more. Think of all the time you will save by using this handy tool! 
It’s as simple as that. Here at Direct Heroes we have completed many of these types of campaigns successfully and would be happy to help you out with creating a personalized conversational funnel. Why not drop us a line?

Devon Mayor