It’s a challenge all small businesses face: how do you find your audience? How do you grow your contact list to the massive number of supporters and subscribers other businesses seem to have? There are many ways to go about it, and the secret is that any one of those ways might be the best way for your unique business.
Why a Bigger Contact List Means Better Business
Of course you want to share your small business with the biggest audience possible– it’s the difference between getting your message out to a classroom of your loyal supporters and to an auditorium that includes not only your most loyal customers, but also your casual fans, and the people who haven’t become customers yet– but will.
Whether you're sharing a special promotional email or updating your audience with a newsletter, with a larger contact list, each message reaches a wider, more diverse group. This expands your reach, resulting in more customers, more sales, and more support.
So, how do you start growing your list of contacts? While we’ve provided a number of options below, you don’t have to tackle them all at once. Growing your list is an ongoing process– so pick one, give it a try, and see what works, adding and experimenting as you go!
Caution: It’s common for small businesses to get offers to buy lists. Learn more about why purchasing contact lists is a bad choice for your business and why you should avoid that route at all costs. Learn more
- Grow your audience with a dedicated destination
- Sign-up Landing Pages & Website signup forms
- Grow your audience in-person
- QR codes
- Grow your audience through social media
- Social media posting and advertising
- Grow your audience while they're browsing the web
- Google ads
Grow your audience with a dedicated destination
Sign-up Landing Pages & Website signup forms
No matter where you’re most likely to find your ideal audience, one thing is for certain: you need an easy, dedicated place to point them in order to capture their subscription information. When your next loyal customer is scanning their social feed or browsing the internet and you get their interest with a special offer or a compelling content, where do you lead them?
A sign-up landing page is easy to create and gives you a link to include on social media, in advertisements, or anywhere you might find your customers. These landing pages often include something valuable for your audience in order to entice them to sign up, like:
- Special offer or discounts: Promotions like a free appetizer or a percentage off coupon are a common perk for subscribers.
- Exclusive resources: Subscribers receive access to exclusive guides, whitepapers, or other helpful resources.
- Webinar registration: Sign-up landing pages can be used to offer visitors registration to an upcoming or on-demand webinar.
- Newsletter content: A preview and description of your newsletter can drive visitors to subscribe and set their expectations.
- Giveaway or contest eligibility: Holding a giveaway that customers can register to have a chance to win can help encourage signups.
In addition to creating a landing page to collect signups, putting a website sign-up form on your business website allows you to capture traffic that’s already interested– after all, they’re already on your site, so it’s important to find ways to continue the conversation and follow up with them later.
Because the user experience on your site is unique, there are a number of different ways to display these forms for your audience. You can display it inline with text on the page, at the top or bottom of your site with an eye-catching banner, make it fly out to add motion, or have a small window pop up exactly when you need it. If you're using WordPress, there's also a WordPress plugin available to easily add it to your WordPress blog or site. These options give you the flexibility to engage with your audience in a way that suits your style and keeps your visitors informed and engaged.
Encouraging visitors to sign up from your website can be very similar to how you use a landing page– just distributed throughout your site. Common things your site visitors might sign up for include:
- Newsletter subscription
- Event registration
- Promotion redemption
- Membership sign-up
- Contests and giveaways
- Nonprofit donations
- Volunteer registration
- Appointment scheduling
By using landing pages and sign-up forms, you can create a dedicated place for your audience to discover you and subscribe to your communications, building your list and growing your relationships.
Grow your audience in-person
Growing your contact list doesn’t have to happen behind a screen– if you’re commonly face-to-face with your customers and prospects, growing your list in-person is an excellent option, as well. By using in-person opportunities to point customers to your sign-up page or to use mobile capabilities to sign them up, you can seamlessly turn an interaction into an ongoing conversation. Here’s how:
Once you have your sign-up landing page set up, you can create a QR code that links to that page to capitalize on in-person interactions and encourage your audience to scan the code and join your list. Here are a just a few ways you can integrate QR codes into your customer interactions:
- Receipts and invoices: Include a QR code on all receipts and invoices, inviting customers to subscribe for updates or exclusive offers.
- Product tags and packaging: Add QR codes to your products' tags or packaging, making it easy for customers to sign up and learn more about your products or services.
- Storefront display: Place a QR code in your store window or at the entrance. This way, even passersby can subscribe, expanding your reach beyond just the in-store customers.
- Tabletop placards: In dining or waiting areas, use placards with QR codes. (These work great with a free appetizer or discount!)
- Event signage: At events, use banners and posters with QR codes. These can attract the attention of attendees and facilitate easy sign-up.
- Business cards: Embed a QR code on your business cards. It's a great way to network and increase your subscriber list simultaneously.
- Point-of-sale signage: Utilize the space around your checkout area with signage that includes a QR code, prompting customers to sign up as they complete their purchase.
Create your own QR codes: KB Article
Grow your audience through social media
Social media posting and advertising
Odds are, the people you want to reach are on social media. By utilizing your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media pages, you can engage entirely new audiences and continually share your website and subscriber information with them to build your list. Plus, as you discover more and more about who you want to reach, advertising through social media sites like Facebook and Instagram can help you get very specific and targeted with your advertising dollars, resulting in better, more impactful leads.
Using your own social media page to grow your contact list from your organic audience can seem like a tall order. The trick is to share the right content that will help lead your social media audience to your sign-up landing page. This brings your social audience to a page you own and control, converting them from social media scrollers to subscribers. Here are some social media content ideas that can help you turn followers into contacts:
- Contests and sweepstakes - Common social media, contests and sweepstakes encourage participation and can drive to your sign-up landing page.
- Events - Using your social media to promote and count down to your events provides an excellent opportunity to share your registration page.
- Newsletters - With Constant Contact, you can easily share your newsletter or other emails with your social audience.
- Free resources - Whether it’s a guide, a recipe, a worksheet or other resources, offering your social audience a valuable resource can convince them to give you their information.
Share your Sign-up Landing Page on social media: KB Article
Add a Sign-up Landing Page to your social media profile: KB Article
Integrate your social media with your Constant Contact account: Do it now
So what about the people on social media who aren’t already part of your network and seeing your content as part of their feeds? This is where Facebook and Instagram advertising come in. Through Constant Contact, you can set your budget and invest in advertising that is specifically targeted to the Facebook and/or Instagram users that are the most similar to your best, most loyal customers, making them more likely to engage with your advertisement and become part of your contact list.
Sharing your signup landing page through targeted ads works best when you use the very best offer you have in order to attract and engage prospects who are entirely new to you. You can advertise your events and webinars, your exclusive resources, or even your newsletter signup landing page, but you want to ensure that what you advertise is as enticing as possible.
Learn more about social media advertising: KB Article
Create a lead ad for Facebook and Instagram: KB Article
Grow your audience while they're browsing the web
Your potential customers are actively searching on Google for products or services like yours, and more than ever, Google’s layout and algorithm prioritizes paid, targeted results. By creating and placing an ad that perfectly aligns with your ideal customer’s needs, you can drive them to your website, a dedicated landing page, or a sign-up page where they can discover more.
Constant Contact has partnered with Kliken to streamline the Google Ads experience and help you manage your ad budget. Once you've created your Kliken account, you can access it through your Constant Contact account and manage your marketing efforts all from one place!
Here are ten examples of businesses or organizations that use Constant Contact and could benefit from connecting with more customers through Google Ads:
- Local bakery: A neighborhood bakery can use Google Ads to attract nearby customers searching for "fresh pastries" or "artisan bread" in their area.
- Online retailer: An e-commerce store selling clothing can target Google Ads to appear when users search for "summer dresses" or "men's suits."
- Nonprofit organization: A charity organization can use Google Ads to raise awareness and donations by showing ads when users search for "donate to [cause]" or "volunteer opportunities near me."
- Fitness center: A gym can promote its services with Google Ads to reach potential customers looking for "fitness classes" or "personal trainers."
- Real estate agency: A real estate agency can use Google Ads to showcase property listings when users search for "homes for sale" or "apartments for rent" in specific neighborhoods.
- Restaurant: A restaurant can attract diners by displaying Google Ads when people search for "best Italian restaurants" or "Mexican food delivery."
- Event planner: An event planning company can target ads to individuals searching for "wedding planners" or "event coordinators" for special occasions.
- Home service: A plumbing or electrical service can reach local customers in need of urgent repairs by showing ads for "emergency plumber" or "electrician near me."
- Educational institution: A language school can use Google Ads to attract students interested in language courses, targeting keywords like "Spanish classes" or "English language schools”.
- Software developer: A software developer offering a new app can use Google Ads to increase app downloads by appearing in searches for "best productivity apps" or "health tracking apps."
By choosing one or more of these ideas to implement into your marketing mix, you’ll be on your way to growing your contact list– and your business.
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