As a chamber, you already have a member email list. But what about a chamber email list for prospective members? How are you marketing to and staying in touch with people who haven’t made up their minds about membership yet? Here’s how to build your chamber email list.
Why You Need a Chamber Email List
While chamber membership may not be a long sell like a home or a car, it can take more than just an offer to get people to sign up. That’s why the more value you can show your potential members, the more membership sales you’ll land. Today, people want to get to know, like, and trust you. Email marketing is a long game these days.
You must build relationships in order to land the membership and you do that by providing value and giving of your knowledge for free.
You exchange your knowledge for their email.
If someone asks about membership and your first response is “What’s your email address?” it’s likely the exchange will end there. But if you offer them something they need, they may be willing to give you their email address in exchange.
This offering is referred to as a “lead magnet” because it helps attract people to you. They download your lead magnet through a “squeeze page” that you designed and you receive their email. With that email, you can now stay in touch with them and offer them even more free value. After a while, they will recognize the value of your knowledge and appreciate the help you’ve given their business.
They get a valuable resource for a measly email address!
Sounds like a great idea, right?
But how do you implement these lead magnets and what software is used?
Designing a Lead Magnet
First, consider what type of lead magnet works well for your chamber. For this, you’ll want to consider what your potential members are most interested in. Lead magnets can be in the form of:
- in-depth articles
- valuable charts or stats
It doesn’t matter what it is as long as your ideal audience (business owners) wants it.
Here are the steps from lead magnet to sale:
- Exchange. When your audience wants your lead magnet, they’ll visit your website/landing page.
- Offer. Once they do, give them the opportunity to get your lead magnet and sign-up for more valuable information as part of your chamber email list. Be specific as to what they will get from you as part of this list.
- Convert. Then continue to send them valuable information periodically. Build that relationship and–if they find value in what you’re sharing–they’ll decide you are the type of organization they want to be a part of.
Marketing Tools for Building Your Chamber Email List
Like most software, squeeze pages and list building tools come in a variety of price points from free to “I’m sorry, what’s that number?” expensive. What you decide to use will depend largely on three things:
- your budget
- the level of sophistication you need in a campaign
- what you currently work with (many of these options integrate with CRMs and WordPress)
Your budget needn’t be a concern nor a reason to hold back from building a chamber email list. There are several inexpensive options that we’ll cover in a bit. They also help you make your emails mobile-friendly which is more important than ever.
If you fall in love with higher end software, it may be possible to have it covered by a sponsorship or ask one of your marketing agency clients as they may already be a licensed affiliate agency and may be able to get you on board for less.
One Thing to Keep in Mind When Auditioning Software
This type of marketing software runs the gamut as far as features are concerned. There are some very basic programs with basic squeeze page features and then there are some that allow you to tie all of your marketing needs into their tool.
When you begin pricing, decide what you plan on doing with it initially and how you see yourself growing with the program. If you never see yourself doing anything other than basic pages that lead to downloads with a small list (if you don’t have a lot of potential members as in the case of a small town), a simple solution should meet your needs. If you have larger ideas down the line, and could build a large list rapidly, splurging now so that you have the software you need for the future may be a good idea.
Lead Magnet Software
For Small Budgets (free or nearly so):
Mail Chimp offers unlimited free landing pages as part of its service. Their drag and drop builder is easy to use and helps you create landing pages in minutes. The software also comes with reports that help you track visitors, clicks, and conversions. It also helps you understand what content is of the most interest to your audience segments. Their free service covers up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month. They also have plans for $10 a month or $199 a month.
Thrive Architect is a WordPress plug-in. It’s reasonably priced as a one-time fee of $67. It offers over 260+ templates for a variety of marketing uses. While it helps you build landing pages, it also helps you create more appealing visual content by adding a front-end visual editor to your website. That means you can see the changes as you make them. You click on what you want to change and change it. Thrive Optimize allows you to A/B test your pages easily to see which layout converts better. In addition to the one-time fee, it offers a membership that gives you all the other features including WordPress themes.
OptimizePress is another WordPress plug-in. It offers both free and paid templates for landing pages. It offers many easy-to-add page elements. OptimizePress features two-step opt-in functionality as part of best practices for email marketing. Building a page is easy with the drag-and-drop design. The plug-in costs $97 for a year of support and updates. Their bundle also comes with a WordPress theme, the plug-in, and a membership plug-in.
ConstantContact offers on-page email sign-ups for list building. It also integrates with many of these options here. They offer a 60-day free trial and it is widely used in the chamber community. Prices are based on list size with the least expensive plan beginning at $20 a month for 0-500 on your list and going up to $335 for 50,000 members. Email plus feature plans begin at $45 a month (0-500 person list) and go through $335 (for up to 50,000). Prepaying for six months or 12, garners a discount. There is also special non-profit pricing.
Leadpages. Leadpages is a WordPress plug-in and can be integrated with Constant Contact as well. If you use Constant Contact, you can easily integrate with Leadpages through their marketplace. For $37 a month (through Constant Contact), you can use their 80 landing page templates, to create opt-in and squeeze pages. Within their templates, they also provide data on the highest converting styles so you can easily choose a proven design. They’re also 100% mobile responsive. Other pricing options include $25 a month, $28, $199. Leadpages also offers a 14-day free trial.
ClickFunnels helps you build quick landing pages and handle your whole marketing and sales sequence with a focus on moving people along in the buying process. With their templates, you can create sales and marketing funnel pathways in minutes. For smaller marketing operations, ClickFunnels offers $97 a month pricing that covers 20 funnels, 100 landing pages, and 20,000 visits. They also offer a free 14-day trial.
Instapage is designed for teams. It features a mobile-responsive builder, over 40 integrations, unlimited A/B testing, and heat maps so you can see where your audience is clicking and what they’re most interested in. Instapage offers a free no-credit card required 14-day trial and plans start at $99 a month, billed annually. They also offer a customizable plan with pricing specific to the integrations. The basic monthly plan is $129.
Aweber offers email marketing and automation. You can also automate your marketing funnel with templated communications or design your own. They have sign-up forms and pop-ups but for traditional landing pages, it integrates with Leadpages, OptimizePress, and Instapage among others. Prices start at $19 a month for up to 500 subscribers and unlimited emails. They offer quarterly and annual billing. Try it out free for 30 days.
All-in-one Marketing Solutions:
Hubspot covers all of your chamber marketing needs and then some. In fact, it does so much that they offer certification in the tool. Hubspot takes its content marketing seriously and offers countless, free resources designed for small business. It has limited functionality under its free plan. Paying plans start at $50 a month but landing page creation is not included until you get into the $800 a month plan.
Infusionsoft is a marketing automation tool with a CRM designed to work leads down the funnel. Like Hubspot, it offers a lot of features as well as integrations with many other apps. You can even collect payments through it. Infusionsoft prices by number of contacts. Beginner plans start at $50 a month for up to 500 contacts and one user account. They also offer a $115 a month for up to 5000 contacts. Additionally, there’s a $299 one-time fee for training.
dot.vu starts at 200 Euros a month but comes with a free 15-day trial. It is a complete marketing platform that features analytics, email templates, click maps, CRM, and email automation in addition to lead page design options.
If you’re ready to take your chamber marketing to the next level and you don’t want to let those membership sales opportunities pass you by, it’s time to start building your list and becoming a resource for non-member businesses. Building that ongoing relationship by providing them with worthwhile content through landing and squeeze pages will increase your conversions and yield increased memberships in the long-run.