Crucial Digital Marketing Strategies

by Lindsey Winsemius

Posted 2 weeks ago

Don’t have the time for a full digital marketing plan? A lot of small- or medium-sized businesses struggle finding the time and budget to implement a digital marketing strategy.

You don’t need a large budget or a dedicated team to succeed at digital marketing. The following are the most crucial things that every business should be doing online right now.

If you need to prioritize your digital marketing, these are the 3 most crucial things to focus on.


1: Email Marketing.


Collecting emails from your customers and potential customers and staying in touch is essential.

Email has the highest ROI of any marketing medium. Return on investment is 122% or 4X higher than that of other marketing formats, including social media, direct mail, and paid search.

Several years ago, with the advent of social media, SMS, and other messaging medium, some experts predicted that email was dead. This is not the case.  Email is huge and growing.

86% of professionals say email is their preferred form of communication for business, and 89% of marketers say email is their primary source of lead generation.

People like email, and it brings in leads. That means your business needs email marketing.

How can you use email as part of your marketing plan?


Start collecting emails.


In 2017, for every $1 spent on email, the average business earned $44.

Any marketer will tell you, the money is in the list. The subscriber list, that is.


"But Lindsey, I've tried to build a mailing list, and no one signs up. What do I do?"


You are in luck. Today I'm here to tell you how to dramatically increase the subscribers on your mailing list. It isn't a trick. It requires work and some investment on your part. But you can do it. And remember, for every $1 invested, you could earn $44. Isn't worth a try?


Let's jump right in. 

Ways to build a better mailing list:


1. Include an opt-in in your email signature.


If you’re like me, you’re constantly receiving and sending emails for work. After your correspondence is complete, don’t let them forget about you. Keep reminding them of you, and your business, by encouraging them to join your mailing list in your email signature.

Email subscribe example


In my example above, I have several links, but the email sign up link is the only "call to action" where I am telling the reader to take an action.

To really emphasize your call to action, include it as a "PS" or post script, since research suggests that people skim emails and are more likely to focus on the PS than the body content or the signature. See my example below:



email subscribe in signature example 2


Take Action:

Add a link in your email signature to your newsletter sign up form, either is part of your signature or as a post script. (Don’t have a sign up form? Create one now or ask us to create a dedicated landing page to get more sign ups!)


Instead of using boring terms like “Sign up for XXX newsletter”, make it fun, personalized, interesting, or enticing. “You don’t want to miss exclusive deals!” “Keep us coming to your inbox, join our mailing list!”


If you want to entice them, offer something in exchange for the click…


2. Offer something for free.


You’ve probably seen this type of offer hundreds of times: Download this free guide! Sign up for this webinar! But businesses use it because it works.

We tend to guard our personal information carefully and we’re not just going to give it our to anyone. Like a date at the bar, you’ve got to lure them in with a free drink. Except in this case, you need something digital to offer.


What kind of things can you offer in exchange for their valuable information? Webinars (like the example below), ebooks, and articles are all popular offerings. But if you don’t have the time or inclination for that kind of media, consider taking a popular blog article and offering that. 


Free offer lead magnet example

Take Action


On your website or blog, set up the offer in an obvious spot (at the top of the page). Tell them exactly what FREE item they will receive for entering their information.

Then in the “Thank you” message that pops up after, insert the link to the content or to download the content if you’re offering something digital. You can use services like Print Friendly to turn any one of your blog articles into a PDF for them to download. 


Want to really leverage the power of a free offer? Try a dedicated landing page.


3. Use a dedicated landing page.

A sign up form on your website or blog is great, but if you’re really serious about growing your subscriber list, a dedicated landing page will give you the best results. This is a simple (or long form, depending on what is the best fit for your offer) page that is created with the sole purpose of selling the conversion.



How a landing page works


Take Action:

Create a landing page using one of the many DIY services out there, or get help from a professional (like our MarketingWebsite, which includes a conversion-focused landing page, lead capture, contact manager, and marketing automation).

Partnered with a great ad campaign, a landing page can grow your audience exponentially in a short period of time.


4. Use social media.


Depending on the social sites you use for business, they can help drive traffic to your newsletter sign up or free offer.


On Facebook:

Call to Action Button: Use the call to action button Facebook provides on your page to encourage people to “sign up”. Rather than just directing them to shop on your website, remember a subscriber has long-time value rather than the value of a single sale (unless you collect emails during the sales process, but that is a discussion for another day.)

Pinned Post: Pin a post that promotes your newsletter or your free offer (we call it a lead magnet) at the top of your page. This will guarantee that visitors will see it, and will increase the amount of engagement on that post, which will cause Facebook to boost it for even more views.

Use an Ad: This will work best for a free offer. Create an ad for the post and send traffic to your form.

Using Facebook Ads to Drive Leads



5. Pay attention to the sign up form design.


“The details are not the details. The details are the design.” This quote by Charles Eames perfectly explains how important even the smallest detail can be in gaining conversions (in our case, email sign ups). 



A whopping 85% of shoppers say color is the primary reason they buy a certain product. 


You probably know people associate different colors with different emotions: red = urgency, green = relaxation, blue = trust.

However, choosing the right color for your action button and overall form isn’t that simple.


Take Action:

How do you know what color is right?

v Pick a color for your button that stands out. It should have a good contrast to the rest of your page.

v Use a color that will send the right message to your audience and for your type of industry. For example, if you’re selling organic baby food, a red button might imply “stop” or “caution” rather than urgency. A blue button to encourage trust might be a better choice.

v Be consistent with call-to-action colors across your website.

v Test different colors. If your service allows you to adjust the color of the button (for our MarketingWebsite landing page customers, we will make those changes for you), be sure to try different colors to see if one works better. Sometimes that is the best way to know.


Button Text:

The text on your button is just as important as color. They key here is to personalize it. “Submit” or “Join” are the worst things you can use.


Best text to put on a CTA example


Take Action:

Create button text that speaks to your audience. Make sure it is about them. Instead of using “Sign up” consider something like “Yes, I want more info like this”.

v Make it personal

v Use power words, like the 7 most persuasive words.


6. Build trust through familiarity.


With so many websites and products available online, it is difficult to know whom to trust.

You can help your visitors trust your business by including things like testimonials or favorable reviews from customers, logos of clients, ratings or awards. For example, an author will often include literary awards they’ve won or the fact that they are on a bestseller list to gain the trust of visitors.


Take Action:

Find at last one favorable review, post on social media, or happy client. Put that within view of your form so visitors will feel better sharing their information with you.

 7. Remove Distractions

We’re all in a hurry when we get online. We expect things to load quickly, to be easy to navigate, simple to read, and we’re unlikely to waste time on something that is confusing.

 Keep your form simple. Don’t ask for information don’t you absolutely need (do you really need their phone number?)

I just clicked out of a sign up for a webinar that sounded interesting because they were asking me for more information than I wanted to give. I’d gladly have given them my name and email and the fake phone number I use on sign up forms, but the rest… nope, not worth it to fill out the company I work for, the city I am in, and so on. I just didn’t want to take the time.

 Make that moment of impulse as painless as possible. Take a look at this landing page by Peter Henneke, who claims it converts almost 60% of the time, which is amazing: 


High converting form example


Also, take note of all the trust content used on this page, like "as seen on" and quotes by notable marketers.


Take Action:

v Remove any unnecessary fields from your sign up form.

v Remove unnecessary images, ads, or text from the website page around your sign up form.

v Be sure the sign up is the only call to action on the page to maximize conversions.


8. Use a blog


Blogging is an obvious way to gain more traffic to your website, which could mean more sign ups for your newsletter.

Not sure if blogging if for you? Find out the secrets to content marketing success. If you or someone in your business runs a blog for your company, you can include your newsletter sign up in several ways:


Pop Ups

While pop ups became a huge no-no several years ago, they’ve now come back in style. A nice designed pop up form can have a great conversion rate, as long as the visitor can easily click out of it if they don’t care to enter their information and view the content they want.


Another great tool is the exit pop up. This only pops up when a visitor is going to leave the page, and can entice them to leave their information behind.