A robust email list provides your business with a personalized, regular way to interact with your customers. So effective is this form of marketing that nine in 10 marketers list email as a top priority for 2018, according to recent research.
As you work to build your company’s email list, “You always have to be thinking about your customer and why would they even want to be on this email list in the first place?” says Derek Halpern, founder and CEO of Social Triggers, a New York City-based company that specializes in engaging consumers through online channels.
- Simplify signing up. Include a link to your email signup form on your website’s home page (or include the form itself). In fact, you could include a link to the form on every web page on your site to make sure visitors don’t miss it. Add an email signup call-to-action on your company Facebook page, or consider affordable advertising on Facebook. Add a signup link to your email signature. If you have a retail location, put a signup sheet near every register.
- Offer a one-time free product or service as a bonus for signing up. “Free” is better than offering a discount, because research shows that consumers psychologically value something more when they get it for free, Halpern says. In addition, discounts may create unfounded expectations. A free dessert is a treat; “50% off your entrée” primes a customer to look for a discount at any future visit.
- Incentive signups with valuable content. This could be a free e-book or a mobile app, delivered upon registration. What’s important, Halpern says, is that it’s in-depth and has enough information that your customers or clients would want so “they feel it’s really worthwhile.”
- Host a campaign or friendly competition. Engage potential customers by finding an issue or activity they care about. Recently, Social Triggers hosted a seven-day walking challenge for anyone interested in incorporating more walking into their day. Registrants received daily motivational tips and could connect with other people who were trying to increase their walking. The campaign—which Social Triggers promoted via social media and email—encouraged people to get their friends and family to join and led to 4,000 new email list sign-ups.
- Offer more enticing emails. Too many small businesses think the secret to email marketing lies in promotional offers, Halpern says, when many people would prefer “insider” information For example, a comic book store might notice that many of its regular customers call to find out about new comics that have arrived in the store recently. That store’s email outreach could include weekly delivery of that news. The kind of information your customers crave will of course depend on your business, but pay attention to the concerns they come to you with most frequently.
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