How To Build An Email List
As a small business owner, you definitely want to build an email list. One of your best marketing assets is a healthy email list. Building and properly managing your email list will help drive sales in a big way. But we also have to be careful. With inbox clutter on the rise and customers becoming more sensitive about any unwanted communication, you will want to make sure to build your email lists with relevance and care.
The good news is: There are a number of simple and effective ways for you to build an email list. These include traditional online and offline tactics, including paid search, direct mail, special live events and special or seasonal offers. Be sure you are:
- Using these tactics responsibly
- Complying with all legal requirements
- Respecting subscriber preferences
Direct Mail – Make The Most Of This Proven Method
Advertise your email sign-up options in all catalogs, directory ads and direct-mail order forms. Adding a simple checkbox with a field for writing in an email address on bills, rebate cards, subscription renewals, etc. is all you have to do to grow your list considerably.
When using this tactic, make sure to email all of your new subscribers as soon as you possibly can. Chances are that a significant amount of time has passed since they mailed the form, and it’s crucial to keep your brand fresh in their minds and continue the dialog.
Email Sign-Up Boxes – Help Web Site Visitors Sign Up For Email
Make sure you have placed a clear and conspicuous form on your website or blog to help facilitate email sign-ups for your web visitors. This common technique is not only effective, but also very easy to implement. It takes just minutes to add your capture form code to your web site and the results can pay off for years. There are a few important things to consider when using this strategy:
- Keep the look and feel of your sign-up boxes consistent and clean. This makes them more reputable, easy to find and familiar to your visitors.
- Try to place your capture form boxes as close to the top of your pages as you can. Most test results have shown that those forms located near the top of the web site perform better than those located in the footer area.
- Be sure your sign-up boxes have a clear description of “what’s in it for them.” Let visitors know exactly what to expect when filling in the form and sell the benefits for being on your email list. This can be as simple as promoting the general advantages of joining your list — such as being able to receive important information and offers faster and that it’s eco-friendly.
Add Capture Form To Your Registration and Commerce Pages.
Site registration is the most common and effective means of acquisition for marketers such as yourself. Jupiter Research found that 77 percent of marketers deem site registration effective in terms of both list quality and quantity. These visitors are already interested in your offer, so they will be more inclined to want to stay in touch with you. So make sure to add email sign-up forms to all account registration and ecommerce forms on your web site.
To do this effectively, follow these best practices:
- Makes sure the incentive for registering is clear and relevant to your target audience
- Benefits of registering for your email program are clearly listed
- Geographic and demographic information is collected for segmentation
- The call to action is prominently displayed
Customer Requests and Downloads – Provide Email Sign-Up Opportunities for Potential Customers
When your web site visitors request online price quotes, catalogs, pamphlets, company information or research papers, ask for (or require) their email addresses. This list-growth strategy is particularly useful for business-to-business marketers, catalogers, financial organizations and other businesses that may not have commerce web sites.
Save any new documentation or training as a PDF for download, and require that individuals enter their names and email addresses in order to retrieve it. A highly anticipated white paper or report can generate a high number of new email subscribers who are openly expressing interest in your brand and information.
Point of Sale – Build a List When You Close The Sale.
For retail stores, asking customers for their email addresses at the point of sale (POS) is a proven technique that is quickly gaining momentum and for good reason. In-person and in-store events were ranked second in acquisition quality and quantity, according to a 2007 Jupiter Research study.
To put this practice into action, it’s important that your associates:
- Ask customers for their email address
- Explain the benefits of your email program
- Let customers know exactly what to expect in terms of email frequency and content
- Read back the email addresses to verify correct spelling and reduce the risk of error
Employee training and in-store signage promoting your program can effectively support this effort.
To encourage customers to give store associates their email addresses, consider offering a free product with their next purchase. An email can be sent to confirm the email address and can include the free offer coupon. This validates the email address and encourages customers to shop again.
By following responsible these best practices to build an email list, marketers create a win-win situation for both the customer and the brand. Companies gain long-term, profitable relationships with their customers, and customers receive offers for products and services that are meaningful and relevant to them.
When you build a list and manage that list responsibly, your business and your customers can continue to benefit from this cost-efficient and environmentally friendly medium.