When you think of integrated marketing, does email come to mind? It should! Email plays an important part of multi-channel marketing campaigns because it is a low cost and effective communication tool. For a small business, email marketing does not have to be overwhelming if you do a little strategizing ahead of time.
What is the best way to build your email list?
Organically! When a person gives you their email address, they are much more likely to open your email. If a person likes what you are sending, they are less likely to unsubscribe or report you as spam. If people are engaged in your e-blasts, they will help you maintain your email database, and notify you of any address changes.
In other words, create emails that customers want to read! Here are three ways to build your email database.
1. Give customers a reason to subscribe.
What inspires YOU to read emails from retailers and small businesses? You can use email to communicate the following information about your business:
- Upcoming promotions, coupons, and deals that will be available. If a customer likes doing business with you, they will enjoy seeing what specials you have on the horizon.
- Upcoming events. Do you have open houses? Do you host philanthropic events? If you have events, be sure to send the information to your email list!
- Educational content. Do you have helpful information on how to use your products? Content marketing is a way to show your customers that you care about them, that you are an expert on your products/services, and that you want them to be an informed consumer.
2. Your customers are different, so give them different email options.
When you have limited time, segmented email campaigns are probably not at the top of your to-do list. But, with some planning, it can be easier than you think. When you give customers an opportunity to sign-up for emails, let them choose what information they want. By choosing categories when they sign up, the customer is self- segmenting. It can be as simple as:
I would like to receive emails about (check all that apply):
__ Promotions and coupons
__ Upcoming events
__ Educational informational about xxxxxx
Now, when a person signs up for your e-blast, you will know what that customer is most interested in. That means that your emails are more likely to be opened, shared, and acted upon!
3. Use specialized emails to build your database.
Now that you know what e-blasts you are going to send (i.e. promotions, events, and information), you can build your database more effectively. Try these ideas:
- At your in-store/ in-office events, be sure to ask attendees if they would like to receive your e-blasts.
- On your website, include a form so that website visitors can sign up.
- Each direct mail piece should include an option to go online and sign up for e-blasts.
- On each e-blast, include an option for recipients to sign up for another e-blast or to forward the e-blast to a friend.
- Use e-blast content for social media posts. Be sure to let people know that they can receive more information through your e-blasts. Include a link to your website where they can sign-up.
How NOT to build your email list
Purchasing email addresses is not effective. Because of the way spam filters work, your email is much less likely to land in the inbox of an address you purchase as opposed to those you collect organically. Even if your email makes it past the spam filter, it needs to stay out of the junk or promotions folder for most supporters to open the email. And, if your email lands in a junk folder, people who chose to sign-up for your emails are much more likely to open the email. The more a person opens your emails, the less trouble you will have with emails getting through in the future.
When you work to build your list organically, your emails are more likely to be read, giving you the opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with your supporters.
Are you looking for help with Email Marketing? The Badger Group is ready to help! Request information using the form below and we will contact you. And, if you haven’t already done so, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to get more marketing tips and direct mail updates from us!