Email marketing can be a truly beneficial strategy to bring in more customers to your business and keep your existing customers loyal. However, if you build your list the wrong way, email marketing can jeopardize your reputation and dilute your return on investment. You want to make sure that your list is permission-based, not purchased, traded, or acquired through another organization. To get the most value from your email list, follow these tips for building a permission-based email marketing list.
- Obtain email addresses from your existing customers by requesting their email address at the point of sale. This can be at the checkout in a retail store or part of your online shopping cart.
- Have a guest book on display in your business and encourage everyone who enters to sign in and provide their email address.
- Encourage customers to sign-up for your loyalty program, birthday club, or special offers.
- When collecting feedback from your customers, whether through a comment card or a survey, request their email address.
- Collect business cards in a fishbowl at your counter. This is done a lot in restaurants, but that’s not the only place this will work. Hold a weekly drawing from those cards received for a gift from your business. Provide registration slips for those that don’t have a business card.
- Add a sign-up box to your website. This should be positioned above the fold on each page of your site for maximum effectiveness. You don’t want to have people searching for how to get more information; it should be obvious.
- Add your sign-up box to your Facebook profile. You want a way to capture the email addresses of your fans so you can market to them in the future.
- Add your sign-up link to your Twitter profile. The best place to put this is right in your bio so it stays in view whenever your profile is shown. Having followers on Twitter is not enough; you really need to work to collect their email addresses.
- Add your sign-up link to your email signature. Many people you email regularly may not be on your list. Invite them to sign-up.
- If you hold seminars, workshops, or other in-person events, provide a sign-in form for people to provide their email address.
- Provide a “forward to friend” link in all your email marketing campaigns.
- Provide a fishbowl for visitors to your tradeshow booth to leave their business card to be added to your email list. As an added incentive, conduct a drawing each hour during the tradeshow for those who have signed up for your email list.
- Use an app for your smartphone that will help you easily collect contact info and email addresses for those that you meet in person.
Utilize every opportunity you have to gather email addresses from your customers, colleagues, vendors, and prospects and you will soon have a quality email list built and ready to spread your message.
Photo by HostingHouse