When it comes to growing a business, email is king. In a recent GigaOM nationwide survey of digital marketers, email marketing topped the list as the most effective tool for customer retention, walloping social media marketing by nearly 20 percent. According to a Harvard Business School report, “On average, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25%-95%.” When it comes to creating and maintaining a loyal customer base, a little smart email marketing goes a long way toward your bottom line.
Here are six important tips and tricks for building your email list:
- Take Advantage of Social Media
While it can be an effective tool on its own, social media marketing provides a one-two punch when used in conjunction with email marketing, offering even greater potential for creating and retaining a loyal customer base. Include an e-mail sign-up link as a call to action on your business’ Facebook page. Consider using social media ads that offer an incentive for submitting contact information, such as a coupon, giveaway or free download. The email addresses collected will be a valuable asset to your business.
- Create Educational Content
You are the only expert on what your company has to offer, so share that expertise on your website to collect emails. Are you a restaurant? Share recipes and cooking tips. A local gym? Offer health advice and infographics on workout routines. A bookstore? Feature authors, book reviews or a guide to caring for your books. Create content that will keep customers clicking, reading and sharing so others will sign up for what you have to offer.
- Use Customer Word of Mouth
Although the digital age offers every kind of opportunity for building your business, there’s nothing like digital word of mouth to fast-track your company’s reputation. Include links in your emails for customers to share content or to invite others to subscribe. Offer incentives or thank-yous to customers who refer their friends to your fan club.
- Try Employee Incentives
Why not give employees a little something extra for gathering opt-in email addresses? Have them promote your fan club and incentivize them for each valid email address they collect. Alternatively, create a competition where the employee who collects the most email addresses wins a prize.
- Take Advantage of Events
Mine trade shows, fundraisers, fairs and other networking events for potential customers and email addresses. Hold a prize drawing for business card or email address form submissions. Be sure your fine print informs visitors they are opting in to your subscriber list and follow up with a thank-you email that announces the winner and includes opt-out information.
- Utilize a Website Sign-up Form
Make sure anyone signing up knows what they’ll get and what email options are available, such as newsletter frequency and type (content, new products, discounts and specials). All you need is an individual’s name and an email address. Total Loyalty Solutions can add an email collection form to your website in seconds. It’s a quick addition that can generate a ton of new subscribers.
Email content is inherently customizable, and you can successfully utilize it to deliver the exact message you want to your customer. Sometimes, your product is more complicated and requires a complex explanation, but often, a simple and elegant clickable coupon is the only thing you need to send. Email marketing makes it easy to do both and maximizes your business’s potential customer base. Developing your email platform across a common, integrated theme and message is crucial to building consistent brand awareness and trust, and a customized email campaign should still be the cornerstone of this effort.