A qualified list of customers and prospects is one of the most valuable assets any business can have. Here are a few tips to help build that list.
Email lists are permission-based, meaning that customers must agree to allow businesses to contact them. A once-monthly email campaign or e-newsletter is the perfect way to stay in touch, share inspirational messages and stories, and ultimately become more memorable to the people on the list. The keys to a great email campaign or e-newsletter are to engage, entertain, inspire, and call to action.
1. Add existing customers to email campaigns and e-newsletters. Each time a sale is made—whether in person or online—a business should make sure it has the email address of the customer or client. If the company hasn’t reached out to its customers in a while, it should put them in a segmented list and get back in touch, re-introducing itself to them if necessary. Once the connection has been made, maintain contact. Email and call at least eight times throughout the year. Remember their birthdays, anniversaries, and any other news they have let the business know about. Make sure to jot this information down for future contacts. Repeat buyers are the easiest to sell to, so it is a priority to keep this group on the list.
2. Tradeshows, markets, and promotional events. Capture names and emails at trade shows, markets, and promotional events by having a guest book handy and asking visitors to sign up to receive notifications of new products and services, events, and special offers. Offer something in return so that they do not feel as though their space is being invaded, or worse, that they are being hounded for information.
3. Add prospective customers to the list. If a business has a working prospect list and knows a potential customer’s email, it should add them to the email campaign or e-newsletter list. Adding prospective customers is a great way to keep in touch throughout the sales process without having to sell with every follow-up.
4. Offer a promotion. Ask people to sign an event book or put their business card in a bowl for a drawing or promotional contest, making sure they have their email address on the cards. Announce the lucky winner out loud and in one of the email campaigns or newsletters.
5. Attract website visitors. Having an email subscriber opt-in form on a website is essential to driving traffic to the site. Make sure to add an opt-in option on e-newsletters as well, to make it easy for visitors to join.
6. Make the most out of social media connections and links. Make sure to add email subscriber opt-in forms on all social media platforms. The business will need an ESP (email service provider) such as MailChimp, AWeber, or Constant Contact who can create the sign-up form. This link can then be incorporated into Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn pages. This is imperative to leveraging all of the business’s marketing arms.
7. Make the business’s email correspondence work for you. Add an invitation and a link to sign up for e-newsletter or email campaign lists in the signature line of every email the business sends. This is an easy way for visitors and perspectives to learn more about the brand without having to take any extra steps.
8. Gather referrals. While sending out those monthly e-newsletters and emails, include a “request to share” and a “forward” link to encourage recipients to send the messages to other people they know, increasing the number subscriptions to the campaign. Add “like” buttons at the bottom of each post using visual icons.
9. Engage blog readers. If the business has a blog, include an email sign-up button at the bottom of each published article. This can be a quick way to gain new subscribers.
10. Make it visually appealing. Readers want to get the jist of an email, blog post, or e-newsletter before they read it, so include images to break up the copy. Just make sure the images are relevant to the article.
Now is the time to gather email addresses in order to grow your business’s following. In gathering subscribers, remember to keep the audience entertained, engaged, inspired, and called to action. These tips will help increase a business’s number of email subscribers, but it is what the brand does with them that counts.
Socially Bold is a digital marketing firm located in Jacksonville, Florida providing marketing services to small to mid-sized local businesses. Specializing in social media and content marketing, Socially Bold focuses on aligning with clients, the ‘Socially Bold Community’, to deliver innovative ideas and translate those into refreshing results. For more information about Socially Bold, visit sociallybold.com. Join the #SociallyBold conversation on Twitter @sociallyboldjax, Facebook @sociallybold, Instagram @sociallybold, Pinterest @sociallybold or Google+ @sociallybold.