One of the easiest ways to get your business’ message out to likely-buyers continues to involve email, and it remains an extremely effective marketing tool. Recent statistics show that email marketing has a 4,400 percent return on investment (ROI). In other words, every dollar spent, typically gains $44 of income.
Naturally, email marketing cannot be effective without a hefty list of email addresses. By all means, check out our advice on selecting an email marketing service. These services can be very helpful, but they do not typically provide a mailing list for you to use. Here are some ways that you can compile your own list, which will probably be better-targeted than any list that you may choose to purchase from an outside list vendor.
#1. Just Ask
Whether you’re talking to a prospective customer, or you have people waiting in line for checkout in your store, there’s nothing wrong with coming right out and asking for an email address. Give it a try, even for just a few days. If you don’t get great results, you might consider offering a loyalty card or maybe a birthday discount.
#2. Create an Online Newsletter
Whether you develop a monthly newsletter or write multiple blogs. each month it’s easy to entice potential customers to gain access for the small price of their email address.
Understand that this option requires a significant commitment on your part. Besides the obvious effort of writing them, you have to make sure that you have enough ideas to keep the information regularly refreshed. This might be easier to accomplish if your customers benefit by learning more about your products or services. If you exclusively sell pencils, for example, then newsletters or blogs are unlikely to be helpful.
If you choose to go this route, however, you have a golden opportunity to send email announcements when new material is published. Of course, those emails can be used to publicize sales and new products, as well.
#3.Offer Free Whitepapers For Download
When customers should know or understand more about your products or services, then an offer of whitepapers may be the perfect vehicle in exchange for an email address. Here are some examples of information that customers may find helpful:
- For purchasers of your online security software or consulting services, consider providing information on how to maintain good security practices. If that whitepaper includes advice on when to immediately call an expert — and it provides easy ways to contact your business — so much the better.
- If you sell lawn care products, then a paper that compares and contrasts gas-powered, electric, and battery-operated tools can help customers make the right decisions.
- Health food store customers might benefit from whitepapers explaining terminology, such as “non-GMO” or “Organic. Similarly, providing explanations of the myriad available supplements might provide helpful reading — as long as you carefully observe all rules pertaining to making truthful claims.
- If you sell bicycles or other exercise equipment, the sky’s the limit for whitepapers. Subject matter can be anything from “Choosing the Right Terrain for Your Experience,” to “The Importance of Exercising all Muscle Groups,” to “Using Nutrition to Enhance Every Workout.”
#4. Get More Social
Don’t forget to make full use of social media to collect email addresses. Many people will know about your Facebook page before they learn that you have a website. By all means, make sure that your social media pages provide links to your website and any other appropriate contact information.
#5. Turn Your Business Into a Club
An email address can pay for a ticket into your Preferred Customers Club. Whether that membership includes a loyalty card, buys exceptional discounts, or even provides special members-only store hours is up to you. Just make sure that members are likely to appreciate the extra value that membership provides.
#6. Have A Party At Your Place of Business
Store-front businesses can often benefit by bringing customers in their doors for social purposes. For the price of an email address, visitors can enjoy snacks and non-alcoholic beverages and chat with other attendees – and get a good view of whatever wares you offer.
Until it’s safe to have crowded spaces, however, there are ways to create tempting virtual events. Offer live performances from popular local musicians, stand-up comedians, or even fun how-to demonstrations of your products. Your friends and family members are probably more than willing to share their ideas about what constitutes a fun online event.
#7. Issue Invitations for Free Seminars or Webinars
When customers are looking for more information surrounding your products or services, another option beyond whitepapers might be to invite them to a class on the subject.
The obvious downside is that conducting training online or in person requires a very specific skill set. The upside is that it provides interactive contact with your customers, who appreciate the personal support when you answer their questions. Plus, those questions help to inform you about their specific needs, just like many customer complaints can be helpful. This type of information allows you to target the design of your products or services more precisely, while providing fodder for future seminar topics or whitepapers.
Bonus Tip: It’s All About Great Targeting
Don’t forget that having an extensive collection of email addresses is only effective if the addresses belong to people who are likely to be actual customers. So, each method that you employ should strongly target those prospects.
A pet supply business will get more cat-owner addresses when they tempt cat owners with cat -related offers or events. An office supply store needs to know the difference between business and casual customers so they know when their offers should focus on office needs versus cool pens and paper for arts and crafts.
Whatever technique you use to compile your list, always keep your marketing goals in mind. Choose quality of addresses over quantity, and use the right messages when launching your email marketing campaign. Observing these basic principles might just gain that 4,400 percent ROI that you know is possible.