Email marketing has always been a tricky topic. Many clients nay-say it, feeling it doesn’t work or produce desired results; that it’s a “waste of time”. Most of the time, this is for one or more of four reasons:
- They don’t do it enough
- They don’t work to actively cultivate emails
- They don’t integrate email marketing as part of a larger marketing strategy
- Their content, layout, or both are unappealing
We’ve found that email marketing can be very effective for almost every business. The cost is very low when compared to direct mail and other traditional mediums. Further, the tracking mechanisms available are incredible. You can see exactly who on your list reacted to what, giving you the opportunity to analyze a particular customer or potential customer’s interests in detail to include which emails they opened, what they clicked on, who they shared with, etc. When used effectively, email is a tool like no other for engaging customers, nurturing relationships, and converting those customers to sales.
With the advent of social media as a business tool, and the popularity of mobile technology, businesses have a great opportunity for expanding their email database. We’d like to introduce you to five ways we do this that have proven successful for our wonderful clients:
- Include an EASY TO USE opt-in form on Facebook and every other social media site you have that allows it. Most email newsletter programs provide you with code for doing this, and you can utilize it in the same way you would for your website. Make email the ONLY field they are require to fill in, which increases your chances of having it filled out.
- Hopefully, your emails will include information that is worthy of sharing. But having a “share” button in your newsletter or in an article on your website that the newsletter points to isn’t enough. Make sure that you also make it easy for anyone the article was shared with to sign up for your newsletter, which means that you should include “sign up forms” prominently all over your website and in every “share-worthy” blog (see below).
- Every so often (a couple times a month), ask your friends, fans, and followers to sign up for an email. A good way to do this is by including a link to the online edition of your previous email.
- If you have SMS subscribers, invite them to sign up for your email by replying to the text with their email address. If you don’t have a current subscriber list, consider starting one, but at the very least, take the opportunity whenever you can to ask your customers and potential customers to text you their email address and sign up for your e-news. This could be done during an event, a workshop, even tweeted or posted on Facebook.
- If you have content on your website that is downloadable, like educational materials, use that opportunity to collect email addresses and opt-ins. It doesn’t have to be a requirement, but you should at least ask.