Do you have an email list of your customers on your computer? Most companies do, but few companies properly take advantage of them. There is a reason why every single lottery, freebie, or giveaway asks for your email, and it isn’t actually to get in contact with you if you win. They want your information. The more emails they have, the more people they can potentially contact.
Your company should be utilizing this exact same model of gathering emails and informations of potential and current clients. Developing your email list is not only a fantastic email marketing tool, but also essential for the success of any email newsletters or email campaigns you wish to launch. They can also be a bit of a headache to build up but, thankfully, a great virtual assistant will know how to do it organically and then use the list to its best effect. Here are a few easy ways for you to build up your small business’ email list.
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1. Simply Ask for It
Some people seem to think that you need to “trick” your customers into giving you their email information. This, however, rarely works. And even if it does work, it won’t work for long because the second that a customer gets an email they didn’t really want, they are going to hit unsubscribe. Not to mention there is a chance that your email marketing account will become suspended or worse, deactivated. There is a much better way! It’s truly surprising how simply offering your customers a freebie they actually want can improve your customer relationships, especially when you are asking them for something! Creating a simple, effective call-to-action at the bottom of your homepage can do wonders to improve your email list.
2. Use Unobtrusive Popups
Another effective method might be to include an opt-in popup on your website. Keep in mind, we are NOT talking about a popup that appears in the middle of their screen, interrupting their user experience. This is a simple, unobtrusive popup in the corner of your website that in no way intrudes on their screen real estate. Both of these methods can be added to your website. Just mention it to your virtual assistant and you will be all set.
3. Content Marketing Freebies
Content marketing is the cornerstone of most successful social media marketing strategies, but it can also be very useful when you are trying to build your email list.
This method of building up your email database can piggyback off your efforts of simply asking your customers for their email info on your website. You’re just sweetening the pot a little bit by offering them free, valuable, relevant content like a professionally written and formatted ebook. Be upfront about your intentions here, don’t promise them content without mentioning that they are signing up for something. Nothing annoys a customer like feeling like they were mislead into giving you their information.
4. Discounts and Coupons
Discounts and coupons are one of the most effective ways that large companies get people to sign up for their email lists. These companies can afford to give deep discounts to their clients and customers to keep them hooked and tuned into their messaging.
Take Lenovo, for example. This computer company offers up to $200 off their computers with every email signup. They also offer a special $200 off birthday coupon if you entrust them with your information. Alongside these generous coupons, their regular email marketing efforts are well branded and keep their customers informed about any sales or special discounts they might be eligible for.
Now, as a small business, you probably can’t afford incredible coupons and discounts like the ones that a huge company like Lenovo can, but the same principles apply. Lenovo computers are thousands of dollars, so a $200 coupon can be a big deal. If your products are hundreds of dollars, a $20 coupon could have exactly the same impact on your customers.
Of course, for this to work, you need to have a robust e-commerce system in place on your website to handle all of your products and customers transactions. A virtual assistant can help you integrate any number of e-commerce systems into your already existing website infrastructure, ensuring that your customers will have a smooth purchasing experience when they attempt to apply their coupon.
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5. Follow Up to Keep Them Hooked
If you are only sporadically sending out marketing emails or digital newsletters every few months, there is a good chance that members of your email list might forget that they signed up for it. If they forget, and then suddenly get hit with a marketing email from you, they could mentally process it as spam rather than something they actually requested. If this is the case, your marketing emails could permanently be diverted into their spam folder, trash bin, or they could even unsubscribe.
The key to keeping people hooked on your marketing emails is to send out a consistent, but not spam-worthy, stream of emails on a predictable schedule. If you send out a weekly newsletter, make sure that it is delivered to their inbox on the same day, at the same time, every week. If it’s sent out monthly, it should be sent out within the first few days of the month, if not the first. This predictable schedule will keep them recognizing your address as one they want to get emails from, rather than a random intrusion into their carefully curated inbox.
Many strategies used to build up email lists can be seen as annoying or frustrating to clients, but most of these involve misleading them into sharing information they actually don’t want to hand over. Often, the most effective way to build and maintain the integrity of your email list is to be completely upfront about your intentions. Simply tell them that you want their email so you care share valuable content, coupons and discounts, or news about your business.
If they are loyal customers who have been treated with respect, chances are that they won’t mind at all getting your email marketing efforts in their inbox on a regular basis. You just have to handle your “pitch” in the right way and send the correct amount of emails to avoid “email fatigue” and that’s exactly what a virtual assistant can do for you. I have built extensive and effective email lists, both for my clients and for myself, and I know exactly how to ask for a client’s information.
To learn more about how you can use a virtual team, I invite you to check out my free How to Use a Virtual Team to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back: Workbook!
Contact me today to talk about how we can not only build your email list, but also utilize it to help grow your business and improve your customer relationships!