Over the last couple of years, there has been an ongoing debate over whether or not email marketing is still a variable method in the wake of the growing trend of social media marketing. Despite the naysayer’s, research proves that email marketing remains more effective than social media when attracting new customers. In fact, a recent study by Custora, a predictive analytics firm, customer acquisitions from email marketing has grown by four times over the last four years. Although social media marketing is more beneficial for customer engagement, email marketing is more effective for driving sales.
As Simms Jenkins, CEO of a marketing firm states, “If you have one bullet left in your gun to sell something, then email should always be that bullet.”
However, email marketing is only as effective as the strength of your email list. As email marketing is permission-based, the number and relevancy of those included on your email list are a contributing factor to the direct success of your email marketing campaign and the revenue it generates.
Benefits to Email Marketing
The very pinnacle to your success online is determined by the size of your audience. By leveraging your audience to collect their email addresses, you’re able to drive traffic to your website, grow your site’s monetization, and boost revenue. The larger your email list, the larger your sales will become.
Michael Hyatt, author and Internet Marketer with 115,000 subscribers, says, “I have literally built a multi-million dollar business on the strength of my email list. Ninety percent of my income comes from it. Even today, my email list is still my number one business priority– and asset.”
To increase your email list, it all starts with great content that offers an incentive to subscribe, such as special discounts; thus, producing increased conversion rates. However, it must be done correctly in order for it to benefit your revenue. For example, it doesn’t matter if you have one million members on your email list if you’re spamming them or creating content no one is enticed to read. Therefore, the foundation of your email list needs to focus on providing your audience with the content they crave and encouraging them to provide you with their email address to keep their desire to gain what you have to offer fulfilled.
Direct Mail Marketing
The most widely used and effective method to increase your email list is with direct mail marketing. In 2012, direct marketing produced $2.05 trillion in sales. As an indispensable method, utilize every opportunity possible to advertise your email sign-up option, such as with indirect mail order forms, directory ads, catalogs, rebate cards, subscription renewals, business cards, and rebate cards. As soon as you’ve gained a new email address, send out a welcoming email to acknowledge you’ve received their information to help build brand loyalty and to engage with the customer to promote a sale.
Email Sign-Up Boxes
Your website needs to include an obvious email sign-up box, such as in your side bar, header, or a pop-up box. By doing so, it’s a simple and effective means to generate more email subscribers. When Chef Gordon Ramsay added a subscriber box to his blog, new subscribers went up almost 52 percent overnight. To achieve new subscribers with a sign-up box, you need to encourage your website visitors to subscribe by making it clear as to what’s in it for them, such as a discount, free ebook, or monthly newsletter. If you have 35,000 unique visitors heading to your website each month, that’s 35,000 chances to gain a new email address with a big, bold sign-up form your visitors simply can’t ignore.
Site and account registrations are excellent for growing email lists as it encourages a strong call to action in order to benefit from your website. The incentive to register must be clear, such as accessing additional website features, insider information, and purchasing abilities. With this method, you’ll gain more relevant subscribers who will also be repeat visitors to your website.
Often, website visitors will have questions or certain requests. Use this as an opportunity to provide customer service, while benefiting from their email address. For example, if a customer requests an online price quote, addition information about a product or service, or want to download a document, you’ll fulfill their need while requesting their email address in order to provide them with the information they need.
Point of Sale
Requiring an email address to complete the checkout process is a common practice. In addition to the check out process, you can ask their permission to be included in your email program by encouraging them to subscribe for additional offers and updates. After a purchase has been made, send a follow up thank you email where you can also encourage them to sign up for additional offers and incentives.
Word of Mouth
Although it may seem a little old school, word of mouth is an excellent method to growing your email list. According to an infographic by Lithium, 1,000 customers can generate 500,000 conversions about a brand simply by word of mouth. Use this knowledge in your favor by offering discounts and incentives to get your audience talking and sharing with others what they’ve gained from subscribing. This is especially beneficial when running sweepstakes or giveaways as a user must opt-in to enter for a chance to win.
Free Gifts and Incentives
Encourage your customers to provide their email address during purchases, both online and in-store, by providing a free product, service, or discount, which will require the information to be emailed to them. A welcome email will then be sent and the customer must then confirm the email address to receive their special gift. It’s a win/win for both you and the customer. Or, use any incentive at all to gain an email address. Website designer Chris Spooner began adding a bundle package for his email subscribers, causing his numbers to increase from 10 new daily subscriptions to 100.
Market your incentives to subscribe to your website on social media platforms. If you’re running a contest, market the details of the contest on social media, including that registration must be completed on the website in order to enter the contest to win. Or, marketing your monthly newsletter and the details to subscribe pointing back to your website. By cross promoting, you’ll further grow your email list.
No matter the methods you use to grow your email list, you must be responsible and follow both legal and moral responsibilities to create a result that benefits you and the customer. Avoid any and all spamming tactics and make the entire process as personalized as possible by making your subscriber feel valued; thus, promoting brand loyalty and positive relationships. By taking an active role and responsibly handling your email marketing, you’ll be investing in the very success of your business with a cost effective solution that generates long-term benefits.
“How to Build an Email List” Experian.com
“Email List Building from the Experts” BufferApp.com
“10 Ways to Grow Your Mailing List” PassionForBusiness.com
“Why You Need to Build An Email List” SearchEngineJournal.com
“Why Email is Still More Effective than Social Media” Forbes.com