If you are paying attention to anything happening in online businesses, and even brick and mortar businesses, you know that it is becoming more and more common to have an e-mail list for your customers, clients, or audience.
What you may not understand is why your business needs one, especially if you’ve been been running your business for quite some time and you have a fairly decent customer base. So how would having an e-mail list really benefit you or your business?
Having an e-mail list for your customers to hear from you on a regular basis can do a few things for you:
- Your customers get frequent information from you and feel like you care about them because you are taking the time to update them on what they can get from your business
- They won’t forget about you in between visits to your store
- You will get better turnout at your sales because more people hear about your sale through your e-mail list
- You can send more than one notice of a sale without it costing you any more money for printing, and if people that wanted to come have forgotten, that is beneficial for you
The hardest part for any business owner is how to go about getting people on their list. At Old Navy, they ask if they can e-mail you a receipt and send you sales. This is beneficial for people that shop there because they would rather buy their clothing on sale than at full price, right?
You must offer your customer something that benefits them, and in turn benefits you by adding people to your e-mail list so they are aware of in-store specials, sales, and any special events that you run.
One way to do this would be to have a subscription box on your counter. Each month you could draw a name from it and that person would win something – maybe a gift basket of things from your store, a gift card to a special place, a discount on products, or anything that you can think to offer your customers that they would likely be interested in. This gives them a bonus (something free) and you get to add all of those e-mails to your e-mail list to keep in contact with them.
Make sure when you put out that box that you are letting them know they will be eligible for that free gift plus they will be added to your list to receive monthly newsletters with what is going on with your business, as well as sales and special events that you will be running. You don’t want a customer getting added to a list they didn’t even know they were signing up for!
Another way that they could opt in, would be to offer a comment card box for them to leave their thoughts and suggestions with an e-mail address for you. Again, making sure they understand they are going to be receiving newsletters and sales from you periodically. Make it exciting for them – they get first access to sales prices by being on your list!
An important aspect in any e-mail list, or client base, is how to keep growing it.
One way you could grow your list is to run a promotion through your website and in other online places, including sending out notices in the mail, and for each person they bring to the event they earn something free or get a discount on services or products. This is a great way to build your list because once they bring someone new in, you have an opportunity to offer your opt in to that person to add them to your list.
Any time you are able to create something new that is free for your potential clients and customers, you will be potentially able to grow your list too.
Attending a vendor event is another idea when you have a physical product, or offer a local service. You can have a draw (as mentioned above) or some kind of game where they put in their information to play the game and potentially win something.
These are just a few ways you can grow your list, but you can get creative depending on what kind of business you are offering.
What to use
As a final note, I just briefly wanted to talk about the platforms you could use to send things out to your list. If you wanted to, you could use a regular e-mail service provider like G-Mail or Yahoo!, but you won’t be able to format the e-mails at all and you can’t personalize each one either.
With providers that are set up for this sort of thing, you will get pre-made templates and the option to set it up so that each person that receives the e-mail sees it is addressed to them personally.
Here are a few options for these providers:
- ConvertKit . This is held as one of the best providers around for sending your e-mail list weekly or monthly messages or newsletters. It starts at $29/month up to 1,000 subscribers. There are templates, you can segment your list depending what people want to receive from you, and you can easily set up sequences for people to receive when they sign up for your list.
- Constant Contact . Another paid provider, this is well liked by many people. You get templates as well with this one, along with forms and tracking and even a mobile app.
- MailChimp . There are good and bad things to be said about MailChimp. It is free up to 1,000 subscribers, but can be a little difficult to get used to using and some people say that their e-mails are ending up in people’s junk mail or spam.
- MailerLite . This is another free system that is very similar to ConvertKit, except that it is free for up to 1,000 subscribers while still having a lot of the same benefits. It is pretty easy to use and has templates, tracking, forms, and much more.
- RedCappi . Not as well known as the others, however it is super easy to use because they have the basic functionality needed, and no frills. Also according to their website it’s so easy a baby could use it.
Do you currently have an e-mail list? If you are struggling with this, contact us so we can help you figure out what would be best for you and your business!