The benefits of using email marketing as an effective loyalty and retention tool have been discussed frequently among industry professionals. However when it comes to acquiring customers for a solid email marketing list, some businesses can often struggle.
Typical examples of data collection struggles include lack of presence of sign-up forms on websites, not making use of other channels to gather customer data and even attracting the wrong type of customers. In addition to this, while you may already have a strong database of customer details, email marketing lists degrade by 25% each year as a result of customer opt-outs. So it’s important to make sure your email list continues to grow.
Here are some helpful pointers to help you grow your email marketing list.
Calls to action. What do you want your customers to do?
Before we explore alternative channels to acquire customer data, it’s important to see if you’re missing any tricks when it comes to using your website as a vehicle for driving sign-ups. If you have a website, make sure you have clear calls to action in place to encourage sign-ups from visitors. By that, you need to make sure that links to your sign-up forms aren’t just clearly visible, but also demonstrate an incentive to the customer. While it’s easy to display a link with ‘Sign up here’ clearly at the top of the pages on your website, you need to give them a reason why the customer should click the link (think “What’s in it for me?”). By adding a brief, incentive-based call to action such as entry into a competition, free updates or offers, it can make a difference to the volume of your sign-ups.
Just make sure your incentives are also clearly displayed on the actual sign-up forms too!
Once you have placed your mailing list sign-up link in a clear location with an engaging call to action, you can use colour to make sure these links stand out on your website. Using an eye-catching colour for your sign-up link will help prevent if from blending in with the rest of the content on your website.
Simple sign-up forms
While it’s important to present incentives to the customer here to encourage sign-ups, it’s even more critical that you don’t make it too much effort for customers to sign up to your communications. This means only ask for information that you really need from them. By asking your customers to complete lots of mandatory fields just for a mailing list may leave them frustrated. Do you really need to know their full postal address and telephone number for an email newsletter? By limiting the number of fields to complete to around 3 or 4 they are less likely to abandon the sign-up.
If you are going to ask customers for information such as interests, make sure you are using them for a purpose. While asking customers for additional information is great for segmentation to target specific communications, it’s important that you intend to do this as part of you email marketing strategy. If you told a company you’re interested in rock music, you would expected information from them about rock music – not folk!
Take a look here for some tips on driving conversions with your website sign-up forms.
Use multiple channels
There are various other channels you can explore to gather sign-ups for your email marketing communications. First of which is using social media networks such as Facebook. If you send customer email communications through Mailchimp, you can link your account to Facebook and apply an App which will allow you to add a newsletter sign-up form on your page. This is a great way to gather data from your social media following.
Another simple yet often missed opportunity channel is your email signature. If you’re contacting customers directly by email and not adding a link to your email marketing sign-up form, you could be missing out on additional sign-ups. If you have an email newsletter, it’s important that it’s also communicated in offline marketing channels to help drive additional sign-ups.
Test, test and test again!
Now that you have reviewed how and where you present opportunities for email marketing sign-ups to build your list, it’s important that it doesn’t stop there and that you continually test. Just like email marketing in general, it’s a process of trial and error and if you’ve noticed that sign-ups have dipped then continue to look at reviewing your calls to action and the design of your sign up form. With goals and event tracking in Google Analytics, you’re able to keep an eye on whether the changes you have made are bringing in additional sign-ups.
Do you have any great tips for growing your email marketing list? We’d love to hear from you!