I had a colleague who began his marketing career in the service industry for a company that provided consultation on anything from business development to sales strategies.
While his small consulting firm had a loyal base of customers, he knew growth would not occur without generating new sales. So, he did what was the common trend at the time.
He purchased a list of email addresses.
After emailing 300 of the 1,000 person list, my friend called me. “I’m not having success with my list,” he said. “What can I do to guarantee greater success with the people I am contacting?” Happy to help, I recommended that he finish reaching out to the contacts from the list, and then…
…never purchase another email list again!
Why you should not purchase an email list
Why did I insist that he never purchase another list again?
The reason comes directly from my own experience. I have gone through the hassles of purchasing lists before, and they have never, NEVER worked out for me. Over 90% of the time (yes I did analyze the data), the contacts would never result in becoming a new customer. So why did I purchase the list in the first place?
For me (and most I’ve talked to), I purchased my first list because I didn’t know how to gather my own contacts; but now I know.
Building your own list can be done, and the results of build the list is worth more than any list you could purchase.
Why should you build your own email list?
Building your own contact list is crucial to the success of your marketing efforts. This is because the contacts on your list have found you, gotten hooked by your value message or incentives.
So, they have willingly given you their information.
This voluntary engagement places them one step further in the marketing process because they have essentially already told you, “I would like to know more about how you can help me.”
Building your own email list not only brings customers together who have shown interest in your solution offerings, it also gives you the ability to separate those customers into solution categories so you can communicate to them about those specific products and services in which they are interested.
I’ll show you how to do that next.
How to grow your email list
I won’t lie. Building your email list, like so many other things, takes intentional, consistent effort; but doing it is pretty easy once you master the basics.
Yes, you can start building your list right now!
Best of all, it’s not something you have to put additional marketing efforts into. You simply capitalize on the success of your current content marketing strategies and give customers the opportunity to ask for more information.
Here are the 3 biggest ways you can start increasing your email list today.
1 – You must have a website
At Epic Marketing Partners we add a “Newsletter Subscription” form to all of our client’s websites by default.
If your website doesn’t have this area and you need help adding it, give us a call at (614)-427-3534.
If you run a business and don’t have a website, now is the time. Having your own web presence is simple and inexpensive, and it is vital to your marketing efforts.
Your website will be the first place people look to find information on your company, and it will be the first time new customers have the opportunity to see the personality of your business.
On every page of your website, make sure there is a place where customers can sign up to get more information, keep up to date, get special offers, be on your list, etc.
2 – Produce consistent value content
Communication is key. Even with a website, your customers will not be inclined to share their information if you neglect to continually put out content that will keep their attention.Think like a customer here.
Producing consistent value content shows your customers that you care about their needs and have the tools and services to meet those needs. It also gives you the opportunity to consistently showcase your experience, which will help you leverage yourself as the expert.
Let’s say you are looking for a reliable service provider to fix your cracked windshield. You find two websites of companies who can provide this service that are comparable in price and who both offer similar discounts for signing up on their registration list.
Joe’s Auto Repair (company #1) has a single-page site that was set up in 2005 and shows their mission statement, but nothing else. They haven’t updated the site in years.
Brilliant Auto Glass Service (company #2) has a page that shows “before-and-after” images of every vehicle they work on… including customers who have been serviced today.
Which would you choose?
3 – Offer incentive
I have literally seen companies collapse over this point, but it is one that I will continue to claim until the day I retire (which will probably never happen). Incentive is the best way to enter into a great relationship with any customer – current or new.
In this world, nobody gives up their information for nothing in return.
You must offer your customers something in return for giving you their information. And, no. Consistent content is not an incentive to getting those emails.
Incentives can be anything that acts as a “Thank You” for giving you their information.
- Give new customers a free chapter of a book you have written.
- Offer a discount on your customers’ next purchase.
- Donate one free hour of service with a ten-hour service purchase to all new sign-ups.
The possibilities are endless, but the importance of offering incentives is immeasurable.
+1 Bonus tip
If you offer more than one product or service type, it is good to request which products or services your customer is most interested in.
For example, if you sell computers, cell-phones, and video games, allow your customer to request information about only computers.
This will help you separate your customers into interest groups so they don’t receive unwanted information (keeping on your email list).
How to manage your email list
Why use an EMS?
There are several benefits for using an Email Marketing System that go beyond simply sending out mass emails. Here are just some of those:
- Task automation enabling you to manage campaigns and schedule emails.
- Full-scale template designs or drag-and-drop options for building beautiful emails.
- Contact database management automates purging and subscription processes.
- Maintaining compliance with the CAN-SPAM ACT ensuring your customers receive safe emails.
Before you go and start collecting those precious emails, make sure you have a way to manage them and use them for future communications.
I recommend using an Email Marketing Service – or EMS – for inexpensively managing and organizing all of your new contacts.
With an EMS, you will be able to develop brilliantly designed communication pieces that educate, entertain, and encourages your customers to seek your products and services.
Some of our favorites EMS’s at Epic Marketing Partners are:
What to do with your contacts once you populate your email list
Now that you are collecting those valuable contacts, you need to make sure that you are using those emails in an engaging, yet respectful, manner. I can’t emphasize the “respectful” point enough.
Remember to think like your customers will.
You probably have no interest in the company that sends you daily (or more) reminders that they have the best product or service, so don’t just badger your customers with advertisement either.
Timing is everything
While you must reach out to your email contacts, it is not recommended that you hit your customers with email after email after email. I recommend that, at least in the beginning, you stay within the range of no more than 1 email per month while you are getting started.
By only sending one email per month, you will show your customers that you are thinking about them without turning them off to obsessive contact.
Personalize your communication
How can you personalize your customers when you don’t know them?
Use your customer profiles and address those characters in your messages and call-to-action blocks.
If you want to read more about this, check out our blog about how to create a primary customer profile!
Before you lose your mind thinking about sending thousands of personal emails (and you can have thousands!), rest assured that I’m not suggesting that you write every customer individually.
Use the EMS to send out messages to the masses.
However, your messages will be so much more effective if you approach them like you are emailing a friend. Write a personalized note into your messages thanking your customers for their interest in what you can offer.
Show them how your newest product and service will greatly impact their needs. Engage your customers with inspiring graphics and videos.
Making your emails as personal as possible will create a subliminal advertisement that your customers won’t be able to help but click.
Start gathering those emails
I opened this article with a friend who needed greater success with his email marketing.
Today, he is enjoying the achievement that has come from gathering his own email contacts. His customers are more engaged than ever, and he is seeing response rates higher than any of his competitors because he has customers who genuinely want to hear more from him and he doesn’t disappoint them by giving his customers personalized messages and value incentives.
You can do this too.
You can get to know your customers on a more personal basis and engage with them starting right now!
When you give your customers an opportunity to connect with you, you will find that you can have much more significant communication with them – leading to more successful marketing efforts!
Need help getting started?
Whether it’s designing a website, developing your registration form, or getting your started with your EMS, Epic Marketing Partners is here to help you begin collecting those ever-important email addresses from you customers.
For a brief consultation call or email us today!
What kind of newsletter do you run or want to start?
Share your thoughts with us, we would love to see them!