Over the past 20 years, email and text messages have become an important part of people’s work and everyday communications. Not a moment goes by when people are not getting emails from friends, co-workers or the myriad mailing lists they may have signed up for to hear the latest national news, special sales or industry specific information.
So if you are business owner or manager who wants to grow your email list for more customer acquisition and add to the never-ending list of emails that people receive each day, how do you go about doing that? And even more importantly, how do you grow a qualified email list that is beneficial to both the customer and your company?
Many companies use several methods to grow their email lists. MarketingSharpa for instance produced a number of charts that demonstrated that tactics such as Website registration, Facebook registration, online events and other methods seemed to be the most effective means to expand an email list.
MarketingSharpa also interviewed Mary Abrahamson of Ferguson Enterprises, to get her thoughts on expanding a company email list.
Abrahamson said, “I feel a lot of marketers answer these questions with the thought of ‘What was easiest to implement?’ or ‘How am I going to get the most people?’ However, having this type of thought-process isn’t always most effective when it comes to choosing your email acquisition strategy.”
Instead, Abrahamson advises to really understand, based on business needs, the customer, and suggests the following to help grow your email list:
- Where are your customers? Abrahamson recommends finding out how your customers are interacting with your brand and then understand how to “enhance those experiences for email acquisition.”
- Where will they feel most comfortable providing the key pieces of information you need? Whether it be a difference in channel, execution in your form or mobile optimization, the experience the customer has in providing your brand their personal information is key.
- Who are your lowest-hanging fruit customers? Abrahamson recommends not to go after everyone – even those that might be your biggest customer evangelists who attend every conference. Acquiring email readers is also about targeting.
- What type of customer information is most valuable to you? Abrahamson recommends tailoring your email acquisition strategy to target customer information “you can absolutely not segment without.” She says that acquiring those people and then you can find out more about them and why they are so important for your business.
We work with a number of small businesses and consistently see sales results as the most important goal for an early stage online retail company and email acquisition as an afterthought. We frequently counsel brands to focus on building a community of fans and followers. The best way to do that is through growing an email list and using this information selectively and effectively to engage your audience and then providing sales and offers of interest to this audience. This is how great brands are built today and why social media marketing is such an effective way to learn more about your audience and convert casual followers to hard core evangelists.