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Email is a powerful relationship-building tool for B2C marketers. Research from Infusionsoft shows that Word-of-mouth marketing, which garnered 62 percent of the vote, is the most effective marketing tool. But you can’t always control WOM, so email marketing was voted the second most effective marketing tool for small businesses.

But how and why do you build your email lists? Here’s the lowdown on gathering email addresses to connect with prospects and keep your current customers in the loop about new products and services, discounts, and industry news.

To begin with, being top-of-mind with your customers is essential for success. Because the internet is cluttered with businesses selling comparable items or services to yours, you must maintain frequent contact with your clients. Keeping customers connected with your brand is vital, whether through a weekly update on new things coming into your store, a newsletter, or notifying them of a new blog post.

Second, according to Forrester and Open Moves study, “almost a third of repeat consumer transactions began with an email.” Keep in mind that optimal practices include tailoring your e-mail message to specific demographics based on previous purchases.

It’s not difficult to collect email addresses from your consumers. There are other ways to grow an e-mail list without having a voluntary sign-up form on your website. Here are five more suggestions:
  1. Make use of word-of-mouth marketing. When customers come upon a great deal, they tell their friends and family about it. Remember that 62 percent of business owners say the best lead-generating method is encouraging referrals and word of mouth, according to Infusion. How can you get your customers to spread the news about your business? Make them smile! Regular deals, bulk discounts, entertaining contests, and excellent customer service are all available.
  2. At the point of sale, inquire about e-mail addresses. According to a Jupiter Research survey, in-store and face-to-face events are the second most effective methods for e-mail acquisition. To get the most out of your efforts, train your employees to approach each consumer for information and explain what they gain.
  3. Include a discount with the transaction. Either request contact information at the register (or on the checkout page of your shopping cart) and instantly hand over the reward or request an e-mail address and send a discount code on the next transaction.
  4. Turn every point of contact into an opportunity. Every customer service call, brochure or catalog request, follow-up call, and price quotation query is an opportunity to add another person to your campaign list
  5. Disseminate market research. Provide potential clients with downloadable e-books, product catalogs, and owner’s manuals in PDF format; by being a thought leader in your field, you will become the go-to resource for information. To download the data, you’ll need to provide your e-mail address.

When it comes to growing your email list, keep in mind that content is king. Customers want you to give material that is relevant to what they are looking for or purchasing. Successful e-mail campaigns all have one thing in common: they give the recipient something of value; otherwise, your message is just spam. They will unsubscribe or look elsewhere for information if you do not deliver something of value to their e-mail inbox.

Because you deliver your message straight into a person’s inbox, it makes things personal and convenient for them; e-mail is still one of the greatest and most affordable roads to conversion. Building an e-mail list takes time, but with transparency, patience, and something of value to provide, it can be a powerful tool for increasing leads, conversions, and money.

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