One of the most valuable and highest ROI forms of marketing is via email. Most businesses realize this but their biggest challenge is building their email list. Clients ask us every day for tips on building their email lists so I wanted to share some of the advice we give. Next week I’ll cover tips to having a great newsletter, because once a company develops an email list the next step is to communicate.
Here are 9 Ways to Build Your Email List
- Add an Email Opt-in on Your Website and Facebook – The easiest way to get emails is to ask. Simply add an email opt-in form on your website and any social media sites your company maintains.
- Online Contests – The second way to drive a lot of email submissions is to run a contest for your customers. This is one of the biggest benefits our clients receive at Artistic Hub when they work with this. We consistently add 100-300 emails a month to our local clients databases and for our larger accounts 1,000 – 3,000 emails a month. The key is to make the contest fun, easy to enter, and offer a compelling prize. The more compelling the prize the more people are motivated to participate.
- Create a Fish Bowl for Employees – As your company grows, employees will come in contact with hundreds and thousands of people. Train them to ask people when they get their card if they can add them to your email list. Make sure to ask or you will offend people, but if they say yes sign them up. Once you have trained your staff leave a “Fish Bowl” or box for your employees to put business cards in. Restaurants utilize this strategy all the time and there is even a company called Fish Bowl that manages the program for a very small price.
- Offer a % off Incentive – A sometimes overlooked way to increase email opt-ins is to give a discount or incentive. Simply promoting a 10% off or $10 off coupon if someone signs up for your newsletter works great.
- Give Something Away for Free - Instead of a discount another option is to give some information away for free. A white-paper, a report, or an industry analysis that your company has done that could be beneficial to a prospect’s research.
- Add A Guest Book Online or In Your Store - For businesses that have a retail or storefront, simply adding a guest books at the entrance and near the registers is an additional capture point. Many people will sign-up while they are waiting to make a purchase. Use similar messaging online.
- Ask for Emails with Purchases Online or In Person – Another place to ask for email sign-ups is after a customer makes a purchase. This can be in person or online. Online after a customer’s payment is confirmed they should see a message asking if they want to receive updates and specials. Many times this can also be a check box right after they enter their email.
- Ask for Sign-ups in Email Confirmations – The second time to ask for email sign-ups after a customer makes a purchase is in the receipt or confirmation email you send them. You are allowed to message a person after a transaction if they give you their email, but you can’t just add them to your email list. So, make sure in your standard email confirmation text you ask them again if they want to receive future communications.
- During Customer Service or Inquiry Calls – Most calls businesses get are either customer inquiries or customer service calls. Train your staff to ask each person if they can have their email and if they want to receive updates or future special offers.
The key with building an email list is to just start. Over time the list will build and your sales will go up.
If you have other great ideas, please add them in the comments!