Unlock the Power of Permission-Based Outreach
Amidst the furious growth of the technology that we use in our everyday lives, a common complaint is that all the gadgetry is decreasing the amount of face-to-face human contact (and thus ruining, or places less importance on, personal relationships). But what about the parents who can now video-chat with their sons and daughters who have moved across the country – or even across the ocean – to attend school? Or how about our ability to keep in regular contact with friends and family who live in different parts of the word? It’s also now much easier to find and get in touch with old friends through email and social networks.
The effect of advancements in personal communication methods and devices is merely a matter of perspective. Sure, the way email is sometimes favored over a face-to-face conversation to save the 10 minutes it’d take to walk to a different floor of the office is an example of depersonalization. But using Google hangouts to hold a meeting with people from London, New York and Los Angeles offices adds a level of personalization that was previously impossible.
Technology and communication both play a huge role in marketing, but the truth is, up until a decade ago, most marketing messages consisted of companies speaking at consumers about their products and services. It was disruptive, pushy, and impersonal in every way. So despite appearances and arguments to the contrary, tactics like social media and email marketing, coupled with the new notion of engaging with customers, are actually shifting marketing in a much more personal direction.
The age of the inbox and the effectiveness of email marketing
Most businesses depend on two critical aspects to thrive: lead generation and customer retention. Without customers, your business can’t operate, but nor can you survive if you don’t keep your current customers happy and willing to give you recurring revenue and referrals. Fortunately, email marketing can help with both you lead generation and customer retention efforts, which is why it’s an effective tactic for businesses of all industries.
If you’re convinced, you’re probably wondering how and where to start with email marketing. Since you can’t engage with anybody until you have a list of contacts, you need to start by building up an email database!
Here are five ways you can begin to generate a list of email contacts:
- Ask for it: ask and you shall receive! You won’t be able to engage without any email addresses, but you’d be surprised by how easily people will give theirs up if you just ask for it. Whether in a physical store or on a website, people are accustomed to being asked for their email address, so don’t worry about scaring anybody away.
- Remind them to subscribe: sometimes people need a little extra encouragement, so don’t be shy to put buttons calling for users to subscribe to your communications everywhere you can. On your homepage, in your blog posts, on social media feeds, in your email signature and even on your contact us page. The more you ask, the better chance they’ll convert.
- Provide incentive: if you’re having trouble generating a list of email addresses, consider adding some incentive for those who give you their information. Offering promotions, discounts, or valuable information via a whitepaper or webinar in exchange for email addresses will be more successful.
- Run a contest: similarly to providing incentive, you could also run a contest and raffle off a product, service, or just a popular item like an iPad. All you need to do is have people submit ballots that include their email address – if your prize is good enough, you’re sure to generate a decent list of contacts.
- Friend referral: once you do start sending out communications, a great way to grow your database is to get subscribers to ‘Forward to a Friend.’ Put a ‘Forward to a Friend’ link in all of your newsletters and drive subscribers to a page where they can type in their friends’ information and you’ll instantly add to your list of contacts!
Tips for More Effective Email Campaigns
How to Increase Conversions
In the end, email campaigns are judged on the results they achieve – so in other words, on conversions. The kind of responses and the rate at which your defined goals are completed will ultimately determine the success of your email marketing strategy.
Here are a few tips and trick for increasing your email marketing conversions:
- Stay relevant and interesting: the thing about email marketing is that since people get so many emails, only the best get read. Think about your inbox – do you read every email you get? Probably not. This doesn’t mean that email marketing isn’t effective – not everybody has to open your emails for them to be successful – but it does mean that you have to be both creative and strategic with your campaigns. Stay current, relevant and interesting.
- Include product recommendations and reviews: if you’re properly maintaining your consumer database, then you’ll have information on what your customers are most interested in. Use this information to your advantage by basing your communications around certain products and personalize the experience for the reader so they’re more likely to take action.
- Offer a guarantee policy: unfortunately, many people are still wary of purchasing products online, so ease their mind with a worry-free money back guarantee. This leaves them with no qualms about buying your products and services through an email.
- Include freebies: the loyalty and trust of your online customers is critical for the success of your future campaigns. Consider rewarding your faithful subscribers with a free product or sample every once in a while, just to let them know you appreciate their business. It’ll go a long way.
These are only some of the many strategies and techniques for running effective email marketing campaigns and ensuring great return on investment. For more information or guidance on how to unlock the power of email marketing, get in touch with a local WSI Consultant today!
I currently have a website, but don’t do any email marketing. Would it really be worthwhile to start from scratch and build a database? It seems like a lot of work and I’m not sure I have the time.
Well, as the saying goes, nothing good comes easy. Building a list of contacts with whom you can communicate is definitely a process, but it’s not like you need to build the whole list at once. If you set things up on your website the way we’ve outlined, you should attract a slow and steady stream of subscribers who you can start engaging with. It’ll take time and effort, but it’ll be worth it. Alternatively, you can get in touch with one of our email marketing experts and they can worry about all the details of your campaigns while you focus on your business. This means your investment would be a little bit higher, but it’d save your time and energy. It depends on what’s most important to you, but the bottom line is an email marketing campaign is always going to be worth it.