Today’s customers know what they want and they know how to get it. That’s why getting the right email list-building strategy is crucial.
Email as a marketing channel is the perfect way to get up close and personal to both potential and existing customers, particularly in a world where competition is continually growing. But as your customers become more tech savvy and sophisticated, so must your strategy for acquiring them.
Here, we share our knowledge and experience on what smart marketers are using to gain customers – and, more importantly, to keep them coming back.
1. Pop-ups are popping up all over the place
Website popovers offer one of the easiest and quickest ways to collect email addresses. They encourage active participation with your website and give visitors the ability to receive information about your brand, direct to their inbox. Some people can find pop-ups frustrating, so it’s wise to put thought into the user experience – which pages on your site are the most appropriate to add a popover and when do you want it to appear? For example, those reading your blog are likely to be interested in getting updates on new content and you might want to set the pop-up to appear after a couple of minutes’ reading time.
2. Use in-store collection tactics to connect offline with online
Those of you who operate bricks and mortar stores have an excellent opportunity to use your staff to collect email addresses. There are various ways to do this, including manually via a piece of paper or electronically via a tablet, or even having the sales assistant ask and enter it straight into the system. In all cases, the reason for collection must be made clear – are you going to send them your latest offers or news? It’s essential to get their permission
3. Implement e-receipts if you have high-street stores
E-receipts offer you additional opportunities to engage your subscribers. Not only are they ‘green’ (no paper), but e-receipts provide the perfect opportunity to connect offline with online. We talk at dotmailer about the email being the linking attribute: if you’re collecting email addresses at the point of purchase, and in an ideal world, you’ll have a database that allows you to match up customers’ in-store and online purchases. You can use this information to build segments: for example, ‘haven’t purchased on any channel in 6 months’ or even ‘an offline customer only’ – you could send offline-only customers an online-only offer to increase the number of ways and frequency in which they shop with you.
4. Use surveys to enrich your customer data
Surveys can help you to collect additional data from your customers to improve the relevancy of your email marketing. They work best when sent out in the first few emails so you can tailor ongoing communications, or straight after a purchase to ask for opinions on the buying experience or the product bought. Of course, you can always send a survey at another time for the sake of data enrichment, though you might want to consider offering an incentive. Perhaps more importantly, though: surveys show you’re clearly interested in, and will act upon, the opinions of your customers. And that’s priceless.
5. Use other online channels to their best advantage
Get a little help from your other marketing channel friend by putting a newsletter sign-up directly on your social media pages. Or to really boost numbers, run a social competition to encourage users to give you their email address. Many B2B ecommerce companies use content to get leads, by publishing a steady stream of downloadable guides and promoting them to their social audience. These landing pages include a form to complete in exchange for the free download. Twitter Lead Generation Cards are another good way for you to gather names and email addresses via promoted tweets. Cards that include exclusive or compelling offers tend to perform better than general requests for sign-ups – so try offering a competition or a piece of content.
The old saying goes ‘you have to speculate to accumulate.’ But we disagree. You now know what works and any guesswork has been taken out of the equation, leaving you with clear and concise directions on what it takes to secure potential customers.
This post was created by Joe Nicholas, Channel Relationship Manager at dotmailer, a marketing automation platform with email at its core. dotmailer integrates seamlessly with Magento 2 and is one of Magento’s global Premier Technology Partners.