Email marketing’s tremendous upside is well documented. A recent study by the Direct Marketing Association showed that emails will provide a $39.40 return on investment for every $1 spent. But there is one condition: your customers have to read them.Many small business owners struggle with getting customers and potential customers to sign up for their email lists. They think if they post a “subscribe to our newsletter” link on their websites, then droves of customers will opt in. But that is not enough. You need to take a proactive approach to grow a large email list.
Here are seven quick, easy and low-cost ways you can encourage more customers and potential customers to sign up for your email list:
1. Fill each issue with compelling content: Your e-newsletter shouldn’t always be a place where you focus on selling your products or services. Today’s buyers are tired of sales pitches and are instead looking for help solving their challenges. That’s why you should fill each issue with content that educates or entertains your customers. When your customers know that your e-newsletter will contain valuable content, they will look forward to receiving your next issue. They will also be more likely to pass along your e-newsletter to their friends and bring you new subscribers.
2. Show the benefits: Many small businesses make the mistake of asking customers to “subscribe to our e-newsletter” without explaining why. Tell subscribers what’s in it for them. Will you send them discounts on products or services that they use on a regular basis? Will you offer educational content that can help your subscribers solve one of their most pressing challenges? Make the benefits of signing up clear.
3. Offer something extra: Many people will not give you their email addresses just to receive an e-newsletter. They will, however, complete your opt-in form in exchange for a compelling free gift. This gift can be a discount on your products, a special report or a video training series. The more you can peg the free gift to your customers’ needs, the more subscribers you will get.
4. Don’t bury your opt-in form on your website: Make it easy for people to subscribe to your e-newsletter by including your opt-in form on every page of your website. If your form is buried under layers of navigation, your customers will never find it.
5. Don’t ask for too much information: Many people won’t subscribe to your e-newsletter if they have to complete a long form that asks them for their addresses and phone numbers. Keep the required fields in your opt-in form to a minimum if you want to increase your subscriber base.
6. Allow people to subscribe to your e-newsletter when they make a purchase: By making a purchase, these customers have already shown their commitment. So they may want to receive news about your company. Maybe make a check-box available during the purchase process, giving people the option to subscribe.
7. Get social: Include social sharing buttons in your e-newsletter that make it easy for subscribers to forward your content to their friends and post it to their social networks. You should also share each issue on all of your own social networks. pbSmart Connections can automatically sync your email campaigns with your Facebook and Twitter streams.
Just remember never to add people to your e-list without first asking for their permission. If you don’t, you risk getting pegged as a spammer.
What about you?
What are the biggest challenges you face when growing your e-list? Feel free to share your comments and questions below. We’ll be sure to respond.
Learn how pbSmartTM Connections email marketing software makes it easy for you to spread your message and grow your subscriber list. Click here to learn more and sign up for a FREE 60-day trial.