Last week we talked about how important email marketing is to growing businesses. This week on Coffee Break we are going to talk more specifically about the list we are going to use for this marketing.
Having a list in sales was important way before the Internet came along. It can be made up of past customers, sales prospects, or just people who are interested in what you have to share. These people may never have been one of your customers, but being a future customer doesn't make them any less important to your list. These are the people who very well might make your list as good as gold because they may be the person that refers you to a friend, coworker, or relative.
Once you figure out who you want on your list, it is time to start building it. You should incorporate various methods in building that list, some will be online while others will not. If you are giving something of value to the people that receive your email, it can build loyality and increased sales. Listed below are a few of the productive ways that I have found to build your list.
Word of Mouth - Ask people on your list to share your email with their friends, family, and coworkers. Make sure that your email and online content can be easily shared.
Website Interaction - Always give your reader the option to subscribe to your list. Make sure that the benefits of them doing so are clearly visible. Let them know why they should subscribe.
Point of Sale - Whether it is selling online or in person, prompt your customers to join your list. If they are already buying your products or services, it is a great chance to get them to join.
Customer Service Calls - Everyone has some level of customer interaction. When we interact with our existing customers, encourage them to join your mailing list.
Calls to Action - Give your customers or potential customers reasons for them to sign up. Offer giveaways, etc...anything to draw them to your list.
Printed Marketing - Look for ways on your printed material to have people join your mailing list. You can use QR Codes on your material to make it easy for them to go to the online signup.
Trade Shows - Many of us have giveaways at trade shows. This is a great way to collect business cards. Take the opportunity to get them to agree to join your list.
Social Media - Use your social media to build your list of email addresses and names. You can achieve this through periodic tweets asking for signups or tabs on your Facebook page.
As you can see there are many ways to start to build your list. When building your list, if possible, collect their email address, full name (so you can personalize it), and other critical information so you can segment your list. (Segmenting is sending to a portion of the list based on specific criteria.) Remember, this list is a living thing...you never stop building it.
Next week during our Coffee Break, we will cover some of the legal aspects of how to collect and use your list. If you have any questions about this week's topic, please let me know.