Email Marketing Lists – What You Need To Know
- An Opt-in email database is a core asset for your business
- Poor response rates don’t make your email efforts worthless
- To build an opt-in list, collect emails as part of your business processes
- Make sure you collect email data in an ethical and legal way. See www.dataprivacy.ie
Response Rates are Poor – Why Bother with Email Marketing?
When you build an opt-in email list for marketing purposes – you are creating an asset you can grow over time. By sending occasional emails with relevant content, you are maintaining brand awareness in your target market, developing a platform for two-way communication and building trust over time – as you treat your email database with the respect it deserves. Check out www.ezine.ie as an easy-to-use platform to deliver your email messages. Ultimately its good business to show prospects that you are in the market, pro-active and keen to work with them.
A good campaign can get great response rates and it will work especially well when it’s part of an integrated campaign across multiple media. However don’t get hung up on response rates – so what if only a small number of recipients open your email month-in-month-out – you’re a busy person yourself and if you don’t have time to read lots of marketing emails, neither does your target market. Equally if you definitely don’t want to receive certain emails, you’ll opt-out. However most of us are unlikely to unsubscribe to something we have already opted in to receive – so as long as your email is permission-based and your content relevant, at some stage it will be timely also.
I would certainly worry if you have high unsubscribe rates though; then you need to do one of three things (or poss all of them!) – review your opt-in procedures; are they explicit , re-consider the frequency; is it too frequent and then work out if your content is compelling; talk to customers and find out what they would read; often they will give sources of industry resources online and these can be a great help in developing your own content.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways that companies can promote their products and services. The importance of email marketing was further highlighted by a survey conducted last year which found that customer acquisition via email has quadrupled in the last four years.
Once you have an opt-in list, you have significantly increased the opportunities for upselling and lead generation.
How To Grow An Opt-in Email Marketing List
Once an email marketing list has been established, the next step is to increase the amount of subscribers you have. It is really important to focus on quality over quantity throughout this stage.
There are a whole host of ways to increase the number of emails of current and prospective clients that you capture. This isn’t rocket science – it just needs a little planning and effort.
The easiest way to build a database is to capture emails (and permission to use them) as part of your business processes. If you operate online then the option to opt-in can be part of your registration process. If you have a sales person/team on the road meeting prospects for example, adding their email to your database after the initial meeting (with thei agreement) could be part of their standard business practice.
Here’s some other ideas to get you going:
- Capture email details at offline events like trade shows
- Create a lead generation offer
- Request site visitors sign up for a newsletter
- Use social media
- Provide value with your content
- Use a landing page
One of the most important areas that you should focus on is that of quality content. If you are delivering engaging and useful information, you’ll keep your audience and grow the database – if you aren’t, you won’t! Strong content will be shared and this positive word of mouth, whether it’s virtual or human, is still an important sales pipeline.
Email Lists –Don’t do this at home or in the office!
Capturing users contact details and then communicating with them via email is not a problem, as long as they have agreed to this in advance. These case studies that were compiled by the office of the Data Protection Commissioner highlight the serious consequences that can arise from companies not following best practice guidelines in this area.
There are a number of methods which you should avoid when attempting to create email marketing lists, these are:
- Purchasing email lists
- Scraping email addresses from the internet
- Getting email addresses from a third party
Some good guidelines to follow for creating email lists involve only including people who
- have opted-in on your website
- Completed an online form agreeing to subscribe
- Gave you their email address in person or via telephone
- Customers who have recently purchased a product or service
It is also important to include an opt-out option within the email marketing emails that you are sending, so that people can quickly unsubscribe from your mail shots. A good email marketing platform, like www.ezine.ie will enable you to easily add the unsubscribe option and will automatically handle unsubscribes when they do occur.