Now that you’ve bought in to the power of email marketing, its time to start strategizing how to get your list from zero to hero (using Jerry Springer audience member lingo, of course).
Starting from scratch is a daunting thought. Word of mouth will get going, but with no mouths, it’s tough going. Lucky for you, you aren’t alone. You have employees? Co-workers? Friends? Family? Neighbors? People from church? Loyal customers? Now you’re getting the idea. Start with who you know as a base, then build it organically through them. Once you’ve started gathering the ‘low hanging fruit’ – the easy names to get, it’s time to start thinking about how you are going to start building your list full of people that will actually make having this list worthwhile.
People value email addresses more than their first born son. They’re been spammed and scammed to death. So “give me your email address please” just won’t cut it anymore. You need to make a valuable offer to your customer to get them to give up that precious email address. Is it a free cup of coffee or dip of ice cream? Is it 10% off their next in store purchase? Depends on a lot of factors – but keep in mind an important thought – what is their email address worth to you? What do you expect to get out of this one address? If you give away an appetizer now, and maybe a free dessert for their birthday – do you expect them to eat dinner and bring 3 friends to make sure you get your investment back?
Whatever you offer – it has to make sense for you and for your customer. If it doesn’t, email marketing won’t work for either of you.
Some people like to focus on gathering a bunch of names for weeks, months, even years before sending that first email blast. Not only is this not good email marketing etiquette – it’s not a way to keep your list engaged. If you someone gave you their email address, you need to do whatever you can to keep them hooked. Keep them opening your emails, reading them, clicking the links and coming in for that weekend special you are promoting. If you aren’t regularly sending emails to your list – you’ve wasted all of the momentum that you had while building it. How often? It’s hard to say – but basically, keep your own habits in mind. I’m sure you’ve unsubscribed from email marketers who were sending several annoying messages per week, yet you keep reading the emails from the companies you value that send once or twice a month. Send just enough to keep them interested.
Word of mouth marketing – the most important (and cheapest) ways to acquire new business. And since email marketing is also an affordable method of marketing (**LINK**), it makes sense that they should go hand in hand.
There should be a little elf on your shoulder that reminds you before you send any email – “what about this email is share-worthy?” Well, that might be a creepy thought for some of you – so just keep it in the back of your mind instead.
When your customer opens your email marketing message, they not only should want to take action on whatever reason you sent the email in the first place, but they should want to immediately share it with their friends. And you should give them ample options to do so, don’t just count on them hitting the forward button at the top of their email window. Have social media links, share with a friend buttons and maybe even a field that captures the friend’s email as well as it’s being sent. That way you could tailor a campaign to those people about joining your list as well.