When your email list is small or you’d just like to add more people and get higher open rates, it’s smart to grow your list through personal contacts. Begin with the obvious: ask friends, family and business contacts to sign up. Everyone has a pool of people who might be happy to hear about your business via email. All you have to do is remember to ask. Put a note by your phone or computer with a couple of sentences so you don’t have to think about asking each time. After you’ve worked through your personal and business contacts, it’s time to get creative.
Marketing methods that increase email newsletter sign-ups
From a fish bowl at the register to sandwich boards on the street, there are ways you can let customers know you have an email newsletter. Offer a monthly prize drawing to encourage putting a business card in the fish bowl. Advertise exclusive deals and discounts to email newsletter customers on your in-store chalkboard.
If you have in-store Wi-Fi, put your sign-up form in front of people when they log in to use the Internet. There are several services that help make this easy, so talk to your service provider to see what you can do.
The old standby, a paper form, still works. Rather than just ask for name and email address, get more interactive by providing check boxes that ask for feedback on products and services, what kind of content they’d like to receive, etc. Put the title of your email newsletter right on the form so people will remember they signed up and not mark your messages as spam later.
People are more willing to share their information when they feel they’re getting something exclusive from your business. They’re also happier to share if they know they can unsubscribe from your emails whenever they choose, so keep that in mind.
Train yourself and employees to grow your list
In-person customer contact is the best way to grow your list. But if you don’t ask in the right way, you’ll get a lot of “no, thank you” answers. To get more positive responses, have a conversation about the benefits of subscription: updates on new arrivals, limited-time discounts, and holiday promotions; tips on complementary products, how to use products better, and why it’s good to keep coming back to your store. Tell them what’s in it for them if they simply share their email address and open your emails.
Train yourself and all your employees to think of the email newsletter as an important customer service touch point. When you’re working with a customer and delivering the best experience possible, extend that into future contacts through email.
Keep your newsletter about the customer
You publish an email newsletter so you can bring people back to your products and services and increase your bottom line. But always focus on the people on your list and what they want, because having a big database isn’t the same as having high open rates.
Deliver great content, have conversations, and ask for feedback. Share stories from people who have found your newsletters useful. And finally, always talk about why it’s a great idea to receive regular emails from your business. Keeping these points in mind will grow your list quickly and easily with contacts who already know you.
This blog post originally appeared on our old website.