You may already have an established list of current and former clients for your business. Your website gets traffic, your phone rings, and over time your business grows.
If you have a physical storefront as well, with floor traffic coming in the doors each day, best to try and not let any seeds of current or future opportunity just slip in an out. At the very least, try to get their email address. Before they leave, ask them to sign your guestbook or let them know that you would like to email them any future special offers. We’ll go over some techniques in the article to help you grow your email list for your business.
However, if you are not providing your audience with a way for you to stay connected with them when they are at a distance from your business, then you are missing out on a valuable opportunity to maintain relationships with these customers or prospects. Ignoring them could dampen the growth that your business could otherwise achieve by continuing to inform or influence them concerning new promotions or things your business is doing.
Adding more than Social Media offers
Facebook can really be a waste of time and effort in more ways than one. Twitter is less of a waste of time, but it can be difficult to get results from.
Setting up a FB page or building up followers on Twitter is a struggle and at the end of the day/month many of those contacts can come and go – as you are really just borrowing them. Uncountable people have put days, weeks, and months into building their fan bases, but if one day Facebook decides to censor or limit your ability to deliver your message(s), you will be no better place than when you started.
On the upside, by growing an email list, you will be able to direct your message like a laser beam and communicate with your audience exactly when you want and on your own terms. You will be contacting a fertile list people who might be interested in buying your products, signing up for services, or returning to your website or store. You also know the message will be delivered to a variable location where your customers’ eyes will be every day, their email inbox; so you know your opt-in messages are reaching your known audience. This is the main reason why small businesses should consider opt-in email-list marketing.
What are ways to grow an email list? It starts with asking. Secondly, make it as easy as possible for people to supply their email address in as many places as possible people are interacting with your website or business.
These touch-points include:
- @ networking events: People usually get a kick out of this. Use a tablet to entice those in attendance to opt-in to your email list on their own.
- Physical store (if applicable): Try placing a paper sign-up sheet on your counter, or a nice looking ‘guest book’ , where they can share their name and email address. Online email marketing services like Constant Contact offer integration with many Point of Sale and business management applications to automatically add new customers to your email marketing database.
- Internet: Add an easy to use form to your website to preserve new visitors who may not yet be ready to make a purchase. Remember to use social networks like FB & Twitter to aggregate fans and followers and convert them to your email list if possible.
Most of the time, all you need to do is ask. Most likely well over half or more of the people who walk through your business doorway, or call up your business, or connect with you on sites such as FB or Twitter would be glad to keep in touch with your business through email.
Just make sure people know what they are opting-in for up for when they add themselves your email list. Some points to communicate them are: what type of information will they receive? How often will they hear from you? How can they unsubscribe? Set expectations early to build more of their trust.
Perhaps give them something in exchange for their email address
To get their email address maybe the incentive could be a monetary discount or free gift giveaway, a free-download, an invitation to an upcoming event or any other inventive you can invent.