Email is one of the most effective ways to increase sales: it is easy to target specific customers for special offers, it’s fast, and it’s affordable. The trick is, you have to have a good list. A good list for a small business is one that includes customers and prospects and that people have opted into. Building a responsive list takes time, but by following these three steps, you will be on your way to creating a list that gets high response.
- Include an email sign up form on your website.
The easiest and most common way to gather names for your list is to integrate an email opt-in form into your home page—this way you capture prospects as well as current customers. An email service provider can help you with the integration of a form that will easily allow you to manage your list, schedule messages, follow Can-Spam rules for unsubscribes and track your campaign performance.
TIP: To entice people to sign up, provide them something in return—an ebook, a discount, or a coupon. Just make sure you are clear that they are signing up for your email list.
- Collect email addresses from all your existing customers.
Even if you’ve never collected emails before, it’s not too late to start. As your customers come into your shop, let them know you will be sending out special offers via email and ask if they want to be on the list. You can either have them sign a form or have your cashier ask for it when the customer pays. Most customers will be thrilled to sign up for your offers.
- Augment your list from a list provider.
Sometimes you want to give your list a boost. Purchasing a list from a list broker is a great way to do that. It can be a great way to increase the subscribers on your list, especially if you have something special to promote. Just make sure you are buying an opt-in list—meaning that the subscribers agreed to have their email address shared with businesses like yours. Learn more about buying or renting lists here.
It takes time to build and nurture an email list of people who are interested in receiving information about your products and services. Consistently working on your list—both adding names and removing those people who do not open your emails—will give you a great marketing tool and help you increase sales.