Archive for the ‘Email marketing’ Category

4 ways to build your email database

Your email database is one of your most valuable marketing resources, providing you with a captive audience for your marketing messages.

It’s important that your email recipients allow you to communicate with them by opting in to a subscription and sending you their email address. Email that is unsolicited is usually referred to as spam and is something you want to avoid.

So here are four ways to build your list:

1. Run a competition
Competitions and awards are easy to publicise through the media because they’re offering something for free – the prizes – and they usually have a fun aspect to them. The prizes need to benefit both the winners and you. For example, a new surfing magazine ran a photo competition to create publicity and pull in great photos for the magazine. Your competition entry forms will naturally require the entrant’s email address.

2. Publish an e-book
Not as hard as you might think. Your expertise, experience and knowledge – along with those of your team – will give you more than enough material to create a pdf document of value. Offer this for free on your site to those who sign up with their email address. Here’s an example of a business doing this.

3. Produce a newsletter
If you’re already blogging, a newsletter is only a step away. Review your posts each month and choose a selection to reflect your ‘news’ and then add sections such as ‘tips and tricks’ or ‘useful links’ – anything that will be easy to absorb and focuses on your readers’ needs and wants. Signing up for your newsletter requires an email address. Take a look at the right column of our PublicityShip site to see how simple the sign-up looks.

4. Tempt with special offers
If you are able to regularly discount your products or services, or better still, add value – include a ‘sign up here for special offers’ link. Glenn has posted on an example of this happening instore – and it can be done in an online store too. Do make sure you send out the offers to this list regularly – along with other messages.

Great example of email marketing

I was in Borders on Saturday, first time in their new store. What they do with email marketing is a great example for any business.

At the checkout, I was asked if I wanted to join the email list as they sent out offers from time to time. Simple, and effective.

On Monday morning, this arrived in my email:
Borders Email Coupon

What I really like about this approach is:

  • it was quick and easy to get involved (I just told them my email address and they wrote it down for me)
  • the turnaround was excellent
  • the offer itself was simple and powerful – 20% off another book, if I update my profile with favourite subjects

So they make me an offer in return for getting better information, that they will use to personalise their email in the future.

And if you think this type of email marketing must cost a bomb, it doesn’t. Small companies can start using email marketing just as effectively. Sure Borders have some fancy graphics, but that isn’t really that important. They’ve put together a good offer, targetted at the right person (me!) and executed with speed.

Small business has a fantastic opportunity with email marketing – are you building your own verified opt-in email lists and using email marketing effectively? If not, its a great time to look into it and perhaps start a trial.