Effective e-mail marketing begins with the right list
And as we all know, putting together the right list is easier said than done.
Obviously it needs to be permission-based. Meaning that your targets have agreed to receive it, usually in response to your offer of information of value to them.
Without permission it is just spam, and once seen as such can ruin your organisation’s reputation and work against your brand. And not only that. Tough anti-spamming regulations can see legal action taken against you, along with aggressive spam filtering and blacklisting.
So what should you offer to get people to sign up and become part of your valuable e-mail list?
eBooklets and reports, white papers and infographics are typical offers, as are samples and product service trials. You’re sure to have encountered many of these.
All are much cheaper to produce than their printed alternatives. And being so tightly targeted, produce much better results than mass media.
They are all about strengthening (maybe even transforming) your brand, increasing sales, finding new customers, reaffirming the loyalty of current ones, strengthening relationships and building trust.
Crucial to all this, is the need to ensure that your offering has real value. Make sure it is informative and interesting. And offers information not readily available elsewhere. Even then you need to overcome your website visitor’s deeply ingrained caution.
Most people are reluctant to ‘subscribe’ if it means giving their e-mail address and other details. The more details that are requested, the more reluctant they become. Here are some basic ways to overcome subscriber reluctance. We’d be happy to discuss these and other options with you in more detail.
• Remember that your website gives you lots of options: side bar, greeting panel, feature box, Twitter, Facebook, response/contact box. Put offer on every page, at least as a baseline bar. Hello and goodbye pop-ups. ‘Before you leave this website’ pop-ups.
• Make sure you offer something that will effectively bribe your website visitors to overcome their (often significant) reluctance. For example: how-to guides, reports (not just brochures), webinars, eCourses and tutorials. They must have high perceived value and solve some problem your prospective subscriber has.
• Don’t use words like ‘submit’ or ‘sign up’. The first is patronising and makes you sound unfriendly and superior; the second sounds like an invitation to join the army. Use friendly, persuasive first-person phrases like ‘Yes, send me your free e-book on permission-based e-mailing’. Or ‘Please send me regular articles/news/updates/whatever’. Sure, those take more words, but you won’t persuade wary prospects with grunts.
• Offer a humorous alternative: use two offer buttons. The First says ‘YES, send me your FREE ‘How to get more subscribers’ guide. The second says ‘NO, I have all the customers I need.’ Or ‘NO, I’ll stick to my old methods.’ Yes, a bit jokey. But highly effective. Much more engaging than straight selling statements.
• Remember the smartphone users: there out there by the millions. Make sure your website pages, including response catchers, fit small screens. Not everyone has a 27″ iMac.
• Remember your content marketing. Today’s internet and media users are increasingly cagey when it comes to avoiding commercial messages. Your message has to be so relevant, so timely it deserves, gets and holds the reader’s attention.
An e-mail list of people who have already proven themselves open to what you have to say is one of the most profitable investments you can make.
There’s obviously much more to it than this short summary can cover. To find out more just contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss your specifics in detail and demonstrate how much we can help.