It’s clear that, odds are your small business – no matter the industry – has a way to bring customers in the door. When they arrive, how will you remember them (and vice versa)? Some of these customers become regulars, maybe even devotees – by what means can you connect with the others so that they do not simply disappear when they walk out of your storefront?
Email is one of the most straightforward ways of accomplishing this goal, and it can help you build a bigger base of returning customer activity with little investment. It’s likely that your business process has some way of keeping track of customer information, very often including email. And if it doesn’t, there are simple ways of encouraging customers to share their contact information. Read on for our top advice on building (and getting the most out of) your email list.
Offer an Incentive
Remember: It’s no longer 1998. The allure of email wore off years ago. These days, you practically have to convince people your emails are worth the space in their inbox. Simply asking someone to put their name on an email contact list is one thing, but consider adding incentives: those customers who’ve added themselves to your list might be entered into a monthly draw or be able to start taking advantage of a rewards program.
Design for Simplicity
Your website will be one of the biggest portals through which you can collect sign-ups for your email list. As such, it should be designed to offer low-effort and high-visibility ways for customers to take notice and participate in your email list. One of the best ways to improve sign-up rates is to embed the sign-up widget directly on a page rather than making viewers click away from what they’re interested in in order to fill out the necessary fields. You can embed the same form on a number of pages to get even better results.
Create a Standard
Though it’s never, ever a good idea to send people relentless emails or spammy-looking content (a surefire way to get readers to trash or unsubscribe) – you should aim for consistency in your email deliveries. Start with a standardized subject line: a simple, catchy identifier that you can modify as needed. We use “The Merchant Advisor,” for example. When people (and their inbox spam-filtering algorithms) start seeing a pattern, they will recognize your content and prioritize it as good, valuable information instead of junk mail. Visual standards (like images and colours) as well as a well-defined tone and voice that carries over from email to email, help retain attention over time as well.
Include Calls to Action
Once a reader has perused your email, you should give them something to think about but also something to do. This call to action could include links to your social media pages, special offers, or invitations to in-store events. Providing these points of engagement will boost revenue and re-invigorate the customer life cycle.
With these tips, customers will be looking forward to receiving your latest dispatch! Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective solutions for digital outreach. We hope your small business is making the most of its email list!