Not too long ago, I saw a fishbowl at the checkout of my favorite store. The sign above it urged me to drop my name and email address in the bowl for a chance to win a shopping spree. Being a normal, red-blooded shopper, I instantly complied, caught up in the fervor of a chance to get free stuff. Weeks passed. Finally, I saw an email from the store. “This is it!” I thought with excitement. But upon clicking, I saw, not the winning gift certificate, but a commonplace newsletter offering me a 20% discount off my next purchase if I printed the enclosed coupon. I promptly deleted the email and a few weeks later after receiving several more similar emails, hit the unsubscribe button.
I know what you’re thinking. Where did the store go wrong? They used a clever gimmick to get people to surrender their email addresses and followed up with a nicely designed email offering a substantial discount to people who didn’t win the contest. But I, along with many other non-winners I’m sure, chose to unsubscribe because they failed to disclose all the information up front. They didn’t tell me that I was not only entering the contest, but also signing up for their newsletter. I was hoodwinked, and therefore I backed out. How, then, can you grow your subscriber list without creating disgruntled customers?
- Sell It, Don’t Sneak It—Give people a reason to sign up and they will. Offer them something of value in exchange for their email address, like a chance to win a contest. But make sure they know they’ll be added to your list at the same time.
- Offer Several Ways to Sign Up—It’s not enough to simply add a sign-up box on your website homepage. You need to market your email campaign using a variety of venues such as Facebook, Twitter, refer-a-friend links in your emails, and opt-in buttons throughout your website. And it doesn’t hurt to put a fishbowl at the checkout line of your brick and mortar store either.
- Reward People for Subscribing—Treat your subscribers like VIPs. They have shown a high level of interest in your company by subscribing, so reward them by offering email-only discounts, early sale notifications, and special offers.
Growing your email list takes a certain amount of creativity, but as you give people reasons to trust you with their personal email addresses, you’ll be rewarded with a larger base of subscribers who invite you into their inboxes. eConnect Email can help you manage those lists, personalize your email newsletters, and track subscriber statistics, resulting in a stellar campaign that increases sales and keeps your customers happy.