Building an opt-in database
Hello. Hope your day is going well.
A couple of the online businesses I work with have built a significant portion of their business on their database. Having a permission-based email database can provide many benefits, the main 2 being:
* making special offers
* keeping in contact
Here’s how to build such a database:
1. Web site
Have a newsletter subscription form on your web site (just like mine on the left)
Ask everyone who buys from you if they would like to join your newsletter for information on upgrades, specials, new products, etc. One of our holiday resort clients has a system on its booking form so the person can select from a drop down menu if they’d like to be added to the newsletter. 80% say yes.
Offer white papers, research results, articles, etc – ask people to provide an email address to receive these and if they would like to be added to your newsletter database.
I don’t use that one (that’s not to say it’s a valid way of getting the info), but i figure if people are keen for the newsletter, they’ll sign up.
In your email ‘signature’ add a link to your newsletter sign up form, along with a blurb about the benefits of joining.
3. Point of sale
If your customer has to give you their contact details, ask for their email address and include a “Tick this box to receive our newsletter” bit. Hotels use this all the time.
4. Develop a viral email marketing campaign
Make it as easy as possible for someone to:
a) recommend your newsletter to a friend (via a “Tell a Friend” bit on your web site), and
b) sign up via your newsletter (for those who forward it on)
5. Print ads
These can be used to easily entice someone to join your database. Just add a line or 2 that says something like:
“For early notification of our Super Sale, visit www.mywebsite.com and subscribe to our newsletter. It could save you thousands!”
Many regular readers, and subscribers of my newsletter, will know that I don’t do all of the above to get people to sign up to my newsletter. You see, I feel it is very important to be consistent with the marketing of your business.
What you do has to ‘fit’ with your business personality. For example, an email signature promoting our newsletter would feel a bit pushy for my business (being professional services). But, the signature promoting a newsletter would be a good fit for a retail business.
Although I think the effectiveness of email marketing has diminished significantly with the huge amount of spam that people have to deal with, done correctly it can still be a worthwhile activity that provides something of value to your customers and your business.
Have a good day.