How to build and manage a killer email database of prospects
“The money is in the list” is an old marketing proverb that still rings true today, but with a twist: “The money is in the list of quality emails you have in your database”.
Because email marketing is still one of the most efficient ways to establish a relationship with your prospects and increase conversions. An email database is a valuable asset every business should be growing and nurturing.
Before we start, let’s get the elephant out of the room. Buying a mailing list where you pay an affordable price and get a list of thousands of email addresses, is the easy way to do it, right? Let me tell you a few things about buying mailing lists. These have already passed through the hands of hundreds of marketers. If they are Yahoo or Gmail addresses, the emails you send may go straight to the Spam folder (because the addressee never approved interaction with you). As a result, your IP will get blacklisted for spam at best, or at worst, you’ll be prosecuted for breaching the Spam Act. So don’t be tempted, it’s just not worth it!
So, what is the right way to obtain and manage a mailing list of people who actually want to receive your emails? Here are a few basic steps:
1. Create an Opt-In Form on Your Website
An opt-in form with a catchy call to action could be placed in strategic positions on your website and at the end of interesting articles and blog posts. If visitors like what they read, they may opt-in to receive regular emails from you. Sometimes an ethical bribe or lead magnet is a great way to give value in exchange. You’ve probably seen offers like “Subscribe to access a free report”. This works well if the prospect is truly interested in your content, products and services.
2. Keep Required Information to Minimum
Keep your opt-in form fields to a minimum. Complex opt-in forms with lots of required information are a big turn off for potential subscribers. They see it as an invasion of their privacy. Ask for the bare minimum for opt-in, their name and email address. You can encourage your subscribers to provide more information once they are on your list and you’ve gained their trust.
3. Segment Your List
Now that you have a list, it is important to manage it appropriately. Not all subscribers are equal so they should not get the same email from you. New subscribers could receive a personalised “Welcome” email and interesting, valuable content to keep them engaged. While your existing customers who have already made purchases might receive special discounts and more attractive offers in their email than new subscribers. You can manage this process by segmenting or tagging your subscribers. That way you will always send the right email to the right person.
4. Find An App To Keep Your Email Marketing Under Control
There are many programs on the market, but Mailchimp is a great choice as an entry level emailing client for small and medium sized businesses. Its basic level is free to 2,000 contacts, and the paid version starts at an affordable US$10 per month. Honestly, it is way more than an emailing client. It has a powerful email editor, allowing you to format and personalise emails and it integrates with many other online applications. It offers full analytical data on each batch of emails (open rate, click through rate, etc.) and it is available as a mobile app to help you stay in control of your email marketing strategy wherever you are. The best thing is it’s easy to use!
Marketing in today’s digital environment is all about building a community and engaging with them and when social media platform aren’t guaranteed to be around forever, once you have a prospects email address it’s yours for as long as your prospect wants to hear from you. It’s a valuable asset and you should treat it with respect. Do you have a strategy for building and nurturing your email database?
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About the contributor:
Tracy Raiteri is a social media marketing 'technician' with a knack for demystifying the complex world of social media and online marketing. Her goal is to help local businesses understand, develop and implement an effective and efficient digital marketing plan. She publishes articles that help small business owners and their internal teams work out what they should be doing online and how to do it without wasting time and money. Website: http://townsvillesocialmediamarketing.com