How to build your database of customers. We’ve noticed across our customers, that the average email marketing database increases by about 22.5% every year. Most retailers are getting switched on the techniques for growing their database, and here are a few of the principals typically employed. Included in this increase are people that change their email addresses, unsubscribe, simply add you to spam or stop using the only address you have for them altogether. We can help you address these negatives and get that number going in the right direction. The key is getting permission to keep and use their email address.
How to build your database of customers
1. Make your website work harder. It’s your shop front. Make it work as hard as it can for you. Link offers that capture email signups throughout your site. Ensure they’re easy to see. Place CTA (call to action) buttons on and in as many places as possible on your site – don’t miss an opportunity to get someone’s address!
2. Create multiple email subscriptions. By creating multiple, targeted subscription types, you’ll increase the chance that visitors will subscribe to one of them. For example, a field in your website’s footer and a popover that appears on key pages.
3. Build a welcome program. Welcome emails typically achieve an open rate of more than 50% (source: Econsultancy). Not only is it polite to show your appreciation for signing up, but a welcome series is also the perfect opportunity to showcase your brand. What’s more, this type of email provides you with a chance to enhance the data on your potential customer beyond the email address.
4. Create new resources to build lead generation. We know from experience that people love whitepapers, blogs, best practice guides or any free value-add downloadable content. And it’s a proven way of collecting new addresses.
5. In the email itself. Include share buttons, like ‘Email a friend.’ You’ll gain access to fresh networks who might want to sign up for your list. At the bottom, include a ‘Subscribe’ CTA as a simple text-based link, so if it’s forwarded, you can guarantee it can be read.
6. Social media. Use Twitter to promote an offer or a new resource. Anything, in fact, that might make more people sign-up. Use your Facebook page with a sign-up form tab to collect addresses from social fans. And don’t forget to add ‘Share’ buttons to your content and landing pages, too.
7. Video. Use the power of your company’s YouTube channel. Tell viewers about your newsletter, where they can sign up and give them a compelling reason to do so. You can include links to relevant landing pages in your videos’ text descriptions.
8. Surveys. Engage with your customers and they’ll engage with you. Surveys and forms are a great way to find out more about your customers and prompt them to tell you how you’re doing.
10. Offer incentives or freebies. Exclusive offers, sweepstakes and competitions are a great way of enticing people onto your mailing list. The better the discount or prize, the more willing they’ll be to sign up.
11. Display advertising. Using ads, you can drive traffic to one of your dedicated landing pages. Remarketing ads are also powerful, as you can create targeted segments to advertise to. For instance, you could send blog readers that don’t subscribe to your blog updates to the subscription page.
12. Trade shows. Offer activities like trade shows present an excellent opportunity to harvest email addresses from potential customers who are likely to be interested in what you do.
13. Collect them at face-to-face meetings. There’s no better way to ask someone for their email, keep it and use it, but please capture evidence to do so signed by them.
14. When you call people directly. You’re still speaking directly to another human being – just ask them for it and again ensure you have permission.
15. Host-owned events. Meetings, seminars, conferences, hackathons, educational panels, etc. All brilliant opportunities to collect email addresses as part of online registrations.
16. In-store. Your brick-and-mortar store is just as much a potential goldmine as your online store. Human interaction is another great way to harvest people’s email addresses – if you’ve built up a rapport, get in there.
17. In-store e-receipts. E-receipts give customers the option of receiving a receipt straight into their inbox. If you get their permission to join the newsletter at this point, it’s another opportunity to communicate with customers and to inform them of relevant offers.
18. Loyalty scheme. Offering customers the chance to collect points is not only a great way to increase loyalty. It’s an opportunity to get them signed up in-store and to collect their email address to receive points updates and other exclusive offers.
19. Paid media. Pass on your downloadable whitepapers, content or other resources to external publishers and ask them to promote it on your behalf.
20. Re-engage lapsed subscribers. Just look at it like you’re meeting up with old friends. Create an engaging re an opt-in message that promises to deliver the content they want, when they want, if they let you know their preferences. Transparency like this often pays dividends in terms of trust and reputation.
21. Competitions and Surprise Gifts. Put something special on your website, that incentivises visitors to go the extra mile to sign-up because you have made it worth their while.
22. Guarantee A personal favourite is that warranty and guarantees for purchases, even if only insurance for delivery and in transit are subject to a subscription to the email list. If they appreciate there is a quid pro quo for them providing their email address, then the can feel like they’re being fair with you as you have them.