Tools to Grow Permission-based E-mail Lists
E-mail lists — both from housefiles and prospect files — always have been touchy business for multichannel marketers. Not only do consumers and businesspeople alike change their addresses constantly, but also sending unsolicited offers via e-mail is still not something all that many are comfortable receiving.
Marketers have made headway in the past few years, however, and e-mail marketing and software firm EmailLabs offers several tactics in its recent whitepaper, Relationships: A Guide to Acquiring and Retaining E-mail Subscribers. Below are some tips taken from the report on how to build permission-based e-mail lists.
1. Include opt-in forms in product shipping boxes. This is an opportunity to advertise e-mail promotions on packing slips and direct mail cards with links to your site, according to the report. Catalogers often include promotional offers from noncompeting companies, but also should consider adding messages to shipping invoices.
2. Send postcards to customers encouraging them to subscribe to e-mail. This works well for catalogers that have postal contact information for customers, but lack e-mail addresses, the whitepaper found. Consider sending them with an opt-in sign-up offer and URL.
3. Add opt-in check boxes on demo requests, whitepapers and registration forms. Well-executed forms and pages can improve conversion rates by 50 percent or more, the report said.
4. Optimize your site for search engine placement. Here, the report suggested that marketers optimize current and archived newsletters for search engines to increase traffic and subscriptions.
5. Distribute press releases based on newsletter articles. Perhaps most effective for B-to-B marketers, company newsletters with topical articles may warrant a press release, the report said. Include links and information on how to subscribe within the press release.
6. Have employees include messages and links in e-mail signature lines. For example, add “Subscribe to the company e-mail newsletter” to employee e-mail signatures, the whitepaper suggested.
7. Include “Send to a friend” options. This technique can be used in connection with promotional campaigns. It allows you to generate new subscribers with minimal effort, the report noted.
With e-mail addresses changing at a rate of 30 percent or more on most lists, according to the report, it’s necessary to build your lists to compensate for all those disappearing addresses.
When building your permission-based e-mail lists, the report stressed keeping several factors in mind. They include the following:
* Use every point of contact with customers and prospects;
* Obtain permission with the confirmed (double) opt-in method for online contacts;
* Confirm their permission in the first e-mail sent;
* Obtain e-mail addresses, name, format and logical interests preferences;
* Implement strategies and incentives to transform inactive subscribers into active ones;
* Convince subscribers of the valuable benefits they’ll receive; and
* Clearly state your privacy/e-mail policies.
For more information, visit www.emaillabs.com .