3. A private/exclusive offer to, say, past buyers or your e-mail newsletter subscribers really gives value to consumers for providing you with their e-mail addresses. It reinforces that they shouldn’t opt out of your campaigns, and it makes them feel part of something special. Sales that customers can access via private codes they key in at your site, exclusive products, shipping offers just for them, all of these can drive home a good relationship between you and customers who’ve trusted you with their e-mail addresses.
Be sure that if you tell people it’s an exclusive offer, that it truly is. Give them a link to click on in the e-mail, provide an exclusive URL, or give them a code to access a special area. This way recipients know that only a select group has access to this; it’s not available to just anyone who lands on the homepage.
A site that specializes in overstocks annoys me with this all the time. I receive e-mails with special shipping offers for being a great customer. Then when I visit the site, I see the same offer is made to anyone. I don’t feel so special anymore.
4. A sweepstakes or contest. Entering contests is easy on the Web: no card to fill out, no stickers to find, no postage stamp to apply and no trip to the mailbox. People love entering contests on the Web, as long as the entry process is quick and simple, and prospects are assured they aren’t going to get spammed.
At my catalog company, we’ve successfully increased click-throughs and orders with small contests. Just a simple “click here to register to win a FREE KitchenAid Mixer worth $100,” works really well. (Tip: Ask a vendor to give you the product in exchange for the brand exposure.) You’re also reminding e-mail recipients there’s value in your having their e-mail addresses.