Originally posted on uschamber.
When you effectively build and manage an email list, you can reap the rewards of direct, targeted marketing campaigns.
As recently as last year, 59% of B2B marketers said email is their most effective channel for revenue generation. Direct-to-consumer companies, or B2C e-commerce retailers, have also had success with the medium. For instance, 80% of retailers say email marketing is the best tool for customer retention. They also noted that welcome emails generated 320% more revenue than other email campaigns. Additionally, B2C retailers say customers who purchase through email spend 138% more than those who purchase via other channels.
But how do you build and manage an email list to reap the rewards of such direct, targeted marketing to other businesses or consumers who are interested in your offerings?
How to build an email list
If you’re just getting started in email marketing, you’ll want to decide on a platform. Many popular platforms, including Mailchimp, Flodesk and Constant Contact are affordable and easy to use.
You can get a jumpstart on building your list by adding people from your existing customer list who have already given you their email and permission to reach out to them. You might be surprised to discover that the Federal Trade Commission’s CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t require recipients’ consent to send commercial emails. “There is no opt-in requirement,” according to the FTC blog.
However, Global Data Privacy Rules (GDPR) do require opt-in. Plus, many email marketing services require you to verify that the people on your list have given you permission to email them. The best rule if you’re dealing with U.S.-based customers only is to ensure your message is useful, on-brand and relevant to your recipients. This will reduce the chances of them reporting it as spam, even if you didn’t get their express permission to email them.
Should you buy email addresses?
Don’t waste money purchasing email lists from outside companies. Most of these are out of date. Even if the addresses work, reaching out to customers who have no experience with your company or brand leads to low open rates and unsuccessful campaigns. You might even alienate customers who would have been amenable to hearing from you if they had found you some other way.
Email address-capturing strategies that work
Of course, to generate new leads, you’ll want to add new names to your list, as well.
Popular email marketing programs make it easy to market your company newsletter or drip email campaign with a custom landing page, free offer and other tactics.
Build a landing page to ask people to join your list
Whether you’re promoting a sale or an email newsletter, you can create a landing page that asks people to provide their email addresses to receive the information. Your email marketing software can help you create a landing page so that the colors, style and branding match your email newsletter. Once you’ve built the landing page, you can start to promote it.
Create an offer and share it
The most common way to entice people to join your mailing list is by offering them fresh, exclusive content they can’t find anywhere else. This can come in the form of an:
- White paper.
Once you have a landing page and high-quality content asset such as an eBook or video to share, you can advertise it on your blog, social media and through paid search. Track your results and put your money and time into the channels that deliver the best, most consistent return on investment.
Incorporate opt-in forms on your website
You want to make sure you collect an email address from every website visitor, whether or not they make a purchase. Use your email marketing software to create a form on your website that asks for a name and email address. If they leave your site without buying, you can email them an offer with a coupon to try and bring them back.
How to manage opt-outs
No matter how informative and well-targeted your email campaign is, you’re likely to have some readers who opt out. According to the CAN-SPAM Act, you must remove these people from your email list within 10 days, and you cannot reach out to them via email again.
Most email marketing services make it easy for readers to opt out automatically with a link at the bottom of every email. If someone emails you directly and requests to be removed, do it immediately.
How to manage your lead funnel with segmentation
Once you’ve begun to build your list, you’ll want to increase your open and click-through rates by managing it with segmentation. When you use segmentation, you can deliver more personalized emails based on:
- Past purchases.
- The recipient’s position in the sales funnel.
- Emails they have opened before.
You can use tags within your email marketing program to create different audiences and send targeted, relevant content. You can also automatically resend emails to recipients who didn’t open it the first time.
Once you start building your list and digging deeper into your email marketing platform of choice, you’ll realize the possibilities to improve engagement with highly targeted content are virtually endless. You may even want to hire a specialist in content strategy and email marketing to help if you’re ready to step beyond the basics.