You might have already heard that email marketing has a higher ROI than any other marketing channel, so it’s no surprise you want to include it in your digital marketing strategy. However, your prospects have already been bombarded with hundreds of spammy emails, and they don’t want their already cluttered inboxes to receive even more emails.
Moreover, a study shows that Americans are more concerned about cybercrime than violent crimes, so they won’t share their email address unless they trust you, and there’s something they will receive in exchange.
Nobody wants to see only the promotional emails in their inbox without any value, so not many prospects will bother to sign up if that’s the only type of email they will receive.
If you want to use the power of email marketing, you need to come up with sign-up forms that convert and email marketing campaigns that drive sales and traffic to your store.
Building an email list is challenging, but email marketing is cost-effective and brings $40 for every $1 spent. In addition, it will help you increase sales and generate more revenue, so it’s worth the effort. If you are still wondering how to build an email list and gather more email newsletter sign-ups, here are five ideas to help.
1. Run Social Media Contests
With 4.48 billion active users, social media is a powerful tool to use to grow your business and, of course, your email list. One of the effective ways to do so is to run social media contests. People love competitions because they can engage with your content and because they can win a free prize for something they do, even if it’s as simple as signing up for your email newsletter. For example, you can do a simple raffle for everyone who signs up their email, or you can have a more involved contest with a quiz, photo contest, giveaway, essay, or something else.
Facebook contest & promotion apps can help you run a social media contest with an entry form to fill out the information, usually name and email address, or just an email address. Contest apps are easy to use and are great for gathering email addresses in one place.
The prize you offer should capture their interest and motivate your prospective customers to share information with you. Such prizes can be a gift card of your store, your products, or something relevant to what you sell. For example, although a smartphone would be an excellent prize many people would sign up for, it won’t bring a targeted audience to your contest. Of course, everyone needs a smartphone, but that doesn’t mean they will also need your skincare products in the future and will buy them from you after receiving your email with a special offer. However, if a prize is your product or a bundle of your products and they participate in your contest, it means they need skincare products and are more likely to convert to your customers than those who need a smartphone. (Who doesn’t, right?)
2. Offer Discount or a Free Sample for Signing Up
People are becoming more reluctant to share their personal information, so acquiring an email address from someone who has never done business with you is pretty challenging. Aside from cyberattacks, there’s a risk of you sending hundreds of emails, as other companies have in the past, so why should they trust you after all? They might not, but if you offer an incentive for first-time customers, they might decide to share their email addresses. Such can be a discount, a free sample of your product, or even free shipping you offer through welcome pop-ups as soon as customers land on your page. It’s a double win – your customers get something for free, and you get their email address you can use in your email marketing campaigns.
3. Participate at Local Events
Collecting digital information offline is also an excellent technique to gather more information from your prospective customers. That’s because they can see you in a physical world. They know your company is real and might be more likely to share their information with you after a pleasant conversation or visiting your fabulous booth.
Local events are excellent for your marketing efforts for many reasons. First, you know who will be there according to the event’s location and why they will be there (food festival, local market, arts festival, etc.). These aspects can help determine if your target audience will be at the event. Second, here you have countless opportunities to gather email addresses.
Like on social media, you can host a giveaway in person and collect email addresses in exchange for a prize you will give to the winner at the end of the event. Like at your physical store, if you sell your products at the event, you can provide a special discount to those who sign up for your email newsletter. You can get more creative, and for instance, take a picture of your customers at your booth and offer to send a free digital copy if they sign up for an email newsletter.
4. Organize an Event at Your Store/Business Location
When you want to benefit from in-person interactions with your customers but don’t want to sit around until an annual local festival takes place, organizing an event of your own is an excellent way to attract customers to your business location. The events you organize can vary from a tour of the business facility to hosting a masterclass, a workshop, or even a cooking class. Although free, attendees will have to sign up for a newsletter to be eligible to visit your event. So, on the one hand, they can benefit from a free event, and on the other hand, you can acquire your prospects’ email addresses, so it’s a double win.
Spread the word about your events through digital channels like Facebook events. Facebook allows you to advertise your events like social media posts to reach wider audiences who don’t yet follow your page.
5. Use a Sign-Up Form During Checkout at Your Physical Store
If you own a physical store, it can also provide you with an excellent opportunity to gather information from in-store shoppers. Your customers who have already visited your store liked something enough to make their way to the checkout page will most likely interact with your future email marketing campaigns for two reasons: one — they need your products, and two — they have already visited your store, and therefore, they will trust your company more than those who have never done business with you.
Asking customers to sign up for an email newsletter at the checkout is simple. Have a sign-up form and ask your associates to offer customers to sign up. Like on your eCommerce website, you can also offer incentives like a discount coupon in exchange for a sign-up at your physical store. However, you might not want to deal with handwritten forms due to the time you’ll need to spend to re-enter the information digitally and possibly make errors while doing so. Don’t worry; many email marketing providers like Mailchimp have a mobile app to help you collect email addresses directly on an iPad or a smartphone.
Those shoppers who enjoyed their experience at your store might agree to share information with you even without an incentive. Still, if you offer a small discount or $5 coupon, for instance, it will increase the chances of more people signing up for the newsletter, and the money you spend on gathering information will be cost-effective.
We hope the ideas above can help you build your email list for future email campaigns but acquiring information from your prospects is only the first step in email marketing. If you want to learn more about creating marketing campaigns that drive results, read our article How to Maximize eCommerce Sales Using Email Marketing.