A healthy email list is important to ensure that you can contact a range of clients and drive success in your business. If you are already using Simplelists for email marketing, this won’t come as a surprise. If you are just starting a business, developing a list of contacts or ‘members’ can be challenging, especially when your customers are receiving other marketing messages in their inbox and becoming more sensitive to spam. Nevertheless, there are some effective ways to build a list of relevant members who will want to receive your emails.
Ensure that it is easy for people to sign up
There are plenty of ways to encourage people to sign up or 'opt-in’ to receiving your emails. If you put a subscribe form on your website, make sure it looks ‘clean’ and matches the rest of the site. Place the form towards the top of the page, and add some text to explain why they should sign up. You can create a subscribe form using Simplelists, if you wish. It is best not to ask for too much information at this stage – an email address is all you need. Asking for a first name as well will allow you to personalise your emails when you contact them.
You could also consider placing a subscribe form at the end of blog posts, in your site’s footer, or on your ‘About’ page. You can also use social media to encourage people to sign up and/or visit your website. Writing guest blogs with a sign-up form in them can also work well.
Sign up at the point of sale or when completing other forms
If your website/product requires people to set up an account or fill in a form on your website, you could also build in an email list sign-up into this process. Try to ensure that the reason for registering is clear though, and relevant to your target audience. You could make it as simple as including a check box that reads ‘Subscribe to our mailing list?’ that they can check when registering.
Word of mouth and events work well
You may like to offer those people who have been on your list for a while a small incentive or discount that might encourage them to tell others about your site/product. Make sure you ask for the friend’s email address and first name (again, to allow personalisation).
Make sure they know what to expect
It is good practice to make sure that your customers know exactly what to expect when they subscribe to your list. You should let them know what to expect with regards email frequency and content, and reassure them that they can unsubscribe at any time. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the law surrounding email marketing so that you don’t break any of the rules.
In Part 1 we looked at one of the most popular uses for Simplelists, the listserve. In this post we’ll consider another use that is also widely used - email marketing.
WHY USE EMAIL MARKETING?
There are many forms of marketing: SEO (search engine optimistion), social media marketing (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google+), a good website, advertising, email marketing and more. If you are serious about your business you should be using as many of these as possible. Each has their strengths and weaknesses but it is worth remembering that it isn’t an either/or choice - ideally you’ll use almost all methods.
But we’re focusing on email marketing here - why use email marketing?
It’s direct - when you send an email it goes directly to the person’s inbox. This means that you have the opportunity to gain the full attention of the customer.
It’s targeted - you decide exactly who you will send the emails to and you can tailor those emails specifically for the people who receive them. You can send different emails to different groups of customers.
To convert visitors to customers - when people browse websites online, most don’t buy immediately from the first website they see. Most people visit multiple websites and often research the area further, gathering information from several websites and returning to buy when they are ready - maybe after several days or weeks.
But which shop will the customer return to in order to make the purchase? Often it is simply the shop that they remember. Email marketing can really help here - if people receive a timely email they’ll remember you before the competition.
To encourage repeat business - customers that have bought from you before are more likely to return. You can use email marketing to contact them directly about new offers, products or services and turn a one time customer into a regular buyer.
WHY USE SIMPLELISTS?
Simplelists makes for great email marketing, here’s why:
It’s simple - you don’t need to be a tech expert to use simplelists. Just write an email and send it to your whole list!
It’s quick - let’s face it, you have a million and one things to do when you are running a business. If it takes up a lot of time to do your marketing jobs, they’ll probably end up forgotten. With Simplelists you can send out an email to all your customers in just a couple of minutes... and that means more time for everything else.
Emails get through - there is nothing worse than your marketing emails not getting through to your customers. Simplelists have better deliverability than email clients and free providers.
Your emails are free from advertising - most free group email providers place adverts on your emails so that they can advertise to your customers. This looks cheap and can be detrimental to your business. Emails that you send via Simplelists are free from adverts.
You can send HTML emails - with Simplelists you have the option to design emails using HTML. You aren’t constrained to templates so your emails can look exactly how you like. Of course you don’t have to use HTML - you can send simple text emails too.