Back in the day, the key role for marketers was to grow large lists – in theory, the bigger the mailing list, the more people who saw your message and could interact with you. However we now understand a lot more about email marketing – savvy marketers know that a smaller but engaged list is far more important than a huge list of email addresses of uninterested people who never open an email. Those engaged people are interested in your business and far more likely to become loyal and engaged customers.
Email list subscribers are the biggest asset for any online business. Despite the emergence of social media and other marketing channels, email marketing is still an effective way of reaching your prospects. It’s much easier to build relationships, generate regular returning traffic and make repeat sales to your list subscribers as compared to normal visitors.
Some businesses focus so much on list building that they lose sight of their actual objective, which is to make money from the list so it is critical to balance list growth with engagement and to sign up people with the buying intention.
Globally, 20% of email are not landing in a subscriber’s inbox (2017 Deliverability Benchmark). Most ISPs and email inbox providers analyse subscribers behaviours such as if an emails is opened, if a link is clicked or if an email is moved to a folder to be saved and then use this information to determine if an future email will be delivered to the inbox or go to junk. All these behaviours are considered positive email engagements and therefore customer engagement is key, not only for getting your emails delivered to inboxes, but also for building brand engagement and long-lasting relationships.
Start to think about how to collect signups for your email list. Create a signup form and ask for data that you can use now and in the future such as date of birth and location that you can use to segment the data. The signup form can appear in various places across your website. Another tactic is to ask people to sign up for your emails at the checkout – these people are already engaged. Social media is also useful to convert your followers to email subscribers. Remember the good data end goal – people who want to hear from you and are interested in your business.
Converting subscribers into customers
Once you have the right people subscribing to your email list, more than half of your job is already completed. Your subscribers have the buying intention and, hopefully are interested in your business. Your only challenge now is to convert this buying intention into a real sale.
There are two key components to trigger this action:
An intelligent auto-responder sequence
Once you have the subscriber on board, a series of automated emails should be sent to them, aimed at nurturing the lead and triggering the sales action. The key here is to create a combination of engaging, convincing and direct sales emails such as the thanks for subscribing email (to build confidence and establish trust), the information email (telling the subscriber about your company, what other customers purchased to solve a problem they may be having), the sales email (more direct tone) and the warning/ last chance email (a simple reminder that an offer is about to finish). You can use paid auto-responder services like MailChimp to configure this sequence.
A simple and convenient buying process
Almost 68% of online shoppers abandon product purchases just because of a poor buying experience. So you need to make the buying process as simple as possible – make sure you checkout phase is optimised for mobiles, make sure it is secure, involves minimum redirections and offer as many payment options as possible. There are moany popular digital ecommerce tools that can help with this such as Selz.
So as marketers, we must always be mindful about how our lists are built and by starting with a few essential methods, we can create valuable email lists of very engaged subscribers.