Email is very much part of our daily lives. So is email marketing. From the last post about this digital age you know; a recent Pew Research study showed that 92% of Americans use email and 60% said they used it daily. Email is an invaluable marketing tool for local business. It effectively stretches a business website sales funnel. Not all visitors necessarily purchase or become a viable lead on the first visit to a website. Email is used to maintain contact, to educate, engage and in the end, sell. Email marketing is an essential component of any online marketing plan.
When you consider a good lead conversion rate from website visitors is 7%. This leaves 93 out of 100 visitors who leave your website without converting. What a waste. There are steps you can take to mitigate these wasted visits. Some of that 93% that leave have an interest. For whatever reason the time is right for them to convert. If you collect email addresses on your site and through other channels, you can increase the conversion rate measurably. The first step is to maintain contact by collecting email addresses. There are numerous ways to gather email addresses. We will limit ourselves here to some simple steps you can take on your website. The screenshot from our website below shows two email capture data forms.
Here are some methods you can use to acquire opt-in email addresses online:
- A free eBook
- A free white paper
- A free trial membership
- A free SEO report (change for your business)
- Offer membership to a club – like a coupon club
- Include a link to email sign up on all your outgoing company emails.
There are many methods to acquire email addresses offline, here are a few:
- When you host an event use a raffle to collect email addresses
- Put an offer on the back of your business cards to get people to sign up for your newsletter.
- Bounce-backs – Get them back! – Send a postcard
- Fish bowl at your store front with a monthly drawing.
The days of “Spam” are long dead, it is important to remember that recipients of your emails are by choice. The CAN-spam act sets a low bar for compliance. In 2011 businesses should do everything they can to send emails the the recipients “want to read”. The first step is to use a reputable Email service provider, (ESP) these ensure you are spam compliant and also provide the tools you need to ensure you are reaching your audience in a way they like.
If you are in business you have probably heard the ads from many Email Service Providers:
Now you have email addresses and a way to deliver interesting and useful information to your subscribers. It is worthwhile planning what you want to achieve from your email list and then how you plan on achieving the goal you have set. The critical thing to remember is that your method must include be interesting and engaging for your subscribers no matter what you are trying to achieve long term. The next post will be describe some of the processes you can use to take advantage of email marketing.