5 Ways Small Businesses Can Grow Their Email Marketing Lists | Street Fight


5 Ways Small Businesses Can Grow Their Email Marketing Lists

2 Comments 09 October 2012 by

Email marketing is incredibly important for both customer retention and acquisition. Although social media and mobile messaging get the bulk of the attention these days when it comes to notifying people about limited-time discounts and events, 64% of customers still say that email is their favorite channel for hearing about a retailer’s upcoming sales and promotions.

Of course, email newsletters are only effective if they’re being seen by consumers who are interested and engaged with the content a business is sending out. Many businesses struggle with finding ways to grow their email marketing lists, especially businesses that haven’t developed methods for acquiring their customers’ contact information during transactions that occur at the point of sale. Here are five tips from email marketing experts about how merchants can grow their marketing lists and deliver more effective email messages.

1. Jump in with a clear set of goals. Merchants need to establish their goals before they begin building their email marketing lists. A few basic questions every business owner should ask himself or herself include: Who do I want to acquire, why do I want to acquire them, and what is the success metric? Businesses should focus on developing success metrics that are centered around profit or ROI, rather than cost per action (CPA). (Dan Quintero, AdStack)

2. Make the invitation obvious. Businesses need to make it clear that they’re collecting email addresses for e-newsletters and promotions, either by placing a guest book by their registers or using dedicated computer screens to help catch the eye of customers. If a small business has a physical presence, it’s a good rule of thumb to always have a way for customers to sign-up for email newsletters from inside the store. Outside the establishment, businesses should include a link to join their email lists on their websites, Facebook pages, and email signatures. They should also make it easy for customers to sign up on their mobile devices—either by manually texting a number or by scanning QR codes. (Ron Cates, Constant Contact)

3. Follow up to combat email churn. It’s important for businesses to send timely and relevant follow-ups to people who have signed up for their email lists as a way to combat email churn. By sending automatic follow-ups in real time, merchants can remind customers why they signed up and decrease the number of unsubscribe requests. Merchants who don’t have email marketing expertise can use an automation tool like Social FollowUp, which is available through the AdLeads platform, to compile recent Facebook and Twitter posts into professional-looking emails that can be sent out to new subscribers in real time. (Arun Krishnan, Pontiflex)

4. Create separate lists for different types of customers. It’s never too early to start segmenting lists based on customer demographics and geographic location. Having multiple lists gives businesses flexibility, and makes it possible for merchants to send targeted email promotions to customers who’ve demonstrated an interest in particular products or services in the past. For example, a pet store can send out a specific promotion to customers who own dogs, or an SMB can see if newer customers are more interested in promotions than older customers. Having segmented lists makes it easier to target the people who might be interested in specific types of offers and track the results of email campaigns. (Ron Cates, Constant Contact)

5. Analyze campaigns at a granular level. Ideally, merchants should optimize every point of the conversion funnel, including open rates (the subject line), click rates (the creative content), and conversion rates (landing page clicks). Businesses can also analyze their campaigns by source, vertical, and geographic or demographic factors. When they look at their success metrics and watch for trends over time, business owners can pinpoint the specific areas where improvement is needed. Merchants who need help optimizing their campaigns should research some of the most popular technologies available today, including AdStack, Optimizely, Optizmo, Rapleaf, and Lashback. (Dan Quintero, AdStack)

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.

Today is the final day to save $200 on Street Fight Summit 2012 tickets.  Join top executives from Constant Contact, Google, Foursquare, Patch, Pandora, PayPal and more in New York on Oct. 30-31. Register today!

  • http://twitter.com/JimAtGoolara Jim Morton

    Mostly good advice here. I disagree with the idea of keeping separate lists. It’s better to work from a master list and segment as needed. That way any global unsubscribes are automatically applied across the board and you run less risk of spam complaints.

    • Ron Cates

      Hi Jim,

      If you’re using an email marketing service (like Constant Contact), you can have as many lists as you like and they’re all automatically tied together via a master database list. When someone opts out, they can opt of a single list, multiple lists, or opt out globally. De-duplication is also automatic: if I send to 10 lists and you’re on 4 of them, you only get one email, not 4.

      Ron Cates

Denver — March, 5th, 2015
Learn from the pros, network with partners and clients, and ski! Don't miss our second annual event on this important topic.
Register now and save!


Get hyperlocal industry headlines in your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the Street Fight Daily newsletter.

See how brands compare in local presence across areas such as local SEO, data accuracy, social engagement and more. Presented by Where2GetIt and Street Fight. Click here to see the battle!

Free White Paper: Contextualization

Learn how to deliver better, revenue-driving consumer experiences. Download "Contextualization: Leveraging Location-Based Technology and Mobile to Drive Success for Brands."

Sponsored by Artisan Mobile.

Follow Us

Get the latest Street Fight news, information and analysis via Twitter and Facebook.

The Commerce Graph

The “Commerce Graph” is a new framework we have developed to think about the future of physical exchange. The model offers an alternative to the dominant narrative about the commerce landscape that frames digital networks as an adversary of physical exchange.

The $20 Billion Mobile Marketing Opportunity

Strategies and insights into the landscape of targeting options and how they deliver foot traffic and sales for SMBs.
Check out our 2013 report and get your copy today!


© 2015 Street Fight.

Powered by WordPress. Hosting by Page.ly