Developing Quality Email ListsPosted: June 25, 2010
Getting people to sign-up for your emails is a task that needs patience and hard work. Here are some pointers to how you can start this program:
1] Respect your visitors. Why should they sign-up for your emails at all? Don’t answer this question, ask people in your neighbourhood, on the street, in your gym. You will be amazed at the insights. At the height of dotcom frenzy we worked on a TV product company’s website where we got carried away with the features and sizes of TVs and created a complex “compare” TV feature on the website. Sense prevailed and it was thrown out. My assignment after the exercise was to stand in a TV showroom and observe buyer behaviour. 🙂
2] Type of emails. Define email categories and see to it that every email that goes out falls in one of the defined bucket. Avoid email drips – emails that slip out without falling in any of the buckets. For example you may have a contact us form, that posts to a customer care system and sends out a text thank you email. You will be amazed how many companies do this. A mutual fund house for example, could send out monthly general newsletter, specific company results information, basics of investing sort of e-learning email, a webinar/ seminar invite, discount / offer/ promotion email or just a collection of who in the industry said what (I personally would love this).
3] Set up goals. How big is your current list? How big do you want it to be? It’s no use having a purchased list of 100,000 customers if your unique visitors every month are less than 1000. Your list has to be a proportion of your visitors that makes common sense. This also means that your site traffic needs to grow in tandem with your list growth goals. I did say this needs patient work. List growth is not something you can buy your way into. Set up an achievable target, a set percentage of your new visitors every month. Once you decide that 5% of new visitors is your goal, you can start meaningful list increase program.
4] List growth tactics. This is a huge topic and I am so full of thoughts for a next post on this one, so I will simply highlight some nice tactics followed by http://www.indiaplaza.in I got a free Rs 50 Voucher the moment I followed them on twitter via a DM. The link in the DM lead to a quick registration page followed by a promo code valid for a set period. I got a nice welcome message the moment I registered. A few days later I got another voucher for Rs. 100 off on certain set products. The products were good and well thought out; a book, a lamp, a health product and a wireless headset (who does not need one?). The email promoted twitter channel prominently and announced that followers would get a discount code.
Not everyone needs or has upfront money to run a program like this but this is far better than spending money on purchasing a list.
5] Monitor List Quality. Your CRM / Email list is should be like an ant hill. Treated with care, intricate, built over a period of time and most importantly their labyrinths combed and cleaned. Measure hard and soft bounces and move emails that have bounced a few times out of the list. Keep a close watch on unsubscribes and spam reports. Clean the email addresses for syntax.
I would love to hear from you about your ideas and how you are trying to grow your list.