List building

Build It and They Will Read

Having just hosted my first guest on the Haute Hub Happy Hour as part two of my email marketing arc, my thoughts went back to the previous HHHH when I talked about list building. After all, the strategies for creating great emails won’t do much without a great list to send them to! If you haven’t seen it yet, you can still check out the video on the hub.

I talked about some ideas you can use in your emails, but, without doing a full transcript here, I wanted to emphasize two of the biggest points I made.

First being the gold mine that is the email list. Your list is the life blood of your business! You never stop growing it. It is still the number one way to build a relationship and trust with your customer. And when someone chooses to bestow their email upon you, they want to be a part of your tribe, your inner circle. I know social media has been the hotness over the past few years and I am, obviously, a vocal advocate for using it, BUT… those followers and likes are not yours to keep. If anything happens to those platforms, if you want to close your account, or if your account somehow gets corrupted, you say goodbye to all those people. Email, on the other hand, offers you something more tangible over which you have extreme control.

The second is to be creative and mix up the ways in which you ask people for their emails. Pop-up windows on your website, a discount offer, or – my favorite – offer them something of value that is unique to your business. A document, for example, similar to the one we posted last week about hiring marketing professionals – but yours might be The Perfect 5-day Wardrobe for your next trip to Paris (featuring items you carry) or The Top 3 ways to Style the Latest (fill in the blank) Trend  or even exclusive access or pre-access to an event or a group. This is my favorite because you can build trust and engagement so quickly within the group.

One of the easiest ways to automate your address collecting is through your website. You have one, right? This is a must even if you don’t sell things online…yet. Your website tells customers what your brand is all about in a setting that is all under your control. Once they opt in, their email can be automatically deposited into your email marketing platform such as Constant Contact or the like. You can put a link in the bio of your Instagram account that leads to the opt-in section of your site. You can also have a Sign Up button on your business Facebook page that will lead to the same opt-in page. And then there’s the classic way to collect emails: asking customers to write it down on a physical list you’ve started in the store. It does require some pretty old technology called a pen.

Now that you have these emails what’s next? Send an email! At a minimum, email your list twice per month and max once per week. Be strategic about your content. There’s so much noise out there and you don’t want to get lost in it! Think about how you can add value and delight your customer. We have fantastic tips in the next post which is specifically about Email Marketing.

Email is still the most reliable and efficient way to consistently engage and build trust with your customer. It’s a bigger choice to open an email than to scroll past social media posts, but the attention you hold at that moment is far greater. So go ahead – create an opt-in email request on your website and think about what you can offer in return. Then just watch your visits and engagement counts climb!