They have the urgency to treat their customers as a precious source of information, meaning they value consensus building of what their customers really want to receive in their emails, and they know very well the value of integrity of email marketing.
So why then email marketing remains a leading communication channel?
Let us face it, all Internet users today still love receiving their non-spam emails. They even check them every day.
With this note, it is vital for all business, either small or big to work the most of their email list. How? Through the most reliable and efficient way, email opt-in list.
Email opt-in list is a means of encouraging customers to give willingly their email addresses, which is not only part of the sign up process, but as part of the company's contact list for email updates and newsletters. A "double opt-in list," another process to ask customers to give out their email addresses, is sending subsequent confirmation email after a customer has signed up to be on the email list.
All in all, email opt-in list provides a direct line of communication between any business' target audience, and it also builds a trusting relationship between its subscribers.
Having an email opt-in list is important in order to avoid emails being reported as "spam." Why? Because when a company is not honest enough or is sending emails where customers aren't expecting them, a customer can report these emails as "spam" to its Internet Service Provider like Google, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, and MSN. And when this happens, ISP will start monitoring all email activity of the company, and when enough people on the contact list have reported their emails as spam, the company can be blocked.
Any business could not afford this from happening because not only will their email server be blocked from sending any emails, including emails that have any link related to their business site, but it would also be almost impossible for them to retract the ISP's decision; and this could even mean the end of their business.
Though, many businesses may prefer social media icons instead of email opt-ins, but even if likes and followers may be valuable, email listing remains to be as important.
Social networks do not generate any list that the company actually owns.
So, how then can one fatten their email opt-in list, and get customers to sign up? Here are tips that can help any business capitalize and generate more leads through their opt-in list strategies:
- Make it Easy and Visible for Customers to Opt In. Time is very essential and not everyone is patient enough to spend a lot in filling up too much information in the sign up page. Therefore, when people are on the website, signing up should only take as little as possible. The less information you ask from them, the more people will sign up. Likewise, opt-in forms must be very visible, so that it would be hard for visitors to miss it. It does not even matter if the site over kills opt-in forms, so long as emailing listing are doubled or tripled. As a tip, opt-in forms can be placed on the primary content window, on the right-side hand of the page, or even below every blog post.
- Experiment with pop-up Ads. Though, most of the time users gets annoyed receiving these pop-up ads, it is still amazing that it can generate not just clicks, but a compelling number of new subscribers as well. In fact, studies show that many businesses can generate as much as 13% to 15% of sales because of pop-up ads. Showing visitors what is in it for them when they sign up, makes a pop-up ad more interesting and will likely generate leads. For instance, if the website is all about healthy living, their pop-ups must be design in a way that their visitors get so many benefits when they sign up, such as telling them that they will become one of the few smarter people in the world to make the first step to a healthy living, or as part of the signing up, they will receive free video tutorials of diet and exercising tips. All these makes it a great way to present to the visitors what else they can get aside from receiving daily or weekly updates about the company and its products.
- Offer incentives subscribers cannot resist. Incentives do not always mean fabulous prices for signing up. While this could be a good idea, at some point, businesses will end up with a subscriber who only wants to win, but not someone entirely interested of what the company has to offer. Offering incentives through reports, audio seminars, freebies, newsletters, webinar, free e-books, or other vital information about the services and products is more appealing. Another better approach is to keep subscribers from actually subscribing. For instance, dividing video tutorials or audio seminars into parts, and only revealing the last part or the rest of the videos exclusively when they subscribe, leaves subscribers wanting for more, making them stay as a definite subscriber.
- Building business density - the conventional "word of mouth," is the most effective means of advertising and is also applicable online. By showing new visitors how many people have trusted your company through the number of subscribers one have, or by showing how positive comments and surveys are about the company, how many followers or shares have been accumulated through other social media accounts, and how positive reports are regardless of sales, awards accumulated, or anything valuable information that could uplift the company, will likely convince new subscribers the density of the business. This in turn, will convince them to trust the business, which could generate not just a number of sales, but a number of new opt-in subscribers as well.
Craig Corbel is the Vice President of Marketing for Solution Web Designs, a NYC-Based web design firm that specializes in online marketing and email newsletter services for small and mid-sized business.