There are many ways to market your business, some are free and some cost money. With the continued issues of shadow banning and social media advertising rejecting pole business ads, growing your email list is more important to growing your business than ever before.
What is an email list?
An email list is basically a collection of email addresses from anyone who has subscribed to your newsletter, blog or website; bought something from you; or are gathered in-person such as during an event.
These are people who are, in sales terms, pre-qualified leads. They want your information and, in some cases, have already purchased from you and may purchase again.
How do you build your list?
Chances are, you’re already collecting contact information from customers or potential customers. Use an email management service like MailChimp, ConstantContact, or others (there are tons), to start collecting those email addresses in a central location. Many tools are free to start and then charge monthly based on the number of email addresses you have on your list. Some scheduling tools for pole classes integrate email marketing as do some ecommerce platforms.
A good email service provider will not only collect email addresses through you uploading them directly, but also provide a variety of ways for people to self-sign up such as through pop-ups on your website, a check box on your shopping card page, a landing page or other digital tool.
How do you grow your list?
Offer people a reason to sign up for your email list. While some will sign up because they are generally interested in your content, consider offering a free download, a discount to a class or other enticement for them to sign up. A good email service provider can manage this for you, through more involved marketing automation set-up that auto-sends emails and even integrates a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Growing your email list may take time but have patience. Never buy an email list. And don’t share your email list. Sending emails to people who did not sign up explicitly (signing up via a mailing list tool like a pop up) or implicitly from your business (such as buying something but not ticking the box to join the mailing list) not only is poor business practice, it might be illegal under the CAN-SPAM act and can get you banned from using an email service.
How do you manage your list?
As people sign up for your email list, or as you integrate existing contact information, consider creating different lists or tagging your contacts based on information that is important to your business. Maybe you want to tag existing customers separately from not-yet customers. Or you want to separate lists further to target people that only buy products from you versus people who services. Or even between people who take classes versus people who only purchase parties or specialty services.
People regularly change jobs and/or email addresses so to keep your list current, you may consider sending a regular “opt-in” notification. Most email services provide this as a template.
How to use your list?
Email the people on your list to sell or communicate with them and always give them a clear call to action—what do you want them to do after reading your email?
Consider what you are selling or communicating to your audience. Some businesses, especially those in apparel, may send emails more frequently such as weekly compared toa business selling pole classes or highlighting a specific event at a specific time which may communicate less frequently. There is no right frequency for all businesses. You may also consider sending slightly different emails to different segments within your lists to test what type of images or words produce the desired action.
How do I know my email list is working?
It’s true that some emails will go to the spam or “promotions” tab in people’s email so not all of your emails may be delivered. After you send an email, consider following up with a social media post telling people to “check their email” or even do that in the reverse order, telling people a special email will go out to subscribers at a certain time via social media before sending the email out.
Email open rates can vary also wildly in industries. This is a list of common open rates collected by ConstantContact in different industries. Track your open rates and compare the stats of your previously sent emails to figure out what is most enticing combination of images, wording or timing for people to open your email and do intended action you want them to do.
If you’re not already reaching out to your customers and potential customers through email, you should start. 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email and email users are going to continue to grow.
- Use an email service provider rather than sending out emails from your personal email.
- Collect emails through various digital tools like a pop-up or a landing page.
- Consider giving people a reason to sign up for your email list such as a discount or free download.
- Communicate using your list on a schedule that makes sense for your business.
- Test different images, words and timing to find the best combination to get your desired result.