A customer database is like a garden. You need to look after it in order to make the right flowers grow and you need to take time to get to know the flowers in your garden, so you can nurture them and look after them with attentive care. What you also need to do is to remove the weed to make sure you have more space for your flowers to grow.
The same logic applies to a customer database that you use for communication in some way. B2C and B2B have many similarities but also a few things that sets them apart. For example your B2B database may have the additional challenge of people switching jobs and thus also switching email addresses. Do you continuously work in weeding these out?
That said, this article focuses on the similarities that are applicable on both.
Once you got your email marketing activities in place, you want more subscribers, and by more I mean relevant subscribers. There is plenty of easy and fun ways for you to increase your database. Here are a few suggestions:
A resource for where you can collect email addresses and consent to fill your email marketing database with relevant people to talk to.
If you have brick and mortar store, you can start collecting email addresses there, however, simply don’t just ask for an email address and put someone on a list. Do it in a way that makes your customer aware of what their email address will be used for and make sure they want to hear from you.
I’ve had a few weird and dodgy experiences in the States with this, the staff ask for my email address at the till and the suddenly I receive newsletters that are almost impossible to opt-out from. (When I naively presume that my receipt will be emailed to me for my purchase).
Other collecting points can be:
- Your website – a simple widget to collect a name and email, or through any lead generation activities, perhaps a form for download of a white paper. Investigate your website from a visitor perspective to find where you can add any newsletter sign-up form in a way that makes sense.
- Avoid putting the sign-up form in the footer of your website only, it may not give you as many new subscribers because the main focus for visitors are most probably higher up on your webpages. (if unsure, test it though A/B testing or using a heat mapping software)
- Account/website registration process
- Your blog
- The footer of every email signature from appropriate departments in your organization
- Using the social integration – making your newsletter shareable in social channels by your subscribers.
- Last but not the least important – focus on the usefulness and relevancy of your newsletter for your current subscribers. It does not matter how many people you have in your database, as long as you provide good content to them, they might actually help you build your database by using the oldie but goldie – forward to a friend button in your newsletter.
Links for further reading:
Email sign up forms: a look at how 16 fashion retailers collect customer data
50 Proven Ways To Grow Your Email List
5 Ways to Grow Your Email List With Social Media
Image copyright by: http://www.getvero.com
I’ve just arrived home after a field trip afternoon. E-consultancy hosts nifty showcases which I try to attend every now and then for the – hold on to your chair tightly now – educational value. That’s right – I go there and I boldly take notes. An afternoon of different views, insights and opinions with a coffee break – not to be frowned upon especial since it’s free (!) and you get to network and mingle.
Today’s event was centered around 6 different Email Marketing Providers trying to showcase themselves and seduce their audience into choosing just them. I took away various tidbits of research and knowledge from each company. However one thing jumped to my attention – only 2 of the 6 companies gave the impression to work with SME’s.
Seems to me that there is a market out there focusing on SME’s, which armed with the right tools could reap a much needed return of investment from their email marketing campaigns.