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Archive for the ‘Subscriber List’ Category

Retention Marketing

09/14/2010 2 comments

While it’s important to regularly expand your customer base, retaining existing customers is equally if not more important. In fact, it’s more cost-effective to retain current customers than to acquire new ones. Occasionally you’ll have some fall-out from your email campaign as subscribers opt-out. But just because someone is opting-out of your mailing list doesn’t mean they want to say goodbye to you entirely. Done right, you’ll be able to retain these people as customers even if they choose not to continue receiving email from you.

Here are five ways to turn these opt-outs into continued business:

Make it easy to unsubscribe.
Place an unsubscribe link on every email communication you send. Process unsubscribe requests promptly and remove those addresses from your list (within 10 days, according to the CAN-SPAM law, but the best practice is to do it instantaneously). If your customers are dissatisfied with the unsubscribe process it’s likely that they won’t look upon your business favorably in the future.

Offer options. In addition to offering subscribers the option to unsubscribe from the list, offer them the option to receive emails less frequently, or to change their preferences. When you offer multiple choices, customers can decide which content best fits their needs and interests.

Learn from comments left by unsubscribers. Your unsubscribe confirmation page should offer a chance for the customer to provide feedback about why he has chosen to opt out. You may learn that unsubscribers preferred less (or more) frequent communications, or were looking for a different type of content altogether. This valuable information will help you improve your communication plan.

Let people re-subscribe. Sometimes people click “unsubscribe” by accident or change their mind. Make sure your unsubscribe confirmation page gives people the chance to re-subscribe if they’ve clicked your link in error. (The daily coupon newsletter Groupon does this in an amusing way.)

Suggest other ways to stay in touch. Your unsubscribers may not have time to read your email, but may want to follow you on Twitter or become your fan on Facebook. Offer links to your social media accounts on your unsubscribe page.

Another factor to consider is that a subscriber simply may not remember signing up for your email campaign. To avoid subscriber amnesia, use autoresponders to automatically fire off a welcome email at a predetermined time from which the subscriber joined the list. This will ensure that you’ve established contact and may also encourage the subscriber to add your email address to his address book.

When someone asks to unsubscribe from your list, you must respect the request. But an effective unsubscribe process can ensure that you retain the customer, even if you lose the subscriber.

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Sign-up Form Do’s and Don’ts

06/08/2010 Leave a comment

It’s important to design your email list registration page so it’s simple and easy to sign-up. Remember that this is a value-swap—you’re receiving someone’s personal information in return for providing value.

Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts:

DO

  • Clearly state the benefits of joining
  • Consider asking for the email address twice (to improve your odds of capturing a valid address)
  • Add a link to your privacy policy
  • Use a yellow background for mandatory fields to be completed. Studies show that this is most effective.
  • Track your submission rates (how many viewed the registration page and completed registration). If the percentage is too low, test different versions.

DON’T

  • Ask for too much information. If you need additional information, ask for it on a secondary screen after the sign-up is complete.
  • Use a horizontal form. Usability studies show that vertical is more efficient.
  • Forget to immediately send a welcome message. They help establish your relationship and get things started. You can include a coupon, recent promotion, and restate the benefits of joining.

If you use an email service provider (ESP) to send your emails, many will host your registration page so that all registrations are instantly added to your list. List management is an important feature of any ESP.

You can also use your registration page to encourage word-of-mouth. You can motivate your subscribers to refer a friend or colleague by giving them an incentive such as a discount for every successful referral.

Categories: Subscriber List

How to Grow Your House List Organically

05/23/2010 Leave a comment

If your business is new, it’s never too early to start collecting your customers’ email addresses. If your business is well-established, it’s never too late. The best type of email subscriber list is your “house list” – a permission-based list that you built yourself. It is one of your most valuable assets because it is 7 times less expensive to market to an existing customer than to acquire a new one. Don’t rent or buy email addresses from list brokers. Not only could this increase your spam rate, but your ROI will very likely be low. Here are 10 ways to grow and capitalize on your house list.

While doing business:

  1. At checkout: Give visitors the option to subscribe at the time of purchase. If yours is a services-based business or organization, visitors can subscribe when registering for something or as part of their login process. This is the #1 way to build your list.
  2. In your store or trade-show booth: Place a sign-up sheet next to a sign explaining the main benefits of subscribing. Enter all new subscribers into a monthly raffle to win discounts or products
  3. Service or sales calls: Invite the caller to join your mailing list. On average, more than half will say yes.
  4. Events & meetings: When you get a business card in a meeting or at a networking event, ask that person whether they’d like to receive your newsletter.
  5. Past customers: If you have a database of customers who have not yet subscribed to your list mailing list send them an invitation: A polite e-mail letting them know you’ll be sending special offers and new product news, and asking them to click a link if they’d like to be included.
  6. Your email signature: Add a “Join Our Mailing List” link at the footer of your email messages.

Through your online presence:

  1. Company website, blog, and social media: Position the “Join Our Mailing List” link prominently on the page. You can offer incentives such as “Please sign-in or register with us and save $10.”
  2. Forward to a Friend: Make sure every e-mail has a “Forward to a Friend” link so that the addressee can send it on to others.
  3. Offer samples: Provide examples of past newsletters and offers on your site, so that visitors can check the goods before they subscribe.
  4. Provide alternatives: Make your newsletters available in an RSS feed. That allows your more technical visitors to review your latest news on their timetable.

Don’t neglect your house list! It’s a powerful resource that can make the difference between a good month and a great one. Your customers want to hear from you!

Categories: Subscriber List