Your email subscribers are your biggest fans. They’ve already proven their interest in your brand, and are willing to listen to (or rather read) whatever you send their way. Essentially, email marketing is a direct way to speak to an audience that is already committed to you. Building your distribution list is a key strategy of increasing sales and sustaining company growth.
Why are email subscribers so important? Because each subscriber brings value to your bottom line. To calculate how how much each email subscriber is worth to your business, take your annual revenue attributed to email marketing and divide it by your number of subscribers. So if you bring in about $20,000 each year from email marketing and have 500 customers signed up to receive emails, each one individually is buying about $40 of products from you. What if you could add even 100 more subscribers – that would equal $4,000 more in revenue, just by getting them on your email list. Think about what would happen if your doubled your list size. Sound like something you want to try?
Strengthen your distribution list and encourage purchases with these five strategies, without spending an arm and a leg on marketing efforts.
Offer a promo on the first purchase after sign up.
Major online shopping sites for women’s fashion, like Tobi and Revolve Clothing, make good use of this. Revolve offers 10% off a buyer’s first purchase once they subscribe to the email list. Tobi follows up with a 50% off discount after someone agrees to receive promotional emails (and “liking” the company page on Facebook). Give a discount that is equitable to what you’re asking of them. If you just want them to sign up for your newsletter distribution, 10 – 15% is fair. If you want them to sign up and become fans on your social media sites, be prepared to offer more. To really encourage a sale, set a time limit for when the promo will no longer be eligible. If buyers only have one week to use the promo code after signing up, they are more likely to take the plunge and make a purchase.
Go a step further – can you offer something for free?
It doesn’t have to be something of great monetary value – it doesn’t even have to be a product, really. But everyone loves getting a freebie, so why not give something away in exchange for a new email subscriber? If you can’t afford to give away samples, consider things you can offer your subscribers that would be of value to them. This can be in the form of an eBook, research, list of tips, etc. Depending on what you sell or services you offer, the form of give-away will vary. For example, if you sell housewares or home goods, maybe you could send a free style catalog with every email subscription. For shoppers looking to redecorate their homes, a style guide with tips on how to use colors, textures and hardware to complement each other and create a Pinterest-worthy look would be helpful, and something they’ll use (and potentially share with friends).
It doesn’t have to be a major undertaking – you could create a one-page document that subscribers could print out. If you don’t have the time or resources to create a good visual handout, maybe create a checklist, top 10 tips, or some other content heavy guide. A home goods retailer could create a checklist of the most important items to have for a newly renovated kitchen, or the top 10 eco-friendly brands to have in your home. Don’t over think it – just share whatever knowledge your audience would find valuable. This is a great opportunity to brand your guide as something that could be used as a resource by many in your industry.
Use pop-ups. Yes, really.
Why do brands, bloggers and online publications keep using pop-ups? Because they work. One blogger implemented a pop-up to try and capture more email subscribers. She ended up growing her list by 7,000 subscribers in just 8 months. Think back to what we said earlier about subscribers adding value to your revenue…how much more would you make on 7,000 subscribers at $40 a pop? (You’d add $280,000 to your annual revenue, FYI). To keep them from feeling annoying or pushy, make sure to use visually appealing graphics and pithy phrases. You can include your promo code offering in a pop-up, or just ask shoppers to subscribe to receive discounts via email. Create engaging and dynamic graphics with sites like Canva. Try out out Bounce Exchange to put together your pop-up.
Sign up for out-of-stock notices.
Even with an advanced inventory management system to alert you when items are running low, you may run out of hot-selling items if your warehouse or supplier can’t keep up with demand. Create an option for shoppers to sign up for alerts when popular items are restocked and sold on your site again. The buyers who sign up for this are highly motivated to purchase, and will likely shop from you for other items as well. They are telling you they want to buy at least one item from you. Use your email newsletters to show them what else you have and other similar items they may also like. When items do become available again, make sure the notification email to customers is bold, bright, and attention grabbing.
Exclusive first look at new items, sales and more.
Create a feeling of exclusivity by offering insider sales, first looks and more to your email subscribers. You could even go as far as to offer sales only to those on your distribution list. If you make signing up for your emails feel like an insider club where shoppers will receive preferential treatment, you will encourage both signups and purchases. Score.