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6 top tips to build a quality list for email marketing

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Email marketing can offer a substantial amount of monthly revenue if managed correctly. Customers will regard your emails as valuable if they consider you to be a trusted source.

Most B2C websites can earn this trust if the services and prices they offer are appealing. But as online retailers move and shift their prices so often it’s vitally important to keep up-to-speed with your competitors, particularly if you’re considering email for the first time. And to ensure the ongoing viability of your list make sure you always use permission-based email marketing.

Here are 6 top tips to make sure you’re getting the most from your email marketing:

1. Get people to your door

To develop an email list you need to maximise your visibility in the natural search arena. Natural search results are free, so if you can increase traffic from Google, Yahoo!, MSN and the other search engines you stand more of a chance of building traffic to your website, building orders and building an email database.

2. Set expectations

If you’re running an e-commerce store clearly state what customers are likely to receive when they opt-in/tick the box to receive your email communications. Make sure you have their buy-in to membership of your list by stating exactly what they will receive, i.e. monthly newsletters, exclusive offers, discounts etc. And in all communications, from sign-up to newsletter, offer a clear unsubscribe option in line with permission-based marketing concepts.

3. Give reasons to sign-up

Customers don’t have to make a purchase in order to sign-up to email marketing. For example, fickle customers may only want to hear about discounts initially, so consider having a call-out on your website for email newsletter sign-ups, clearly stating all the benefits. Think about offering additional reasons to register such as latest information, incentives, competitions and other offers.

4. Use word of mouth

Get your customers to tell their friends about your website. A great way of doing this is to offer an incentive to existing customers, such as ‘receive 5% off your next order when you tell us about 4 friends who may want to hear from us’.

5. In-house data vs rented lists

Seriously consider the pros and cons of purchasing email data lists. Buying second-hand data can be a risky business, make sure you thoroughly research where the data has come from and the quality of the referral.

6. Keep your data fresh

Manage your list effectively. It is vitally important to keep your email list fresh and up-to-date. If you are running a busy e-commerce store using a sign-up process, the data is likely to change from day-to-day. Use professional email marketing software to filter, clean and re-organize data for the next mail out.

Remember to look after your list and consider that each contact could lead to a potential new sale or response.

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