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This guide is written to help you build your email list from a conceptual angle. There are tons of tactics and strategies to try for yourself. For more information check out our ebook 57 tips for growing your email list.
A good launching point for any email list starts with determining what it is you want to send. This will help with the where and the how for collecting subscribers. Are you going to be sending a weekly clothes promo? A list of top-rated travel destinations? Tips for knitting the best afghan for your dachschund’s bed?
This matters because you should be targeting your potential subscriber based on what you’re going to send for content. You want to make sure they are part of the right group for you to send to. For instance, dog lovers would be great to target with the aforementioned afghan.
Let’s call it Dog Store Online, because we’re big on originality around here.
Dog Store Online has a strong following on their social channels and sales are going great. Their brand had a big hit with a toy so amazing we can’t even describe it. This completely awesome and mind-blowing toy sold thousand times overs, but since then they haven’t been able to follow up on that success, customers have started to dwindle away. Dog Store Online is now wishing they did more to keep their customers around. So what could they have done? (Spoiler alert: Email.)
Lets make a couple of assumptions:
They’re a great way for ecommerce websites to engage with customers.
Why? Because everyone looooves a good offer!
So Dog Store Online makes a decision: To make way for a new product launch, they plan out a campaign to clear out old inventory at discounted prices. The goal being to capture users who this type of offer would cater to and market to them. So how do they do that? Well, since you’re asking …
After customers bought this super-duper-cool-dog-toy-that-we-can’t-describe, they received an email with the purchase receipt and that’s it. Relationship over. So how can they find them now?
Capture what’s necessary on the first form, then drive to a second form to complete the optional data that you can use later to future target that users.
We’re not here to discuss the finer points of a multi-channel campaign, but it WOULD be a good idea for Dog Store Online to support their emails efforts by doing this. Making targeted ads, posting to relevant social groups, and asking folks to share with other dog lovers are great ways to boost your visibility and rope in more subscribers. A good ESP (like us!) will sync leads like this automatically using an API (more on that later, duh).
Since Dog Store Online wanted to start a new list from scratch, they want the first interactions to be highly valuable.
As part of the welcome series, ask subscribers to complete their profile preferences which reveals more information about them (usually called a preference center). This data will be huge for segmenting purposes in the future. For example: Ask for the dog’s birthday, and every year give them 25% off for their beloved pooch’s birthday.
Another trick for this example is to match up a subscriber with their purchase data. Then look to see what kind of loyalty they have (Aquantances, Bff’s, “It’s complicated”, 40-years-and-counting, etc…). For subscribers with high loyalty, asking them to share the brand with their friends is a pretty great idea (known as refer-a-friend).