Social media can be one of the best ways to advertise to your customers. It’s free (for organic posts), you control the timing and messaging and new customers can find you easily on platforms they’re already using. There’s one major downside to though — you don’t own those audiences. Whether Instagram chooses to change their algorithm or ban your account for unknown reasons or Facebook loses mass numbers of users due to privacy issues, you can only communicate to those audiences through third-party owned platforms that you have no control over.
You know what audience you do own? Your email audience. We’re passionate about this topic and today marks the first of a three part series on Email Marketing for Your Small Business. Today we’re going to talk about how to build your list. Part two will review the different platform options and part three will cover email newsletter content.
Without further ado, here’s the first installment.
Email marketing is king for a reason. Your customers really do want to hear from you! Give them easy ways to sign up and they will join. Here are a few tips on how to grow your list:
1. Leverage social media. Ensure your social channels drive traffic to your email signup forms. Instagram and Facebook both have built in buttons to drive people — you just have to set them up.
2. Offer an incentive. Incentives come in many forms. Offer your customers a discount, a free sample, or even a once per year birthday discount that costs your business very little.
3. Gate your WiFi. Do you offer free WiFi in your business location? Gate your WiFi access and require people to enter their email address to login. Be sure to include a checkbox for users to select if they want to join your email list.
4. Publish popups on your website. There are several free services for low-traffic websites to leverage to design and launch professional looking popups collecting site visitor email addresses. JustUno and Privy are two to check out.
5. Go old-school. Place a clipboard at your checkout counter to collect email addresses. Train your employees to ask each and every person if they want to join your list.
We challenge you to implement just one of these tactics this week and see if you can grow your owned audience! Stay tuned for next week’s review of low-cost email platforms.