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Posts Tagged ‘AWeber’

Tips for Building Your Email Subscriber List

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 18, 2012

Grow an email marketing subscriber list responsibly

Follow these tips and grow your email marketing subscriber list responsibly.

In 5 Email Marketing Traps to Avoid, I talked about the five ways you can mess up your email marketing. But what are some of the steps you need to take to get it right?

The first thing you need to do is to grow your email subscriber list. There are many ways to collect subscribers, and you’ll want to be creative in building your list. But, as I pointed out in 5 Traps, not every email address that comes across your desk represents someone asking to be subscribed to your list.

The folks at AWeber.com offer these tips for growing your list:

Be sure you have specific permission. Make sure that whether you are adding subscribers or they are adding themselves, it is quite clear to them that they’re giving you permission for you to send them email marketing messages.

Set up a website form. This allows people who visit your website to enter their email addresses to get the specific information that you’re going to be sending.

Talk up your emails. If you’re at a networking meeting or giving a speech, mention your email campaign and why it’d be useful to the person or group you’re speaking to. You might say, for example, “A great way to learn more about this service is my email newsletter. I send my clients and associates monthly messages with expert advice and special prices. Would you also like to receive them?” If there are particular incentives for signing up (e.g., special prices for subscribers), mention them also.

Set up a fishbowl.  If you’re working a trade show or have a store front, set up a fishbowl to collect business cards for people to subscribe to your newsletter. You can sweeten the offer, for example, by stating that each month one new subscriber will win a free lunch or t-shirt. Act promptly with these addresses. The longer you wait to start delivering value to them through your messages, the less likely they are to remember who you are, and to stay on your list.

Ask your social media followers. Ask the people who follow your company on Facebook, for example, if they’d like to get your email newsletter, and direct them to a form on your website to sign up. You can also mention your newsletter on your blog.

Run ads in print publications. Choose a publication with readership that fits your business’ niche, rather than a general interest publication. Run an ad that uses a few enticing words to hook the reader so that they want to know more. Instruct the reader to sign up for your email campaign and direct them to the form on your website.

Use confirmed opt-in. This protects your sender reputation and ensures that only people who want to receive your information are subscribed to your list.

These are two practices that you’ll definitely want to avoid, says AWeber:

Buying a list. Emailing to a list of “business opportunity seekers,” “fresh opt-in leads,” or any other type of purchased list is out-and-out spamming. Trying to send messages to addresses you acquired this way will get your email marketing account closed faster than you can say “and we won’t give you a refund, either,” says AWeber. (Note: this is true for most other legitimate email service providers.)

Ripping off an attendance list. Whether it’s from a trade show, networking meeting or conference, this is another big NO-NO. If people haven’t requested information from you, don’t add them to your list, regardless of where you met them.

For more help with your email marketing, register for a complementary marketing assessment from the experts at Advantage Marketing Consulting Services.

Tell us! What are some tactics you’ve used to build an effective email subscriber list?

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Email marketing, Facebook, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, small business | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

5 Email Marketing Traps You Must Avoid

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 2, 2012

Email Inbox

Your customers already get too many emails. Make sure they want to receive yours by avoiding these 5 email marketing traps.

My email was taking forever to download the other day, and then a newbie business owner’s 9MB email marketing newsletter – the equivalent of 215 typical email messages – slogged its way into my Inbox.

I hit the “delete” key on that email faster than you could say “SPAM.”

If you own a small business or run a professional service firm, and you’re using email as part of your marketing strategy – get it right. Or else you risk annoying prospective customers and having your email blacklisted – which means Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will block every email you send.

Here are the 5 major traps you must avoid in email marketing:

1. Sending without permission. Just because I met you at a networking event or we connect on LinkedIn, doesn’t mean I want your email newsletter showing up in my Inbox. You must ask permission to send it. And this isn’t just me being picky. Legitimate email service providers such as AWeber require that you ask specific permission to send, or that individuals sign up for your newsletter – on your website, for example. This is so that they – and you – stay on the right side of Anti-SPAM laws and in the ISPs’ good graces.

2. Using Outlook to send email newsletters. Anti-SPAM laws also say that your emails must allow people to opt out of receiving your marketing communications. Outlook does not provide this capability. Forcing the recipient to send you a separate email with “unsubscribe” in the subject line just annoys them – you’re creating extra work for them. Also, if your marketing communication contains photos and graphics, you’ll create a bloated monster, because Outlook is not designed for this purpose. This is the trap the newbie business owner fell into with her 9MB newsletter.

3. Boring your reader. I may be mildly interested in what you did on your summer vacation, but I don’t need 1,000 words about it. I’d much rather read how your company is going to help me solve a problem, or what your views are on the latest business or legal trend. Like most others, I skim content, so write simply and well. Use bullet points and some bolding, so I can process your message quickly. For more about writing well, read 15 Tips for Writing Engaging Content.

4. Bombarding your reader. Like most business owners, I already get too many emails. Unless you have some amazing news – a big sale or you’ve just won a major industry award – don’t send me your marketing communications more than once a month. Even if I like your product or service, I’ll unsubscribe from your emails, just to keep the time I spend weeding my Inbox to manageable levels.

5. Burying your interesting content. I recently received an email with the subject line, “Practical Tips on X,” which I eagerly opened, because I really did need help with “X.” I learned how hot the weather was; what the business owner’s son was doing; and what the owner and her husband were doing. I’m not quite sure where those tips were.  Maybe they were buried way down on the right side panel? Or below the weather report? Impatient and frustrated, I deleted the email.

Email marketing can work, IF you know what your doing. For more help with your email marketing, register for a complementary marketing assessment by the experts at Advantage Marketing.

Tell us! What are the other traps business owners need to avoid in email marketing?

Posted in B2B marketing, Email marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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