Every business should have an email list. Why you ask?
It’s rare these days to complete a business transaction without requesting a customer’s email. Depending on your industry, you may use this information to send electronic bills and avoid paper statements or to send free estimates on potential work. Either way, the right software allows you to automate information and track when customers receive or open your communication, which is an additional benefit.
These conveniences are great, but when it comes to building an email list, it barely scratches the surface on the list of benefits for your company. The opportunity to have direct access to your customers is incredibly valuable.
Here’s Why Every Company Needs an Email List
1. Email Gives You Direct Access to Your Customers
When you offer a new product or service, you don’t want to wait for people to discover the information on your website. Social media promotion is one avenue to utilize; however, you are relying on borrowed digital real estate. There is no guarantee that people will see your post even if they follow you on social. It depends on platform algorithms. You may consider boosting a post or spending money on a pay-per-click ad. These are great ways to try to expand your reach, but why do this when you can send an email for free?
When you maintain an email list, you have the opportunity to send the same information in a personalized letter that goes directly to each current and potential customer who asks to stay up to date on your business. You can include a personalized token in your email to catch the eye of each recipient in their inbox, and you can track when they open the email.
Email also gives your customers direct access to you. If something isn’t explained clearly in your promotional email or if your sales pitch is so enticing someone wants to take advantage of it immediately, they can respond privately, and directly to you.
2. You Can Remind Your Customers You Appreciate Them
By using a customer relationship management system to maintain your email list you can send segmented lists and include customized offers. For example, if you segment your list by customers who haven’t purchased from you in the last year, you can send an email letting them know that you miss them. By including a customized discount code for each customer you can track if they take advantage of your generosity.
Everyone appreciates when you value them. Noticing a customer’s absence is a great way to communicate that, but it won’t mean anything if it’s not accurate. Tracking customer responses through email is a great way to ensure you are correct when you engage clients.
3. You Can Respond Quickly in an Emergency
In today’s instant world customers are unlikely to wait for a slow website to load. They are more likely to look for the same product somewhere else. Small businesses can’t afford to have customers land on their site only to see an error or 404 page.
Even with maintenance and monitoring in place, it’s still possible for a virus to infiltrate your website. Many times, this happens if your website isn’t secure. If your website crashes or Facebook starts acting up again, you still have direct access to your customers through your email list. It won’t matter if these annoyances happen on the day you are launching your fall line of products, you can still get the information to the customers and potential customers who have previously indicated they want to know when you are making important announcements.
Another strategy you may consider is a preemptive strike to address customer frustrations. If you have a glitch on your website that impedes customer experience, don’t wait for customers to complain. Send an email acknowledging you are aware of the problem. Apologize for the inconvenience and assure your customers that their information is safe. You can offer an inconvenience coupon of a 10% discount off their next purchase as a thank you for their understanding if you think your clientele will be upset.
Even if your customers weren’t planning to shop on your website the day it crashes or when it is acting up, they may take advantage of the discount which could increase sales in the long run.
4. You Can Update Your Email List About Important Changes
If your office is moving locations or your landlord is repaving the parking lot, you can let your customers know how to plan ahead when they are visiting your offices. No one likes surprises, especially if they have an appointment scheduled with you. By informing your customers of changes ahead of time, you let them know you value their time.
Maintain an Ethical Email List
Having an email list has many benefits, but it’s essential to make sure that you collect names of current and potential customers ethically. There are three short cut strategies that some agencies will suggest that can put your email marketing effort in danger.
Buying and renting email lists is a direct violation of GDPR rules of consent. Some people will try to sell you an “opt-in” email list. The important distinction here is that the email recipients haven’t opted into your email list which still makes this a violation.
When you send emails to large groups of purchased email lists, you are filling people’s email boxes with unwanted SPAM. This may damage your business reputation because you can come across as annoying. No one likes to have their space invaded, and that includes an inbox.
As people unsubscribe from the unwanted emails they will have the option to tell your email service provider why they are choosing to unsubscribe. If too many people indicate they didn’t opt-in to receive information from you, your email service may freeze your account.
Additionally, email algorithms can identify SPAM patterns and often penalize your IP reputation by pushing emails they identify as those from purchased email lists directly into SPAM filters.
Every company needs an email list so they can communicate directly with customers and potential customers, but you must build your email list the ethical way. Do you need ideas for building an email list that aligns with your brand? Reach out to me.