Posts Tagged ‘email list building’
Posted by admin on June 19th, 2009
Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Marketing Profs 2009 B2B Forum in Boston, MA. Working with email marketers in short, 20 minute intervals – what was aptly termed “therapy sessions”, I learned quite a bit about some of the biggest pain points when it comes to email marketing in the B2B space. The most recurring question was: “How do we grow our list?”
In the B2B space, email list growth is one tough nut to crack. It’s not as simple as B2C retailers, where customers are lured in with special offers discount coupons and other enticing promises. B2B marketers have to draw interest to their site and offer customers whitepapers, email opt-in forms, blogs, webinars and other interactive sessions in order to ultimately get people to opt-in.
Most marketers I spoke with seem to be putting too much emphasis on the actual promotion of these items mentioned above, instead of addressing the bigger question that lingers – fighting for your audiences’ time and attention.
Reality is that most business associates face the daunting daily task of time management. Between phone calls, email, IM, reports due, meetings and all the other things that make up our day, it’s a challenge for many to stay focused on one item without the constant distraction a typical office day brings.
When we talk about email for B2B it all comes down to two important items to make it all worthwhile: BENEFIT and VALUE. If your audience sees what they could gain from engaging with your brand, the more likely they are to become loyal brand enthusiasts.
Use email communication as a way to educate your clients and prospects – not try to hard sell them on your product or service. Of course there are ways to soft sell, but try not to put too much emphasis on it. The more you try to educate and help your clients build knowledge and understand aspects of your business, the more likely they are to engage with your brand and develop long-term, profitable relationships.
List building is no easy task by any stretch of the imagination, but by focusing your efforts around benefits and value, you are more likely to build an audience of raving fans.
To learn more about email list building, check out part 1 and part 2 of our list building best practices series.
Posted by Bill Leming on May 20th, 2009
More than once this month we’ve been asked to weigh in on the risk-reward ratio involved in emailing what is best described as a list that “hasn’t exactly” given their expressed permission to receive promotional emails.
In some instances the list consists of individuals who contacted our clients in the past requesting more information about their products and services during which they provided their email address to receive specific answers to their questions without explicitly opting in to receive subsequent promotional emails.
In other cases even less is known about where the individuals came from, when they entered the file, whether or not they actually purchased anything and, if so, how long ago, who their assigned sales rep was or is, where they reside and other key elements like first/last name and/or postal address.
In most cases we’re being asked for the most economical and legitimate means of securing these individual’s permission quickly and cost effectively. What that question translates into is really “How can we legitimately send an email asking these people for permission to send commercial messages?” Don’t we have their implied consent inasmuch as we have their email address? (The relatively high costs, timeframes and anticipated low response involved with direct mailing and/or telemarketing these individuals are generally already off the table by the time we’re drawn in to the discussion.)
Posted by admin on April 21st, 2009
A few weeks ago I wrote about how Scott’s did a nice job with their email opt-in over the phone. If your business generates sales with a physical storefront, there are a number of ways to acquire addresses for your email marketing efforts.
This past weekend we visited an upscale grocery store – Hubbell & Hudson. This store specializes in fine foods offering hard-to-find produce, gourmet cheeses and wines from around the world among other things. They also have a quaint bistro serving up great food, and a Viking cooking school on the second level for the gourmet chef’s in the making.
However, even more impressive than their vast selection of items, was their marketing efforts. From product placement and signage, to the sounds, smells, and samples from their friendly staff, Hubbell & Hudson captures all 5 senses practically after entering the store.
Their email marketing opt-in method was no different. With a well-placed desktop computer that was located near the entrance and exit, they make joining their email list a breeze. Next to the computer was signage that not only explained how to opt-in, but more importantly, the benefits of their email program. With just a few clicks and keystrokes, I was signed up and ready to go.
So when thinking about all of the different ways to connect with customers to increase sales, creating an easy email opt-in process in your brick and mortar store should be a no-brainer.
Posted by Rob Ropars on April 10th, 2009
Recently I stopped into my local Kohl’s store to pick up some odds and ends for a business trip. As usual, there were tons of great deals throughout, and that allowed me to put together a nice combination of affordable items.
At checkout, I was asked if I would like to join their email list with an email coupon as an incentive. Being in the email business, my inbox is constantly full with a variety of email communications and I tend to be very selective when adding to the fray.
Since I frequent this store and extra coupons were involved, I figured one more couldn’t hurt. And since it was near closing time as I filled out the handwritten opt-in card, I figured it would be awhile before the emails start coming…
Fast forward to the following morning. I opened my Gmail account and there was an email from Kohl’s! In less than twelve hours, my handwritten card had been entered into their system, which obviously fed into their national database.
I was then pulled into the next day’s automated welcome with a special coupon valid through the end of the month (in this case only two weeks away). Adding this exclusive, limited-time offer ensured I would need to be back shopping within the next two weeks or risk losing the offer (and on the back end gave them something to use for redemption analysis).
Since that initial welcome message, I am now in their main subscription queue, and receive weekly emails and occasional very limited-time offers for online purchases or notices for same day 12 or 24-hour sales.
Of course it’s all a game, Kohl’s basically always has a variety of items on sale. But when it came to the welcome message-I did go back in and use the coupon-a good deal is a good deal.
As it turned out, I needed a tie to go with a shirt and was able to get a more expensive one without spending much more than lower priced ones. Had I not signed up and gotten that email so promptly, I probably would have procrastinated and might never have gotten it.
So the moral of the story, which we share with all of our email marketing clients, is that you can never make a second “first impression.” Kohl’s welcome message program got our conversation started quickly and triggered the intended response by getting someone (me) back in to purchase. They got that first impression just right. Their motto is “Expect Great Things”-and so far that’s the case.
Of course being in the business I could note some of the things they could improve upon to maximize their emails, but I want to keep focus on the positive so I’ll refrain from undercutting what they’re doing right. Besides I’ve just gotten their latest email and looks like there are some “Last Chance” offers I’m in danger of missing if I don’t stop in again soon!
Posted by admin on April 8th, 2009
This past Sunday, a gorgeous spring day with not a cloud in the sky, I did what most South Texans do in early spring – fertilized my lawn. Armed with a bag of Scott’s Bonus S and a new spreader, I was ready to bring my winter lawn out of hibernation. After carefully reading the instructions on the bag, I ran into a bit of a problem – What setting do I use on the spreader so I don’t over or under fertilize?
Thankfully, Scott’s provides a toll-free number on each of their bags if you have any questions about fertilizing. Anticipating disappointment that they wouldn’t be open on weekends, I was surprised to wait literally only seconds before a friendly Scott’s associate answered the phone. After quickly diagnosing where I was, the type of fertilizer I was using, and the spreader make and model, I was told that 3 ½ was the desired setting for my grass.
Happy that I got what I needed, I was ready to disconnect my call until the Scott’s associate asked me one more question: “Would you like to get monthly email updates from us and get tips on how to keep your lawn in top shape year-round?” Being in the email marketing industry, I had to pause for a moment and reflect on what was just asked of me….
Not only did the Scott’s associate ask for my permission to receive email updates from their company, she also clearly defined the frequency and benefits of their email marketing program. After happily giving her my email address, she also informed me that I would be receiving an email message in the next few days to confirm my interest.
This is just one of the many ways to successfully capture email addresses offline and grow your list. Not only did Scott’s leave me satisfied and confident that I was on my way to a greener lawn, they gave me an added bonus with their monthly email program.