Everyone has an email address. In the ever-changing world of technology, e-mail appears to be the easiest form of communication. Offering the most convenient form of staying in touch with friends and family, e-mail is also the primary way for your small business to maintain a steady list of loyal customers.
Standard postal mail is a product of the past that most consumers view as another weight that belongs in the trashcan, and telephone calls can feel invasive. Because of this, building a long-term email list for your small business is one of the best ways to ensure your success.
The first obvious step is having an easy way for potential clients and customers to subscribe to your email list. A large bold “SIGN UP FOR OUR EMAIL LIST!” should be one of the most prominent features on your website. Include information that email list members will be the recipients of special information and discounts. Few people turn down the opportunity to save money. If your business also runs a store, include an email sign-up at the cash register. If they are already buying, chances are they will want to continue.
Ok, so building is easy. Maintaining is the hard part. This is where so many businesses, both big and small, lose control of their customers. An email update every three days is not necessary. Customers do not want to receive a barrage of messages about information that does not matter to them. Rather than clog their inboxes, consider a weekly or bi-monthly coupon offering. Customers will appreciate the opportunity to save money without having to read useless information each day. Be sure to keep these emails short. A reader’s time is just as valuable as yours, and he or she does not want to read six paragraphs of fluff.
Depending on the type of business you run, an e-newsletter may be a great tool to keep your long-term email list. Send a monthly or annual update that includes any new successes, product releases or changes in the company. Always remember your audience, too. Writing for email subscribers is a much different task than writing press releases or technical business information. Keep the writing conversational and fun.
In your email signup, give customers a chance to include their birthdays. Customers who receive birthday messages or special offerings for their personal holidays are likely to remain avid readers of your business newsletter. Think of your small business email list as a list of friends – the closer you become, the better your business.
Do NOT add email addresses without the request of the recipient. This is an automatic way to get identified as a spammer and lose credibility in the online world. The last thing you want for your small business is to end up in the junk email category.
With an understanding of what readers want from email updates, your business can keep a long list of devoted customers who appreciate your efforts to give them relevant and valuable information. As your long-term email list continues to expand, you can enjoy watching your business grow, too.