Your house e-mail list – the list of people who subscribe on your web site – is your greatest asset. I surveyed 10 clients’ marketing campaigns over the last year. Their house e-mail lists performed best, even compared to search marketing or print direct mail.
Conversion Rates are higher:
And the value per visitor is higher:
Yet most clients I work with neglect their house list. They’re afraid to e-mail to that list and make their customers angry, or they simply feel they don’t have the time, or they’re not aware that it’s a gold mine.
Here are a few ways to grow and capitalize upon your house list:
- Invite past customers. If you have a huge database of customers who have not said ‘please e-mail me’, and you don’t want to assume, then send them an invitation: A polite e-mail letting them know you’ll be sending special offers and new product news, and asking them to click a link if they’d like to be included.
- Bribe people. Nothing works better than a bribe! Offer folks 10% off their next purchase if they subscribe. Give them a gift. Give them early access to deals and products that they otherwise wouldn’t get.
- Entertain them. One of my clients sends a link to their favorite cute animal YouTube video each week. Their subscribership has tripled.
- Educate. Make 1/2 or more of your e-mails purely informational. People are more likely to subscribe if they know they’ll get good information.
- Offer samples. Provide examples of past newsletters and offers on your site, so that folks can check the goods before they subscribe.l
- Make it easy. Let visitors subscribe to your newsletter during the checkout process. If you’re a services-based business or organization, let them subscribe when they register for something else, or as part of their login process.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. When I get a business card in a meeting or at a networking event (shudder – I hate those things) I ask if they’d like to receive my newsletter. I get more subscribers that way than any other.
- Facilitate whitelisting. On the ‘thank you’ page for your e-mail subscription process, invite the subscriber to add your newsletter’s e-mail address to their address book. That’ll let your e-mails past most spam filters, and insure that they see it when you send it.
- FTAF! Make sure every e-mail has a Forward To A Friend link, so that the addressee can send it on to others.
- Provide alternatives. Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, is starting to catch on as an alternative to e-mail. Make your newsletters available in an RSS feed. That lets the more technical folks review your latest news on their timetable.
Don’t neglect your house list! It’s a powerful resource that can make the difference between a good month and a great one. Your customers want to hear from you!