Small businesses have both an advantage and disadvantage when it comes to growing an email list.
The disadvantage is that they need to work a lot harder to get their name out there and find potential customers. They don’t have the advantage of lots of money to spend and occupy the paid headlines on the most popular channels out there.
That being said, there are a lot of advantages to having a small business and growing an email list. The marketing teams in small businesses are usually a lot smaller and agile whereas large corporations have an entire department and take a long time to try new things and shift directions. It’s like the difference between steering a cruise ship versus a jetski. Also with the way social media has swept the world, there are many channels that really only cost your time and creativity when reaching a new customer base like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Here are some ideas how small businesses can grow their email list with relatively low costs:
1. Make subscribing easy and obvious
Make your sign-up form obvious and easy to find. There are a lot of different applications (Wufoo) to build custom forms that can be embedded on webpages and others that can be widgets on the sidebar of websites. Don’t include more than one or two things for new subscribers to enter. Anything more than a name and email can keep people from submitting their information.
2. Don’t forget to Socialize
There are an increasing number of social media plugins these days. In just a couple minutes you can easily put a call-to-action on your cover photo of your facebook page and people can sign up for your email list without leaving facebook. Also make sure to include posts of useful content on your social media channels and when people click through to the content, make sure they see a subscribe form. You can also include social icons directly in your emails to increase social engagement with one simple click.
3. Human Interaction Still Wins
If you have a physical location or when taking part in conferences, it’s easy enough to get people to write down names, or even easier, bring an ipad and have people sign up right at your booth or in person. Then they will feel connected to you on a personal level and have a face to attach with the emails they will be receiving.
4. Be Useful!
Products and solutions don’t exist in a vacuum, businesses exist because they solve a problem. Extrapolate upon that and go a bit further and be a guide not just a solution. Doing so builds trust with prospective customer and offering that in the form of an e-book for a b2b or style guide for a fashion clothing ecommerce site for example. These can bring interested people to signing up for an email list because they want to learn more from you. Just avoiding barraging your list with constant emails. No one likes overeager emails that amount to nothing more than spam, thus when signing up it is best to give people an idea of how often they will be emailed.
5. Offer Email-Exclusive Specials
Creating email exclusive specials for your product or service will compel interested parties to subscribe to your newsletter. This works well with ecommerce stores to grow a email list fast by offering a discount or products only available to subscribers.
According to Hubspot, Email databases degrade by 22.5% every year
. That means people drop off because they get rid of business emails, change their gmail or yahoo accounts or simply unsubscribe. It’s always important to refresh your database list a couple times a year to ensure your database isn’t being clogged with unused emails so you can accurately monitor the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.
The most successful companies are the ones that provide a personal connection with their customer. Sending a quick message when they first join your mailing list can be a catalyst for a continued dialog between you and your customer.
However, sending a highly designed email automatically when they sign up doesn’t necessarily elicit a personal connection. It can come across as programmatic, creating distance between you and a subscriber on the first touch. The alternative is to send an email directly from your gmail or email client to the new subscriber which will definitely be a more personalized touch that savvy subscribers will recognize. That may be possible when you have a couple subscribers each day, but once you get into the hundreds it’s just not possible to email everyone every day.
Sendicate’s new bare email feature allows you to bridge that gap and automate emails that appear to be personalized to spark a personal relationship between your brand and subscribers easily without continued effort. You can write a simple welcome message in Sendicate, using the Bare email template and then automate it to be sent immediately each time someone new signs up. In the email you ran let the new subscriber know they can reach out directly to you and sign off with your name and email instead of a firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Studies have shown bare emails have a higher engagement rate when used on the first touch and people tend to respond to those much more than a formatted HTML email.
Below are instructions with screenshots to help you get started with setting up this type of email autoresponder:
1. Start from compose and type in a subject line and a list. If you’re automating it for new subscribers, select options and then automate email to include the ‘event’ and ‘when’ options. Choose the event that triggers the email and the time you want the email to be sent out after the trigger. You’re able to customize the ‘when’ parameter to suit your business needs.
2. Next you can select ‘one column’ or ‘headline’ to write your email in. I chose headline, leaving the heading clear and writing your message in the subheading area.
3. Next go to preview email below where you wrote your text. On the choose design drop-down menu select the ‘Bare’ option from default designs.
4. The preview should pop up with the bare email design as displayed below.
It’s that simple and you’re ready to go. Just click send emails from the preview screen after you test send one to yourself and they will start going out when people subscribe to your newsletter, download an ebook or whatever trigger you set.
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In the email marketing world, everyone is competing to capture a reader’s attention in just a second or two. Subject lines fall under the microscope most often and numerous studies have shown a/b tests that prove simple word placement can have a double digit impact on open rates. Below the subject line is another important attribute of an email that often goes ignored. It’s the email snippet text. Snippet text is taken from the first line of an HTML email and without customization is an opportunity lost to bolster the strength of the subject line. Email marketers often waste this space by failing to customize it and the default appears as “Click here to view in browser” or worse “This image cannot be displayed”.
The snippet appears differently between, mobile, outlook, gmail, etc. but in each one of them it is an opportunity to entice readers to engage with your email.
Sendicate has created an email snippet preview section that allows users to quickly customize their snippet text to align the messaging with their subject line and increase open rates for customers. It’s easy to use and can be accomplished in less than a minute when creating a new email.
Below are screenshots showing how to customize an email preview snippet within Sendicate:
1. Start with composing a new message. Input your list and your subject line.
2. Create your email as usual. Here I made a simple two column email.
3. Then go down to compose another section and click on the ‘more options’ button in the top right. In the drop-down menu, click on email preview snippet.
4. Here is the section that goes to the top of the email composition page.
5. Simply type in the text line what you want your email preview snippet to say when the email arrives in your reader’s inbox after the subject line.
6. Here is an example of a test email sent to a gmail inbox. You can see the email snippet text after the subject line.
In just a few seconds you can customize your email preview snippet and increase the engagement rates for your email marketing campaigns.
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Sendicate has built a new user-friendly way to create automated emails in just a few minutes. Perfect for quickly setting up multiple email drip campaigns.
Using the new automated email feature, businesses can create email campaigns based on actions users take on their website. For instance, if a visitor subscribes to your newsletter, you can prepare an email and automate emails for those sign-ups to occur immediately, a day after, or however long you want after an action is taken. You can build this out to create drip campaigns that will send a series of emails when a new user signs up. With so many custom options, the campaigns can be catered to your specific business needs. Now you can keep your subscribers engaged with your brand over a longer period of time, automagically.
Below is a series of screenshots taking you through the set-up process.
Under options on the far right side, select automated email to begin the process of setting up an automated email campaign.
This screenshot below shows the compose page where users can set the event and time delay for the email to be sent after the said event has taken place. Here you set the subject line and the sent from fields.
There are many pre-set options to time your email after an event has taken place. If none of the presets suit your needs, you can choose a custom one as well.
You can choose the event that must occur for the automated emails to trigger. Whenever a subscriber signs up for your newsletter on your website, using this feature, a sendicate-template email will then be sent. How long after this event occurs, depends on the time option selected above.
Once all the fields are filled in to determine who is being sent the email and when, you can go ahead and build the email with one of Sendicate’s many templates. After you’ve built your email, just make it live. Any new subscribers who join will start receiving it.
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Crest & Co uses Sendicate to send emails featuring their merchants and the exceptional quality they build into each product on their site. They utilize the dynamic and simple design from Sendicate to maintain a consistent brand style from email to website exuding their clean and refined feel. The emails look great on a desktop or a mobile.
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