You have probably heard of the importance of building a solid email list of subscribers. Social media is a great way to reach your customers, but with email, you always own your subscriber list, and no algorithm change is going to make it more difficult to reach them, as it can be with Facebook or other social media platforms.
But for your email campaigns to be successful, they need to reach your customers. Under current laws, this means that you need to have permission to email your list.
Understand Why Permission Is Important
Permission based email marketing is important because companies which spam people can be fined under current laws. But there’s a bigger reason to make sure you have permission to email. Permission based email means that you will see significantly higher open and action rates as your recipients have given you the permission, and are probably expecting your emails. This means, your email marketing campaign will be more successful in general.
When people want to hear from you, they’re going to be more interested in hearing what you have to say.
Implied Permission Versus Express Permission
So how do you get permission to email current and potential customers? There are two types of permission: implied and express.
Implied permission means that customers have an established business relationship with you. They are current clients or customers, do regular business with you, or have frequent contact with you. This implies that they want to hear company news and deals.
Express permission is the most valuable type of permission for businesses. Express permission means that customers deliberately opt-in to receiving your emails. This is the best kind of permission to have; customers specifically say that they’re ready and waiting for your communication.
So how do you get express permission?
Offer Something In Exchange
Right now, one of the most common ways to get express permission is to offer something in exchange. For e-commerce sites, this could be a special discount or coupon code good for this purchase. For other sites, it could be a white paper or ebook detailing something important about the industry or product you’re selling.
Understanding your audience is key here. If you sell clothing, a coupon might entice customers to make a purchase, but an ebook about how to combine colors and patterns might be even more useful.
A simple website sign-up form is a classic way to get permission to email your customers. If you use this method, make sure to have solid landing pages that are action based, enticing customers to learn more about your services. That said, this method of capturing email addresses needs to be carefully placed in order to catch customer attention. We’re all used to sign-up boxes, and they may blend into the background.
Instead of relying on just a box field, use a call to action at the end of your landing page text to urge customers to sign up for your newsletter. Make sure to remind them of the benefits of doing so.
Check Box While Ordering
For a long time, when you placed an order with any company, you would automatically be signed up for email newsletters. Now, that box tends to be available, but left empty. Companies need to opt-in. While this is a classic method of gathering emails, businesses should look on it as an add-on, not a primary method of gathering email addresses.
Stay Up To Date On Regulations
Customers are frustrated by the growing number of unsolicited emails they receive, commonly referred to as spam. The situation has gotten bad enough that some governments have begun to tighten regulations on how emails and website cookies are maintained. Many businesses find that abiding by the tightest set of restrictions is simpler than trying to organize information by customer location. Here is a guide to ensure your marketing is compliant with the GDPR regulations of the EU.
Make Leaving Easy
If your customers don’t find what they want on your newsletter, it’s important that they be able to unsubscribe simply and quickly. This may sound counterintuitive, but remember that your goal is to increase open rates and actionability. If customers don’t open your emails, you’re not getting what you want. Worse, customers may begin to mark your emails as spam.
What may not be obvious is that every time someone marks an email as spam, their email provider takes note. If enough emails are marked as spam, your emails may start going directly to the spam folder – even for your legitimate and interested customers.
Helping customers opt out just as easily as they opt in is good business.
Set Up a Lead Generation Funnel
Also, your email marketing campaigns should be in sync with the rest of your marketing efforts. In this regard, setting up a good lead generation funnel would be a good idea.
Double Check Your Email Automation
Email automation is widely used in the digital marketing world, and an often touted best practice for email marketing. While automation is a standard in the industry, it’s important to make sure that your campaigns are properly segmented. Segmenting your campaigns will ensure that your customers aren’t receiving too many emails. Make sure your segments don’t overlap, causing several customers to get the messages at the same time. This is the easiest way to end up in a customer’s spam folder.
So double check all of your automation workflows. Make sure there’s enough delay in between emails, and go through your own automation workflow yourself before you add customers to it.
Permission based marketing helps companies build an audience of engaged, excited consumers who are likely to see and enjoy their newsletters and emails. Targeting email to a tight, focused audience group is much more effective than sending an email to everyone in the world and hoping that a few hundred decide to act.