5 Ways to Build a Strong Email Marketing Foundation
3. Start building your email list. Now that you’ve put yourself firmly in your customers’ shoes, you’re ready to start building your opt-in email list. Opt-in means your customers understand that by signing up they're giving you permission to send them emails. In addition to name and email address, think about other information that could help you better target your email campaigns, such as the following:
- If your business is a restaurant, retail store (online or brick-and-mortar) or florist, gather birthday information.
- If you're a consultant or run a business services firm, include a check box for consumers to indicate that they'd like to learn more about your products and services as well as the topics, issues and challenges that interest your customers.
- Ask your customers how often they'd like to receive emails from you.
- Take every opportunity to gather customers’ email addresses and profile information by using all of the tools at your disposal, including quick-and-easy sign-up on your homepage, paper form sign-ups at retail store cash registers or a jar for customers to drop business cards in.
- Actively seek out people you want to reach by attending relevant trade shows and conferences, gathering business cards, asking for permission, and adding them to your list.
4. Create an email template that reflects your brand image. Email marketing service providers offer templates that are great for getting started. Choose a look and feel that reflects your business and brand image. If you have the time and resources, you can have a custom template created that matches your website and marketing collateral. You’ll also want to decide on the formatting and how content will be displayed. Leave plenty of room for images and graphics, and try to make the text concise, to the point and easy to scan.