E-mail: Go Organic
Smarter List Building: An Organic Append
All marketers must continue to cultivate relationships and grow their customer bases, so appending lists is a necessity. How they approach these appends determines not only their reputations, but their success as well.
While the purchase option is available, the best e-mail append is the natural one. Adding e-mail addresses to your database with proper permissions increases your organization's credibility and effectiveness.
If a marketer's house list doesn't have e-mail information, there are several ways to ask customers to opt in to e-mail contact. Marketers should view every interaction with customers as a natural opportunity to begin a dialogue that can continue through opt-in e-mail.
Once the initial list is established, marketers should consider building their e-mail lists organically to get more customers to join through proper opt-in steps and permission channels:
• First, define the natural transaction point to collect information—including during an online transaction, via a seminar sign-up sheet or when filling out a request for information—gaining the customer's attention while she is already focused on the business.
Miracle Method of Columbus, a Grove City, Ohio, franchise of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based surface restoration company with more than 100 locations nationwide, decided to include the e-mail address as part of the information it collected for a work order, a natural place in the transaction to ask for such contact data. Once it had collected the information, Miracle Method started two-way dialogues with those who provided their e-mail addresses, asking them for feedback and reviews after a service was rendered.
• Think of instances during other customer interactions that will generate natural collection of e-mails from customers. Place a sign-up form on the homepage that asks users to enter their e-mail addresses to receive future communications. For online purchases, include an opt-in field on the order form to be included on the e-mail list. In person, ask customers if they want to be contacted via e-mail at the point of purchase. Include e-mail subscription information on all printed materials, including print advertising and direct mail. And don't forget to ask during customer service calls and at trade shows and networking events.