Email: From Hotmale.com to Honeypots
Whether your business is B-to-B, B-to-C or both, building an opt-in email database of your customers and prospects is of paramount importance. In the early days of the Internet, gaining opt-in email addresses was easy—people were excited to receive email. Unfortunately, that novelty has worn off. Just look at the meteoric growth and market valuation of Google and you'll see that acquiring new prospects and email addresses has become a very costly game.
Marketers should employ the following seven strategies to ensure their email database growth initiatives will result in the highest conversion rates with the most accurate email addresses.
1. What's In It for Them?
Make sure you give your customers a good reason to sign up. Offer a coupon, a sweepstakes entry or membership in an insider's club. Provide value and your customers will return the favor. Beyond your initial bribe, make sure every email you send offers subscribers a reason to continue opening your emails.
2. Reassure Customers
To get your customers' primary email addresses, they need to feel you're not going to abuse the privilege they're granting you. Explain how you're going to use their email addresses and how you'll protect their privacy. Have preference center choices on your sign-up page so people know they can manage frequency or opt-out of your list at any time. Finally, provide a sample visual so subscribers will recognize your email when they receive it.
3. Test Your Email
Play with your site's email sign-up form wherever it appears. Don't use your real email address—insert bogus or misspelled addresses. Experience it as a consumer. Check regularly to see if your form is easy to complete, makes your customers feel reassured, and whether it catches and corrects problematic and inadvertent entry errors in real time.