Selling the Sign-Up: Acquire Customers With an Invitation
It's always nice to receive a heartfelt invitation, even if your calendar is full and you can't make the event. Most of us feel a little glow when we get an invite; we love to be acknowledged and included. Commerce marketers can leverage this phenomenon when strategizing ways to organically acquire email subscribers.
Acquisition of new subscribers is a daily task for the commerce marketer, who may lose as many as 30 percent of subscribers yearly through the natural processes of attrition — i.e., unsubscribes, bouncebacks, bad addresses, even spam complaints. Since buying outside lists to supplement an in-house list is a poor substitute for organic list building, it falls to the marketer to find new ways to appeal to prospects and customers. One simple tip is to sell the sign-up. Make it a compelling, engaging and personal invitation to join the brand conversation. The key word here is "invitation."
Many brands treat email sign-up as a dreaded task. They make it hard to find the sign-up button, hiding it at the bottom of the page or relegating it to the Contact Us page. Fortunately, there's are easy fixes for this: place a sign-up button or icon in a prominent place on every web page; use pop-ups or pop-overs; and use color, placement, animation and other graphical enhancements to make your invitation appealing and compelling.
Another tip to inviting people in using email sign-ups is to take the opportunity to set expectations with the consumer — e.g., "Here's how much email you'll get from us." Include a sample email to show the consumer what future emails will look like, and take the opportunity to flex your visual appeal muscles. Most importantly, tell consumers what's in it for them, why receiving email from your brand will benefit them. This approach takes the opportunity to establish an emotional connection with the consumer, one that not only reinforces commitment to your brand but also opens an avenue to engage in a conversation with the consumer.
In our increasingly social online world, it's also prudent to invite in a consumer's friends and family. Leverage the consumer's natural tendency to buy based on recommendations. Let consumers sell your brand to their friends and family by giving them an incentive to share in savings or deals with an email sign-up.
And don't neglect social media when you're creating an invitation email sign-up strategy. Don't assume a "Like" on Facebook means that person is signed up for your email campaigns. Chances are fair that they don't even know you have an email program. Consumers who like your brand on Facebook have already signaled engagement with your brand, so invite them into a multichannel brand relationship using email.
Opportunities abound to grow your email list by inviting consumers to engage with your brand on the checkout page, by cross-promoting sign-ups with sister brands, and by including sign-up invites in packaging, at the point of sale in brick-and-mortar locations, even via text-to-join mobile campaigns.
Changing your approach to email opt-ins by treating sign-ups as an invitation to engage with your brand elevates the sign-up from an "ask" to a valued interaction. Sign-ups are more than a transaction; they're an invitation to engage with your brand at a deeper level. Invite consumers in and make them part of your brand family.
For more tips on acquiring email subscribers, download chapter 1 of the Bronto Commerce Connections e-book.