Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2015-02-04
An overwhelming majority of your customers and prospects want to welcome your marketing messages into their email inboxes, according to the findings of a new survey by Marketing Sherpa. The study results revealed that seven out of 10 (72 percent) U.S. adults prefer that businesses reach out to them via email.
The takeaway is clear: not only should you be certain that your email marketing content is dialed in to the interests, needs and wants of your subscribers, but you also better be absolutely sure that your email list is in order. In fact, when it comes right down to it, there might not be any data more valuable to your marketing program than your email data.
But for SMBs that lack the in-house resources of their larger competitors, the care and feeding of an email database may also represent one of the greatest marketing challenges. How can you rock your email list like a pro? Focus on these two things:
- Strive for Precision and Quality: It pays to have a scrubbed and cleansed email list. Accurate data is one thing — to ensure that your messages are arriving where they should. But marketers also need to pay close attention to the insight that email data provides. According to an article in DMNews, “collecting subscriber information during the acquisition process allows marketers to create buyer profiles and segment subscribers to provide more relevant content.”
The data points you accumulate – whether through registrations on your website, opt-in forms, customer acquisition or other means — should drive your content. And you should serve up a variety of content, depending on where the prospect is at in their relationship lifecycle with your organization. Are they a new customer or an existing customer? Are they on the fence about a purchase? Are they ready for a product refresh? Are they the buyer or are they influencer in the purchase decision?
When building your email list, be sure to also collect the relevant data you need to segment your lists so that you can best address your prospects’ needs and tailor your content accordingly. DMNews saysmore data is better: When it comes to building the registration forms to acquire data for your email lists, “asking consumers to fill out more than the usual two to four fields may make marketers feel like they’re scaring away potential leads.” While this may result in fewer leads overall, DMNews says that it will “result in more qualified leads, which will in turn drive more conversion.”
- Go for Growth: It’s always a good idea to expand your reach, find new prospects and increase awareness of your company and products in the market. And growing your email list is one way to get started in that direction. According to a study reported in Marketing Profs, some 43% of survey respondents say requiring registration to access parts of their website is one of the most effective tactics they use to get email addresses, and 42% say requiring an email address to download certain content is one of the most effective tactics.” Other approaches marketers use to build out their email lists include “promoting upcoming events (30% rate as one of the most effective tactics they use), social media (29%), the purchase process (22%), paid search campaigns (20%), email forward-to-a-friend (14%), and call center/in-store email capture (11%),” says Marketing Profs.
Many SMBs are also turning to email data acquisition. A reputable email data provider allows you to grow your email list by selecting and pursuing business contacts data based on geographic location, organization size, executive title, industry and more. Once you license email data from a preferred provider, and a recipient opts into your mailings or purchases a product or service from you, the data associated with that contact becomes your owned data. Owned data of this kind is extremely valuable to businesses, and is critical for email campaigns, email retargeting, permission-based “relationship marketing” programs and more.
Paying close attention to your email data every step of the way – as you engage with customers and prospects over the lifecycle of your relationship with them — is what separates the good marketers from the great ones. So make it a point today to give your email list the time and care it deserves. The payoff will be more than worth it.
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