Before you can start eMail marketing you need one critical component, your customers’ and/or prospects’ email addresses. Having all the latest email marketing tools, techniques and tips is useless unless you are able to send your email to your customers and prospects.
This eSuccess Tip addresses the basics of developing your email database and it provides some easy-to-use tips and ideas to help get you started.
First, you need to analyze where you are in the email collection continuum. We will refer to this as a continuum because you will constantly be working to increase the number of emails being collected.
The best way to start organizing your email database is to use Excel, it is a universal tool and most, if not all CRM tools or email distribution tools, are compatible with it. When you start compiling your database be sure to use separate columns for information, specifically, the first name and last name need to be in separate columns, allowing you to personalize your message when you are ready to send it.
We often say that content is king and with your database more is better, meaning the more information you can include in your record the greater number of options you will have later. For example, if you have the customer’s birth date, go ahead and include it, so you can automatically send them an eMail Birthday Card.
There are a number of ways for you to actively build your database:
- The fish bowl technique — just place a fish bowl by the checkout counter with an offer of a monthly drawing for a prize.
- Data capture forms — place a data capture form on each page of your web site, keeping in mind during the design process less is definitely more. Make sure you provide a reason for someone to subscribe, offering a monthly eNewsletter or service coupons etc.
- eMail Matching – where your customer records are cross matched with a huge email database. When a match is made and after permission has been requested, the email address will be added to your file. This process typically yields a 20% match rate, takes less than 3 weeks and it gets your email marketing program up and running quickly.
Once the email addresses are compiled, you will be on your way to reaching customers and growing your business. There are a myriad of new and exciting email tools available, but the first step is developing your email database.