While it’s true that social media is still relatively shiny and new in terms of internet years, most of us are actually spending more of our time checking email.
Yes. It’s been around a long time, and though it’s not changed much, it remains stable, reliable, and constant. In fact, when it comes to email marketing, social media can hardly compete. Email has no algorithms controlling who sees which ads, and the content stays in the user’s inbox until they decide to delete it.
While social media is where people go to connect with friends and to be entertained, email is where they expect to see things related to business, one of them being e-commerce. People expect to see things like ads and offers and coupons, and if the content being sent to them adds value, they’re more likely to click on it to check it out further. The return on investment (ROI) on email marketing in the United States is $44.00 to every $1.00 spent, and we’re not just talking large, well-known marketers and brands.
Creating an Email List at POS
Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) find a lot of success through email marketing as well. Perhaps one of the best ways to begin creating and building an email list is at the point of sale (POS). While reaching out to potential customers through social media seems like a great way to brand yourself, and it isn’t a bad idea, what’s important to keep in mind is that you own your email list. Social media platforms control who sees your ads and when. Your email list is yours, and you can control it however you choose.
You can build your list at the POS by gathering customer information and importing it into an email service provider (ESP), such as MailChimp. You can also import email addresses you’ve already collected in other software, like your customer relationship management (CRM) software or your customer support software. If you ask to email receipts to customers when you’re interacting with them in a physical location, be sure to import those email addresses into your ESP as well. And if you’re using a mobile app at the POS on an iPad, you can use MailChimp Subscribe to assist you.
If you have an e-commerce site, be sure that you’re not only using it to make sales, but also to help you build your email list. Again, utilize an ESP like MailChimp, along with e-commerce plugins, to make this simpler. A pretty effective way to gather email addresses online is to offer an opt-in such as a free giveaway, coupon, or discount.
Loyalty, donations, and contests
Loyalty programs have become another option for building an email list at the POS. Depending on how your loyalty program is run, perhaps earning points or building up a dollar amount, it can be a large incentive for customers to exchange their email address for deeper discounts or free products or services.
Another thing to consider is appealing to your customers’ philanthropic side. Depending on the causes that your business aligns itself with, you may have buyers who want to be part of helping to support those organizations. You can let them know that for each email address you receive, you’ll be donating a certain amount of money.
The chance of winning something has never gone out of style. A good old-fashioned raffle is another way to gather email addresses. Consider giving away free products or gift cards to incentivize people who may not otherwise make it on your list.
Use social to drive email
Now, I know that we said that email marketing is significantly more effective than social media, however, you’ll still want to use social media as a way to drive traffic back to your site. You can use customizable, auto-generated sign-up forms wherever you have an online presence. Check with your ESP to see what social media tools they employ to assist you in growing your email list.
Don’t be a spammer
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that once you have obtained a customer’s email address, be sure to respect it. Send only content that adds value, and be sure not to abuse the amount of times that you are showing up in their inbox. Because of its effectiveness and reliability, growing your email list at the POS can be one of the best ways to ensure your brand’s presence in the minds of your customers.
You can read more of Jessica's articles on the TechnologyAdvice website.