Updated: Sep 7
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach out to your customers. It helps with engagement and increases repeat orders from existing customers. Further, it helps spread relevant information and the latest updates about products and events to a targeted audience with high conversion.
However, an email marketing campaign is only as successful as the list you begin with. A highly engaged list with the right buyers on it can help you increase repeat purchases even without spending heavily on ads.
In this blog, we tell you how you can build and maintain an email list to help your D2C brand reach out to and connect with customers.
1. How to build your Email List ?
One of the best ways to get people to sign up for your newsletter is through pop-ups. They are a great way to catch the viewer’s attention, inform them of your offering, and present incentives. Further, smart pop-ups can be deployed to display the latest offers, new launches, and updates to existing services, catching the customer’s intrigue.
The sudden appearance of pop-ups more often than not draws the attention of customers, improving the odds of the customers noticing what your newsletter offers and how signing up can benefit them. One thing to note, however- ensure that these pop-ups aren’t intrusive. Some pop-ups look just fine on a desktop but can be impossible to close or interact with on a phone. Irritating pop-ups can instantly put people off.
If you truly want to go the extra mile with pop-ups, consider making them very specific to your target audience. Not everyone wants a discount to convert- some might just need a bit more information, and a newsletter is a great place to provide just that.
Add Sign-up options at checkout
Adding a sign-up option at the checkout window helps customers feel more comfortable with sharing their information. As the customer shares their personal information for delivery purposes, they feel safer while subscribing to the newsletter. Further, any promotions and discounts received at the checkout window further incentivize customers to get updates on the latest offers. A good practice here is to give customers the option to opt into the newsletter. Usually, at the checkout page, the newsletter checkbox comes prefilled, but asking your customer for permission ensures that they open your emails most of the time.
Giveaways are some of the most attractive offerings to get people to sign up for a newsletter. Giveaways gamify and incentivize the newsletter’s experience, and persuade more customers to sign up and read your newsletter regularly. This improves readership as customers remain eager for freebies, and allows you to share relevant marketing content with them too. How can you host a giveaway to get people on to your email list? Host a game that needs people to subscribe to the newsletter in order to win. For example, you can conduct an email treasure hunt of sorts where every day, there’s a new clue hidden in the newsletter. You can then promote the contest widely on social media with an option to sign up for the newsletter.
This way, apart from building a good email list, you also warm it up sufficiently for future email campaigns.
2. How to maintain your Email List and keep it active
While building an email list may seem tricky, maintaining one is even harder. Should your newsletter prove irrelevant or uninteresting to the customers, they are likely to unsubscribe. Here are a few ways to keep your email list healthy and active.
Give your email subscribers early-access benefits
A key reason for customers to sign up for newsletters is to get information about discounts. This can be used as an opportunity to offer exclusive discounts to your subscribers and promote readership. Incentivizing the subscription will yield better readership and prevent customers from opting out of the mailing list.
Keep cleaning/ updating the data
Customers expect your newsletter to contain relevant information that is likely to help them with their shopping experience. Hence, you must deliver the latest updates such as new arrivals, discounts, promotions, and giveaways through your newsletter. This helps customers stay in touch with your brand and improve reader activity. Whenever someone unsubscribes from one mail series, ensure that you capture their preferences accurately. Did they mean to unsubscribe just from that one email list, or all of your communication? Over time, keep cleaning out customers who haven’t engaged with you for over a year. This way, you avoid email bloat and wrongly assuming that you have a larger email pool than you actually do.
Send out relevant communication
When done well, a monthly newsletter can be extremely effective in communicating brand value, and also helping you stay on top of your consumer’s mind. For example, The Wishing Chair started a weekly newsletter during the pandemic called the Delights of Distraction, which understands the lockdown mood and includes recommendations on what to bake, read, or listen to. The key to building a good newsletter, of course, is to have something valuable to say. Next, at the sales level, follow-up emails after a purchase can be used to gather feedback, or even to suggest products that make for good cross-selling opportunities. Remember to keep the frequency low, so as to not irritate your paying customer.
3. Understanding what not to do
Building and maintaining an Email list requires careful attention towards your readers and the results of the content that you distribute. Even the smallest of errors can wreak havoc on your mailing list. Therefore, here are some things that you must avoid doing at all costs to keep your email list healthy.
No sharing without clear consent
When building an email list, only share your newsletter with people who have expressed their clear consent to subscribe to it. Sharing newsletters with people who have not subscribed to it will likely result in your newsletter being marked as spam and diluting your brand value. Further, mailing service providers may begin to blacklist you and automatically send your newsletter to the spam folder.
Avoid data purchase or sharing agreements
The email list must comprise only genuine subscribers who have given clear consent to receive such information. When building a list, refrain from reaching out to third parties to purchase mailing lists and other customer data. This is likely to result in getting your newsletter marked as spam and can even get you blacklisted by email service providers.
Similarly, avoid sharing the information of your customers with other parties at all costs to respect their privacy and cultivate trust.
Do not spam lost subscribers
Once a customer has unsubscribed from your newsletter, remove the customer from your mailing. If an unsubscribed customer continues to receive your newsletter, they are likely to mark it as spam or blacklist you. This is not only a violation of their consent but also dilutes your brand value.
4. The right tools
It is critical that you use a reliable email marketing tool to manage your campaign. Tools such as Mailchimp, HubSpot Email Marketing, and SendInBlue, can help you manage your email list, integrate them with CRM software and optimize your newsletter and delivery based on the requirements of a product, campaign, or event.
Here is how email marketing tools can help you improve your campaign:
A marketing tool can help you understand the performance of your campaign. This helps you understand where you need to focus your efforts, which customers are likely to convert, and which information draws the most engagement.
These tools can help you optimize your newsletter to ensure that it does not land in the spam folder of your customers. When your newsletter lands in the spam folder it affects readership while also diluting the brand value.
When your mailing list is integrated with a CRM solution it can help you understand your customer base. This allows you to tweak your marketing campaign, add context to your newsletters and improve engagement with your customers.
Email marketing is one of the oldest digital marketing techniques, however, it is still an evolving domain and the rules around privacy are changing every day. Before starting a campaign consult experts, create a roadmap, and understand the goals that you are trying to achieve through the campaigns to yield successful results.