Growing an email list and encouraging engaged contacts to interact with your digital marketing is vital to the success of your business, and your activities with the email channel. But how do you build a list organically without getting in trouble with that pesky G.D.P.R?
Email marketing remains one of the most popular forms of digital marketing, despite the continual discussion of it being dead. Most people say they would rather be contacted by brands via email than any other channel, and with the highest ROI of any digital marketing tactic, it's important to know how to make it work for you.
However, getting a strong, engaged database of email addresses is hard! List fatigue (where your existing customers get bored of your messages and disengage from you, resulting in the dreaded 'unsubscribe) is common. Encouraging new contacts on to lists, and ensuring that the content being sent is relevant to the audience being targeted is one way to prevent this. Acquisition is another.
The definition of acquisition
What does acquisition mean?
The process of persuading a consumer to sign into a company email send list and provide their permission to be contacted in this way.
Key concepts to follow when trying to grow a list
Email acquisition is relatively easy to do, once you get to grips with some basic rules and concepts.
Always ask for permission
Getting permission from your audience to send them marketing email is vital for everyone conducting their business in the UK or EU, with people from the UK or EU. Permission (also known as consent) allows you to send specific content to users without fear of legal repercussions over misuse of data, and safe in the knowledge that the person is interested in what is being sent to them.
Creating a preference center or sign-up boxes that capture permission for emails is a quick and easy way to ensure that you provide this opportunity for consent. Send your messages to the people who have explicitly said it's okay, and that they want to hear from you and you'll also ensure you send to people who are likely to buy from you! Remember, that consent can be removed at any time, so if you have someone unsubscribe, make sure you don't continue to email them!
Just because you have someone’s email address already (they may be a current customer as an example), does not mean that you should contact them whenever you like or with any old content. Not only is this dodgy from a data protection perspective, but it’s also assuming the contact wants to hear from you.
Think of your own email experiences, how do you feel when you are clumped in a send relating to something you have no interest in or didn’t request? It can be a bit annoying, right? This is the same for our contacts.
Asking whether someone would like to get your brilliantly crafted and carefully manicured content is just
polite, it also ensures your send list will be highly engaged and therefore more likely to click through purchase and continue to do so.
For many of us, the idea of having a small list can be quite scary. Don’t panic!
The average conversion % for people signing into a new email is roughly 4%. While that doesn’t sound a lot, you must remember that these people are the ones who have actively said they want your email, will actively open and click, and will be most interested in your sends. With email, it’s always better to live by the rule: Quality over Quantity!
Not only will this ensure you have much better engagement with your email, but you will be helping with wider deliverability issues, lowering the organisation's spam score, improving our customer relationships (no more please stop sending me stuff messages), and improving sender reputation across the board.
How to run an acquisition campaign
Acquisition works best for newsletters rather than single solus sends. This is because we want to start a relationship with our contacts which can’t be done via one message. All solus sends should be heavily targeted to the contacts who will find the content most interesting or relevant.
All new newsletters should run through a period of acquisition before they can be launched. This should start six weeks before the first email is sent. The acquisition process should be continued throughout the newsletter’s life cycle to encourage new users into the send. This could include segments you have contacted before who did not take you up on the offer who may now have changed their mind (leave at least four weeks between these types of sends).
It’s also important to remember that even though the acquisition is for an email project, email is not the only way to promote it. We regularly use elements such as promo boxes on the website, social media posts to sign up landing pages, banner advertising internally, sign up tick boxes at events plus loads more activity.
What if no one signs up?
Refer to key concept 3.
Unfortunately, even if your email is the best thing ever written on the internet, there will still be those who won’t want to receive it. Our contacts (selfishly) don’t care that we have targets to hit and won’t be happy to find they get an email that they already ignored the acquisition for.
We must respect that some people won’t want our messages, or else increase our efforts to sell the benefits of them signing up and what they would be missing out on should they not get involved.
Want to grow your email database?
If you're looking to grow your business through email marketing but aren't sure where to start or don't have the resource to dedicate, get in touch with me to discuss your requirements and see how I can help.
And why not check out more hints and tips related to marketing your business on social media.