The continuous gamification of digital marketing and the pursuit of instant gratification on from both the consumer and business side has seen a focus on digital advertising shift to conversion driven tactics as opposed to audience growth.
Advertising spend on text and display ads to drive last click conversions have been so intensely focused on that other marketing channels have had to take a backseat. A mistake I feel many digital businesses are making and seeing them burn through their runway with high CAC (customer acquisition cost).
Don’t get me wrong paid search and paid social media are powerful tools but having to pay a 3rd party everytime you want to reach your audience isn’t a sustainable business model for most.
Building your own audience
What digital businesses need to do is build up their own audiences over time and use paid tools to try and keep the churn rate healthy. This is where email and CRM become an important part of your strategy. In all honesty, I would much rather have 10 email addresses than 1000 followers on any of my social media channels.
So how do you start building up an audience? You’ve already got your standard newsletter sign-ups on your site but it’s not doing much. Then maybe its time to be a little smarter about how you recruit users. Check out these 10 tips on how to get more leads from your current website traffic.
Note: If you’re only starting out with email sign ups then I suggest you check out this post instead 12 Tactics To Gather More Email Sign Ups
Do you have a blog, forum or product review section of your site? Do you allow for comments? Why not add an add your email address to our database option and passively gain additional email addresses each time a new user comment or provides a response.
Protip: If your site is categorized based on interests you can also segment that email address into interest groups
Probably the most basic way to punt your email sign up but man does it work. Everyone wants to be first in line, they want to get the deals before they are sold out or have first option to say no, its the way the mind of the consumer has been wired through years of marketing.
So I say work it to your advantage and play into this trend. Have an exclusive offers segment and punt it to users who are the hungriest of the hungry hippos and I’m pretty sure they’ll love you for it.
If you don’t always have great sales or your product isn’t something you often discount you can look at offering value ads in the form of content. Instead of just offering blog posts, you could offer video or podcast material to those who are part of your exclusive membership database.
Those who feel that kind of content would be better suited to the way they interact and learn would be all too happy to sign up for exclusive media.
Proving value is what keeps users signed up to your email database and you don’t always have to force products, sales and discounts down their throat. Showing off the fact that you’re an authority in certain fields and provide helpful content is also a great way to engage with your database and showcase relevancy as a business.
Interest-based content emails may take time to produce but a monthly mail per category is the minimum you should be looking at if you are to take this strategy seriously.
This one is a no-brainer, in my opinion, running competitions bi-weekly or monthly to help give your natural sign up rate a little spike. This can also help generate interest in your brand and leverage partnerships without looking like a desperate giveaway site.
Point me to a customer who doesn’t love a perceived discount that has already been factored into your margin and I’ll show you a liar. Customers love coupons, they offer you a way to offer additional value without reducing the perceived value of the product or service being purchased.
Early access to discounts
Urgency is the key winner here. If you’re a retailer you’ll know that there is a certain subset of your client base that doesn’t like to miss out when a discount comes around.
They may not always buy but they will always sign up and often notify a friend of a good deal. Having an early access to discounts segmented mail you send out an hour before your mass mail can make all the difference in helping you secure more sign-ups.
If you already have a database of active users why not encourage those who already derive benefit from your email service to act as ambassadors for your brand and get their friends to sign up.
Referral programs may seem like a played out service but they make for a great way to passively grow your database while keeping current users happy through small incentives.
The world is a busy place filled with distractions and perhaps users don’t always have time to read or follow through with their actions. If you provide users with a way remind me service where they can take content from your side provide an email address and have it sent to them to check out later.
Protip: This tactic works well as a prompt when a user’s browser has timed out.
If you’ve got a larger more mature audience as larger brands often do then you may want to step it up a notch. You can combine incentives like early access, discounts, coupons, exclusive content and competitions into a loyalty program with clear benefits.
Leveraging a number of tactics as one offering may be an easier way to entice users to sign up.
Keep your customers
I hope these strategies have sparked some ideas and you realise the value of keeping hold of your own customers. Instead of depending on Facebook and Google to get you leads, use them to build your own database and start creating a marketing flywheel that churns out profits over time.
Gathering emails is only half the battle, setting up messaging that will keep your database coming back is the other half. If you’re stuck for ideas I recommend you check out our post 10 Emails Every eCommerce Site Should Have
If you want to know more about email marketing for your site, don’t be shy we’re happy to assist. Simply contact us