From eCommerce sellers to brick and mortar stores, from bestselling authors to niche bloggers, and from politicians to celebrities—building an email list has been at the crux of all forms of success for years.
An email list is a database of users who are past or potential consumers for your product, service, or offerings. Generally, these individuals have voluntarily given you their email in exchange for something, such as a promotional deal or the promise of informational content. In this way, a quality email list generally compiles those users that have already shown interest in your company.
Email lists are used for business growth because they work to cultivate a strong, loyal customer base. They are a versatile asset that can be used to launch new products, share content, run promotions, and get your brand name consistently in front of consumers. They’re also a more private form of marketing since you are delivering information about your brand and product directly to the consumers’ inbox; thus, you’ve already got a leg-up over competitors with regards to exposure.
Some individuals believe that email marketing has died and been replaced with social media advertising. However, time and time again this is proven not to be the case. In fact, email marketing is still, to this day, one of the most important, efficient, and growing forms of communicative marketing for exponential business growth. Here’s why.
Why Is An Email List Important?
According to EmailExpert, every $1 spent on email marketing generates $44.25. This is one of the highest returns on investment for any form of marketing.
If that doesn’t convince you, here are 8 other reasons that holding and expanding an email list is vital to business growth.
1. Consistent client book
Email has remained virtually consistent since its inception in the 1970s, except that it has grown in popularity and usage. In fact, Radicati reports that in 2015 there were nearly 2.6 billion email users, with an expected increase to over 2.9 billion by the end of 2019. Almost everyone has an email address.
Some people say Facebook and Instagram ads are the marketing of the future. While it’s true that these social media platforms have seen a significant growth in “sponsored” posts, email marketing is and will remain consistent. If Facebook were to go out of business tomorrow, you would still have an email client book with whom you could communicate. You are not locked into the rules, privacy settings, or changing trends of third-party platforms.
2. Quality client book
Generally, email lists are comprised of those who voluntarily give you their email because they are interested in what you have to offer. They gave you permission to contact them, so you already have some influence in their sphere. You are not throwing ads out to a group of people, hoping that a few will bite. This saves money on advertising and warrants a higher return on investment.
3. Low cost
Even the highest quality marketing campaigns can be cheaper than other forms of traditional print and online marketing. Often, email marketing only includes a copywriter, a graphics designer, and an app or email service to run and track the campaign. These create a steady and predictable cost for every run. Ultimately, it costs a lot less money to keep an email campaign functioning.
4. Low time investment
Similarly, email campaigns are quick and easy to build. You write the email, come up with the graphics, link it to your site or product, and track the response. Most emails only take a few hours to launch.
5. Real-time marketing
Do you have a “Today’s Deals” on Amazon going on right now? You can quickly send your customers an email directing them to the promotion. Do you have a launch coming up? You can keep your email list up to date with launch dates, special promotions, and availability of products. Email marketing allows you to have more frequent communications with your customers without seeming intrusive.
6. Customer and ROI tracking
You can directly link a customer’s email to their other information to create a strong database of users. This allows you to separate consumers into categories based on what they buy, how they buy, and even when they buy. With the right email marketing service, you can directly track the movements, conversions, and behaviors of your consumers.
In a similar fashion, you can also track click-through rates, conversions, sales, user engagement, and return on investment. This is often a more reliable form of tracking returns since sales and conversions can be directly traced with click-throughs and cookies.
7. Test marketing
This tracking of customers and ROI allows for the strongest form of test marketing. Plus, email marketing is quick and low-cost, and it can be separated into consumer categories; so it’s a great way to “test the waters” when it comes to advertising and product promotion.
For example, many email list builders will send an email with one graphic to a small group of users and send the same email with a different graphic to another set of users. Then, they can track which graphic had a better success and conversion rate so they can send that out to the larger email group.
8. Environmentally friendly
At HomeRev, we believe in sustainable marketing just as much as we believe in sustainable products. Email marketing saves money on paper, ink, and energy—which is just as great for the environment as it is for your business!
How Do You Grow A Quality Email List?
First, it’s important to note that Amazon does not allow you to solicit emails and build your list through the Amazon Seller platform. When someone purchases a product from you on Amazon, those are Amazon’s customers—not yours. In this way, Amazon retains all of their data, and you are only given limited information about customer service issues and general tracking.
It is also prohibited to ask Amazon customers for their email at any point, and you cannot link to your website or social media anywhere on your listing. (Learn more about the don’ts of Amazon optimization here.)
1. Use opt-in forms on your website.
Firstly, you should have your own website separate from Amazon. (We tend to recommend Shopify for website design. Check out HomeRev’s Managed Services to learn more about Shopify website design and management.) Even if you only sell primarily on Amazon, for the time being, having a separate website is a great way to develop a brand identity that will attract and retain loyal customers. A separate website is also a way to grow traffic outside of the Amazon walls.
On your website, make it easy for potential customers to subscribe to your list. Put opt-in forms on every page with bright, creative, eye-catching sign-up boxes. You can even integrate the subscription form on your social media. The more consumers have access to sign up, the more likely they will subscribe when they realize how great your brand is.
If you are selling products on your own website—not just on Amazon—be sure to make email subscription part of the checkout process. This is where most brands gather their email lists.
2. Give your subscribers options.
How are you going to be using your email list? Will you be providing blog posts and content, monthly newsletters, weekly rundowns, product launches, or promotional deals? If you are using a mixture of the above, you can allow your email subscribers to decide what kind of content they are most interested in receiving. You can then create lists and groups so you can appropriately target your email campaigns.
3. Offer a freebie.
People usually don’t want to give out their email with nothing in return. Instead, offer them something great delivered to their inbox immediately. This is more likely to get them to subscribe, and it will also provide them with some sort of lasting value with regards to your brand. This freebie can be some sort of guide or informational download, a coupon code, or even exclusive access to a new product.
Whatever the case may be, make a new subscriber feel special. In the same vein, it is important to let your subscribers know—in clear and concise language—the long-term benefits that they would get if they would sign up for your email list.
4. Choose a quality email service.
There are a lot of companies out there who can help you build an email list. However, this can be incredibly expensive. If you are a small business, consider using a service like MailChimp or MadMimi, which helps you track your email marketing campaigns at a low cost. MailChimp tends to be the most common because they have significant features like customization, multiple RSS to email campaigns, extensive tracking features, and AMZPromoter integration.
5. Try AMZPromoter.
AMZPromoter creates landing pages that are meant to convert users from shoppers to purchasers. They deliver automated coupon codes to your Amazon pages, allowing you to run multiple third-party promotional campaigns at one time. You can also advertise your own website’s landing page through AMZPromoter, which can help boost traffic and encourage subscriptions through an email opt-in form. Once consumers have entered their email to receive the coupon, they are then redirected to Amazon to purchase. AMZPromoter is a solid way to build your Amazon-related prospect list and then convert those prospects into purchasers.
6. Write an eBook.
A lot of businesses have seen selling success by using Amazon Kindle as a marketing platform. Brands will offer a free book or document that is relevant to the field in which they operate or the product they sell. An eBook is a way of showing that your brand knows what they are talking about within your sphere.
Companies will often hire a freelance writer to research the field and write a pertinent book. They will then place this content on Amazon Kindle for free as another marketing tactic (just as you would list any other Amazon product).It is also a way for you to link your site and social media—so you are “linking” on Amazon but through your own published eBook. You can also recommend your own product in the eBook or include a link to your AMZPromoter page with a discount coupon for those who read the book.
Many companies will use their eBook as a way to encourage Amazon customers to their website. From there, these users then subscribe to the email list. Although it’s a more time-consuming way to gain traffic, it’s a high-quality marketing tactic that has been proven to build a quality, loyal email database.
7. Grow your Amazon brand.
Keep in mind that you won’t build an email list if you don’t already have traffic to your site. So you first need to get people dedicated to your brand. According to Alexa, Amazon is the third most viewed site in America and sixth in the world. That means that you could potentially have a lot of traffic, but it also means you could get lost in the shuffle. So, to grow your email list, you first need to optimize your Amazon listings and gain attention there. HomeRev’s Managed Services can help you grow your traffic through listings and email list building in tandem.
How Do You Use Email Marketing?
You should always be growing your email list, but it goes beyond that—you need to use those email lists to your advantage. There are generally three rules of thumb to making your email marketing successful: provide value, be creative, and don’t overdo it.
1. Provide value.
Make each email count. How can you give people the highest value that will show the quality of your brand?
While people want to get promotions and deals, they may also expect content, newsletters, blogs, and updates about your brand. Think about what your consumer wants and provide them with the appropriate value.
2. Don’t overdo it.
Email people who want to be emailed, and only email people when they want it. Don’t add people to your list who are not interested in your service (this is often what happens when individuals buy their email lists). Don’t force people to give you their email address without offering something in return. Focus on a quality database of emails, rather than just a high quantity of addresses. Also, be upfront about the information you will be sending.
3. Be creative.
Because email marketing is so common, people are beginning to treat it like television ads. Just like they skip through the commercials on their DVR, they now see a salesy email headline and they immediately delete the email without reading it.
In this way, you need to make your emails stand out from the pack. Be creative with headlines, graphics, and copy. Keep it simple, and stay aligned with your brand personality. Your email should act like a friend a coworker reaching out to tell them about a great deal or share a quality article.
What headlines and copy would make you open and respond to an email from your friend?