Local Business Must Ask for Customers Email Addresses

email marketing mistakes

The sad truth is that most businesses, whether they sell high-dollar services or $40 gift-baskets, completely “miss the boat” when it comes to asking for customer emails.  Though email predates the Web, the following 5 mistakes highlight just how much opportunity still remains for improvement in small business email marketing.

Email Marketing Mistakes

Mistake #1: Not Asking

How hard do you work to get people into your store or office?

How much do you pay in advertising to get people to your website?

Cultivating a list of customers and prospects you communicate with via email rates as the most cost-effective way to stay in touch. Nothing else offers the time leverage and speed of communication (no, not even Facebook or Twitter), yet the vast majority of businesses never ask for an email address. ASK! Start using the Internet’s most basic communication tool to build your business.

Mistake #2: Inconsistency

Train your staff to ask for customer emails consistently and tell them exactly what to say and when. Don’t leave anything to chance. You might even try incentivizing your staff to ask for customer emails. Pay them $1 for every customer email they collect (the right way) so they get into the habit of asking. By the way, $1 for a targeted email with name and contact information is pure GOLD and will definitely get your team in the habit of asking consistently!

Mistake #3: No Value Exchange

The majority of businesses that do ask for email don’t operate with a standard script. The request for email comes as an afterthought or with an apologetic “My boss made me ask you” attitude from the person behind the cash register. I experienced that on a trip to Toys-R-Us some years ago when buying a new Playstaion. As the young lady behind the counter rang up the sale, she sullenly asked “Do you want to join our email list?” My knee-jerk reaction was “No! You’ll spam me!”

In other words, when I didn’t see value in the way she asked, I said no.

Mistake #4: Unclear Promise

When you ask someone to give you their email, they immediately fire off a set of internal questions:

  • Why do you want my email?
  • What’s in it for me?
  • Will you spam me?

No matter what size business you operate, asking for email with a simple script that offers a clear promise of value often defuses customer concerns. You can do this either with the name of the list or the offer for joining the list.

For example, you could say:

  • Would you like to join our Online Newsletter & Specials Club?
  • Would you like a free subscription to our Online Updates & Discount Club?
  • Would you like instant access to unadvertised specials and customer-only updates?

Mistake #5: No Obvious Opt-In

When anyone visits your website, you need to let them know they CAN sign up for you list. Though it sounds obvious here, most websites don’t make a big, bold, benefit-driven promise to entice people to sign up. Just as with live people coming into your store, don’t hide the fact that you offer value through email on your website. Always make an obvious and compelling promise for why people should opt-in to your list.

Bottom line:

Sum up the promise of joining your email list in 1-2 sentences and consistently make that offer to new and existing customers. Once you get that email address, follow up consistently, send valuable, relevant information and build anticipation for every message you send to your subscribers. Do this for 30 days and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can build up a responsive, profitable email list.


Reprinted from http://smallbusinessmarketingweekly.com/email-marketing-mistakes/.


Category : Email Marketing