Email marketing is one of the most powerful, cost-effective tools retailers and small business owners have available to them. The Data & Marketing Association, a think tank that focuses on identifying current marketing best practices, reports that email marketing has the highest conversion rate when compared to social media, direct mail and other promotional efforts. There’s only one problem: to be an effective email marketer, you need a robust list of current and potential customer email addresses – and many business owners are actively resistant to doing the work required to build that list.
Attitude Is Everything: Email Marketing Should Inspire Enthusiasm, Not Embarrassment
There’s a moment every front-line customer service employee dreads. They’re at checkout, helping a customer with their purchase, and, as per protocol, they ask the customer for their email address. The customer replies with a question: What do you need that for?
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Two things can happen at this point. Your employee can shrug their shoulders and say “They tell us we have to ask everyone” – an approach that doesn’t result in stellar data collection rates – perhaps stammering out some awkward response about deals, coupons and promotions.
Or, in a much more effective approach, your employee can describe the great experience that comes with reading your email marketing, including all of the funny jokes, useful tips, astonishing pictures, and savings opportunities that are delivered every week. This is a much more effective approach, but businesses fail to use it for two reasons: 1 – the employees have never even seen the company’s email marketing and 2 – the email marketing content is just not that good.
Let’s assume that problem 2 isn’t your issue here. As loyal readers of the Technology Therapy Group blog, you’re probably already taking steps to make sure your email marketing messaging is entertaining, informative, and delivers real value in addition to promotional offers.
Problem #1 is resolvable. Your in-store team needs to know about your digital marketing efforts, so they can answer any questions your customers have and provide service in a way that’s in alignment with your online presence. Make this clear to your sales staff, and review email marketing campaigns with your team as part of your regular meetings. Explain to your team the role email marketing plays in keeping the business successful, and that they have a vital role to play as well by growing the email list. Understand what motivates your team – incentives like cash, paid time off, or other rewards can really encourage them to present receiving your email marketing as a fun, worthwhile experience.
Use Social Media, Website Content & Other Platforms To Build Your List
Lightbox Data Capture forms are those pop up ads that appear when you visit a website, inviting you to sign up for emails. These forms are highly effective – Social Media Examiner used them to grow their subscribe list by 250,000 – because they’re simple, direct, and are by default targeting people who already have some level of interest in what you’re offering. There’s a discussion to be had regarding the best time and way to use lightbox data capture forms, but you should be aware that this is a powerful tool available to you.
Strategically position calls to action encouraging visitors to sign up for your emails throughout your website. Use social media posts and advertising to do the same. This multi-channel approach supports and enhances what your team is doing in the store. Pay attention to where your email list growth is coming from, and let your team know: did they outperform Facebook ads this month? Sharing the stats regularly helps keep everyone engaged, enthusiastic and effective.