Articles for Webmasters     E-mail Marketing: Building Your Customer List

Capturing E-Mail Addresses

Before you can send out an e-mail campaign to customers, you need to have a list of existing or potential customers. If you don't have one, no worries. Here are some easy-to-do ideas to create or expand your e-mail marketing list:

1) Place your e-mail subscription signup box on every page of your Web site;

2) Offer incentives for your visitors to join your list. Customers love freebies;

3) Ask subscribers to "forward campaign" and reward them for it;

4) Add a link to your subscription box to your e-mail signature line; and

5) Incent customers with rewards, savings, or exclusive offers in your communications and collateral materials, including business cards, brochures, press releases and fliers to get them to subscribe to your list online.

Customer Segmentation: The Key to Effective Campaigns

The most effective campaigns are those that are tailored to each customer's specific needs or wants. Segmenting your list makes sense and, according to research, segmented campaigns are significantly more effective than non-segmented campaigns.

Say, for instance, you're a shoe designer with full line of shoes, including stilettos, flats, and business shoes. In your subscriber signup box, you should have "areas of interest" that customers can choose from: "stilettos", "flats", "business shoes" and "all". You could also ask what their favorite colors and styles are or what size shoes they wear for even more personalization.

Customer-Focused E-mail Campaigns: Again, It's all about the Customer

Therefore, create campaigns using the segmentation techniques we learned above.

For instance, keeping with the last example, after reviewing last month's sales report, you notice that women that purchased flats wore a size 10 or larger shoe and, on average, spent 60 percent more than other customers. Use this information to send all size 10-plus customers exclusive offers, discounts or specialty items, specifically tailored to their needs, and watch your sales sore.

Creating successful e-mail marketing campaigns with your new and existing customers starts with: (1) taking every opportunity to build your list; (2) segmenting your list by customer-specific interests; and (3) creating customer-focused campaigns, based on customer feedback.

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