Written by Rita Wade
I have always been a BIG fan of email marketing! I believe business development and lead generation is done through the gathering of email addresses.Simply put, e-mail marketing is justifiable, instantaneous, inexpensive and can be tracked and measured through analytics. You know: who opened it, how many images they clicked on, what time they opened it and if they opened it more than once! The feedback from an email campaign compounds upon itself as you tweak the copy, improve your call-to-actions and A/B test your content! Most times I am left speechless. For those of you who know me, that seems impossible. It is a surprisingly neglected strategy that never gets off the ground for the simple lacking of, “The ASK”, for someone’s email address!
In almost every new coaching conversation with a client I cover the topic of email marketing. If they are coming to me for help, there is a pretty good chance that what they are currently doing to grow their business isn’t working. The conversation usually boils down to something along these lines:
Me, “So, how many emails do you send out per month?”
The answer usually reflects, “Oh, about once a month…”
Now, to put it bluntly, when I hear this, I tend to reminisce back to the question the dentist asks when he or she inquires how many times you floss per week… I don’t know about you but I “hem and haw” and don’t really give a straight answer because, let’s face it, we could all benefit from better flossing contributions to society. The same is true about when folks answer my question about email marketing. If they say it’s monthly, I usually later find out they did 4 emails last year and only have 200 names on their list… and it is typically only for a specific event or Christmas.
So why aren’t we using one of the CHEAPEST and most engaging forms of marketing?
The reason? Many Jewelers just lack having a strategy for collection(email addresses) process.. Despite many of you having a great “point of sale” system, I am still finding that many jewelers are still not collecting those names. I would say more than half of my clients, during beginning stages, have less than 500 email addresses collected in some sort of database or excel spreadsheet.
Email is a popular and effective marketing communications tool. It’s accepted, even preferred, by a large segment of the public. Better than 90 percent of US Internet users utilize email, most on a daily basis. The bottom line is that email works, but the first step is to have a system to regularly collect email addresses.
I know, I have spent a lot of time on the email soap box. Ask yourself, and your business associates, how many of the people who visit your website or come into your store daily actually end up joining your email list? Have you ever tracked or measured your numbers for email collection…? I am not talking about running a report in your Point-of-Sale program that shows how many new people have been added to your database since last year. I am asking you to question yourself, how many people did you ASK and how many WAYS did you ask it?
What if you could double, triple, or even quadruple that number?
I read an article recently from the Marketing Sherpa which stated after polling folks regarding email marketing, 90 percent of consumers said they like to receive promotional emails from the companies they do business with!
This is NO surprise to me, but I get push back from EVERY client about email collection saying that they feel that it can come off as being a little invasive or pushy, especially in larger metropolitan areas. Bottom line being, either you ask or someone else will, and they will get to begin the process of clientelling, and you won’t! It’s just that simple!
The reason most businesses struggle to get more customers on their email list is because they don’t have the right strategy. I want to help you increase your list, so I have compiled a collection of 59 list growth ideas for you to put into action. While many of these ideas may sound familiar, chances are there are at least a few tactics you aren’t currently using that you could implement right away. Get started in March/April with these 20 tips, and then I’ll share another 20 with you in May/June.
20 Email Marketing Tips for March/April 2020
Collect email addresses in-store
1. Use a Paper Sign-up Sheet
Keep it simple. Sometimes a paper sign-up sheet is the best way to go. For all those folks who DO NOT make a purchase or make a wish list… put a clip board out somewhere in an attractive location (not necessarily the POS counter… but it could be) and let it be an optional way of signing up for a monthly newsletter! Tell them you aren’t going to bombard them with junk mail and hope they enjoy getting to know you and your team… REMEMBER: today’s customer doesn’t buy from you because they love your product, they can find anything on the internet so make some of your emails personal and informative; newsletter-esque, so that they get to know YOU and your team. This is the first step I believe YOU must take in being COMMITTED to 12 newsletters that are NOT selling anything but the idea that you are their PERSONAL Jeweler! Let people INSIDE YOUR WORLD! Many of you want ways to SELL more without discounting… Make them desire buying from you and they won’t always ask for a discount!
2. Ask Face-to-Face Beyond the POS Interaction!
Just having a sign-up form available won’t always be enough. Train yourself and your employees to always ask prospective contacts for their email address. The customer that stands at the counter and ASKS for a DISCOUNT… follow it with, “You know, we offer special discounts and rewards during special events throughout the year… let’s get you signed up so that you know when those times are approaching.” A 4 x 6 card with all their information in YOUR or YOUR Staff’s handwriting. (Making sure it’s comfortably legible, of course) and then put the wish list or notes on the back of the card. LATER after the customer has left, put them into the POS. Keep those handwritten cards in a card box and begin making sure that you are looking at them regularly.
3. Look at Your Database
Don’t overlook the obvious. Make sure your database is up-to-date. Your POS is full of people that have addresses that have changed, moved jobs, mistyped, or simply old… When times are slower, GO THROUGH THAT LIST! Do it often and consistently, ask EVERY customer if you can confirm their email address! It is a New Year for you too! Make sure you are doing your own house cleaning and get some value from the database you already have!
4. Ask Family and Friends
Look to your personal network to help kick-start your list growth. When was the last time you took your list and looked through it thoroughly enough and discovered that none of your family or friends were on it? It’s always a surprise to me when my clients complain that their cousin bought a diamond randomly from a competitor or a big box and didn’t even give you a chance. Sometimes it’s because they didn’t know you had access to what they were looking for. Ask your employees to share names of friends and family. Remember, we are going personal… ONE of your monthly newsletters SHOULD be an interview with each member of your team and it is a perfect time to ask for family and friends to see this. Remember, we are celebrating the success of a team member and honoring them… Family and friends are going to want to see this!
5. Use a Fishbowl
Put a fishbowl on your counter and give customers an incentive to drop in their business cards to join your list. I am a BIG fan of drawing for something. Don’t be shy to the idea of hosting several annual incentive lotteries. Even if it is some sort of Reward Bucks!
Note: Be sure to let people know they’ll be receiving future emails from you as well.
6. Ask Over the Phone
Having a great phone conversation with a customer or supporter? Keep the conversation going by asking them to join your email list.
7. Use Signs & Sandwich Boards
Using a sidewalk sign or sandwich board to bring in foot traffic? Tell passersbies about all the great info, discounts, and news they’ll find by signing up for your emails.
8. Use Your In-Store Wi-Fi
With incentives still in mind, using an app or tool that requests to “sign up” using a valid email address before allowing Wi-fi access is another approach at things as well. ALWAYS be kind and follow it with an auto-response that asks them if you can add them to your email list. Remember, today everyone is on their phones in your store to “research” something. There’s no harm in looking at it from a beneficial perspective when it comes to accumulating a larger address book.
9. Add a Sign-Up Form to Your Website
Make sure that there is a sign-up in a variety of places throughout your website.
10. Create a “Reasons to Sign-Up Page”
Ask your current contacts why they enjoy your emails and then create a page on your website highlighting the most outstanding benefits of signing up.
11. Add it to Your Blog or Newsletter.
You can add a blog to your website. I would add bits and pieces from your monthly newsletter to a weekly blog. If someone enjoys what you have to say on your blog, there’s a good chance they would want to see your updates in their inbox.
12. Experiment With Pop-Ups
There are several non-intrusive tools you can use to promote your email list on your website or blog with a popup message.
13. Guest Blog
Negotiate with local Instagram celebrities and guest bloggers to collaborate and add an email collection link. Ask if you could provide some content and collect emails from the guest blog. This is TRICKY but I have done it and it has been a Win-Win for both. Writing for other blogs is a great way to get in front of a new audience. Include a link to your sign-up form in your author bio. If people like your post, they’ll want to get more information from you.
14. Use Online Payment Forms
Require an email when making an online purchase. Many of you have shoppable posts on Instagram and on Marketplace with Facebook and a shopping cart with your website. Collect email addresses when people are making a purchase. Make sure you are downloading those reports. Be sure to indicate they’re opting-in to receive future emails from you.
15. Add it to Your Online Listings
Keep your listings on sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google, up-to-date and provide a link to join your email list. When was the last time you went to update ALL of those FREE search engines? I remember spending a week updating the search engines with pictures and content and boy did it change things for me!
16. Host a Podcast
Start a podcast and encourage listeners to subscribe to your email list to find out about upcoming episodes. I know, many of you HATE videos. You ask, “how on earth are you going to do a podcast…”, and my answer is: Baby steps. We are going to spend some time for the next few months just journaling your way to “your voice” and begin the opportunity of letting your customers get to know you!
17. Try an Online Survey
Add a sign-up link to your next online survey or review service. Let people share their feedback and join your email list. Many of you have Podium or Text-me Chat from Star Gems… After every purchase send a follow-up letter or card thanking them for their purchase and asking them to share their experience on your survey for a chance to win something or a special gift from you!
18. Book Appointments Online
Are you giving clients the ability to schedule and book appointments online? Offer a convenient way for people to join your email list when signing up. I love the new Facebook Appointment scheduling app.
19. Invest in Digital Advertising
If you’re already using ads to drive people back to your website, make sure that you’re sending people to a page where they can easily opt-in to join your email list.
20. Collect Donations and Email Addresses Online
At least ONE TIME PER QUARTER I would encourage you to participate in a specific donation towards, or taking part in a fundraiser. You can also do an online collection for something local. Make sure you use an app that can aid in the collection of those emails. Make sure to ask donors and volunteers to join your list to stay up to date with your latest news and announcements. In conclusion, here’s to assertively practicing patience as the email dings roll in. For any further questions, please contact Rita Wade @ firstname.lastname@example.org or in the private facebook groups of Jewelers Helping Jewelers or Jeweler Suite.