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Strategies for Collecting Email Addresses

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Back in October, we gave you some guidelines on marketing for this holiday season. Today is the second Monday of the season and we'd like to review your email strategy again.

1. If you have a list already you should send an email before the end of the day today. It doesn't have to be long, just say things like "Still searching for the perfect gift? Here are some gifts that just came in on Saturday..."

2. To build your email list in person, you could ask every customer for their email when they check out. However, customers don't freely give out their email addresses any more. You have to give them a reason to want to give it, and a simple weekly or monthly newsletter is not enough anymore. Here are some good ideas that currently work:

"If you give me your birthday or anniversary we will send you a $50 gift card via email every year."
"We send out 1 email each month with a list of what items are on special that month, plus private invitations to special events."
"We have a regular email we send out to announce new items in the store, and invite you to come view them and purchase at a special price before we put it in the showcase at our regular price."

The point is that you don't simply want to say "we will send you emails." You also don't want to tell them you send "weekly" emails, even if you do. Use the word "regular" or "routinely" instead. The customer standing in front of you needs to needs to believe there is real value in getting your emails.

3. To build your list online you should have a simple email sign-up form. You should ask for their first name and their email address. Asking for the first name will limit the number of sign-ups to only those seriously interested. You could also ask for their important special date just like you would in person. You also need to tell them why they should sign up. Use the same reasons as above.

4. Regardless if you are in person or online, you need to make sure you tell your customer that you will never sell or rent your email list. They are signing up for jewelry related emails from you, and that's all you should be sending them. Never sell your list to the pizza place next door, or even offer to send an email to your list on behalf of the pizza place. Doing either will break the trust your customer has given you.

5. Once someone signs up, whether in person or online, you really should send a confirmation email. This email should say something like "We're received your request to sign up for our jewelry special offers via email. Please click the link below to confirm you would like to be on our list."

Surely this will limit the sign-up process, but the list you build will be more of a targeted audience.

In order to get this to work, you either need your web programmer to set it up for you, or you need to use a paid service that has a built in auto-responder. You could check out Aweber and Constant Contact. We do not endorse either, but both are very popular.

6. Make sure your opt-out link is easy to find. Don't make it really small at the bottom. Make it the regular size type or you could even put it at the very beginning of the email like we do in our Daily Golden Nuggets. Don't coerce someone to signing up by saying "Just do it. It's easy to opt-out at any time." Even though the ease of opting out might be a selling point, you don't want to use it to convince them. It's okay for someone to not want your email. Don't hold a grudge against them for it.

7. Get into a regular routine for sending email. Every first Monday of the month, or every third Thursday, or every Wednesday at 10am. Whatever you decide to do, do it consistently and without fail.

8. Next Monday, send another email out at 10am to the new list you build over the next 6 days.
AT: 12/06/2010 12:02:29 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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