Satisfied customers can be the best and most cost-effective marketing tool available.
Let’s say you’re an online business only, and everything you offer, service and products, is sold through the Internet. You have subscribers who have signed up to get your emails, and you’ve faithfully been sending them valuable information. You regularly promote your products, and make sure you’re giving your subscribers enough information at the right time and in the right way that they’re taking action.
However, you’re not getting as many visitors to your website as you would like, and your subscribers’ list is building slowly. Are there techniques to build your list without violating any of your own ethical requirements, or getting blackballed as a “Spammer”?
The answer, of course is “Yes.” Here are three strategies for you to consider:
- Ask your current subscribers to help you promote. Let them know that in return, you want to make sure they get a reward of some kind. For example, if they forward your email, with a referral and short testimonial, for each referral that results in a sign-up, you could offer a 10% discount on their next purchase. You could offer an additional bonus if their efforts result in 5, 10 or more subscribers.
- Cross-promote whenever possible. A smart marketing technique is to work with other complimentary businesses. Let’s say your online products are all beauty products. You could promote local or known national beauty salons on your website, and include information about the salons in your newsletters. Then, you could ask the salons to promote your website, and include a link to your opt-in box on their sites. As Zig Zigler said, “The more you help others get what they want, the more you get of what you want.”
- Promote on Social Sites. Networking has reached another level with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Delicious, YahooAnswers, FriendFeed, YouTube, and niche-specific social sites. Get your site out and publisized in as many ways as possible to increase your subscriber list. Invite prospects to visit your website, and to subscribe to your email list. Entice them with a valuable benefit.
Whatever strategy you choose, or if…as I believe will benefit you most greatly…you use them all, set goals to ramp up your subscriber list. Follow up and follow through promptly. Don’t overlook any opportunity to legitimately gain subscribers. Offer value…each and every time.
Your friends, whether they’re your family, neighbors, or online customers, will always be your best source of email referrals. They know you. They know how you do business. They trust you to provide them with something of value. When you do business in a way that others find valuable and helpful, they’re more than happy to help you build your customer base. They’ll gladly become a part of your support network, especially when they know there’s something in it for them. While I’m sure a lot of your family, friends, and customers would be just fine with a “Thank you” email, there’s nothing that says “Thank you…I really appreciate your help” like a small gift.
You just need to ask.