Even if you run a brick-and-mortar offline business, an email list can help you grow your customer base and build deeper relationships with them. Through the content you share with them there, they’ll become buyers and brand advocates.
Here’s how it works.
Get People to Sign up for Your List
The first step is to get people to sign up for your list. You can advertise your list in your offline marketing materials, but the best way is to do it online. Offer a lead magnet that people can download for free in exchange for their name and email address. Customers download the free gift and enjoy the unique value it offers, and then start receiving email messages from you.
The key here is to ask for as little as possible. Name and email address is enough. If you make it difficult, people won’t sign up. The other key is that the lead magnet has to be valuable. It could be an eBook, a free report, a video, or any other type of content that helps people solve their problems.
Engage Subscribers with Valuable Content
Don’t start promoting to new subscribers right away. You’ve started a relationship with them by offering helpful free content, so keep the content coming, at least at first.
Give subscribers helpful tips and information that they can only receive through your list. For example, if you’re a plumber or hardware store, offer ideas on DIY home improvement. A law firm can offer tips on legal matters. A car repair shop can teach its customers more about their cars. Share your knowledge with your email subscribers and this will start to build a relationship with them.
Offering free content through your email list will also help you gather feedback from your market. You’ll see which sub-topic areas they like and how they react. For example, you might have a link in an email leading people to a free resource on your website. Your email autoresponder program will give you data on what people click and don’t click.
Make Exclusive Offers to Your Engaged Subscribers
Gradually start making offers and promoting products and services, such as online deals or coupons for your offline store. Create a balanced mix between informational content and offers. Just like with your content, exclusivity is enticing. Emphasize that these deals are only available to your email subscribers.
You’ll earn directly from the offers you make to your list, but you’ll also gain valuable strategic information. You’ll likely find that some subscribers take advantage of offers while others don’t. Some will just enjoy the free content. The ones that buy are your qualified leads. You can lead them to make bigger and bigger purchases.
It takes a great deal of effort to successfully build and run a list. You need to provide constant high-value content. You also have to first gain a keen understanding into your target market and what issues they face. But this highly personal method for building relationships, earning directly, and getting to know your audience is invaluable.
About The Author
Pat Simes is a Business Strategist, blogger and Founder of Innovative Business Solutions and Innovate Academy. She currently resides in the Midwest and is committed to inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs to transform their vision to reality.
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