This article is provided in partnership with Constant Contact.
Believe it or not, social media is good for a lot more than just arguing about politics, commenting on selfies and sharing pictures of every dish you eat at dinner. According to the digital marketing agency We Are Social, there are 2.31 billion active social media users on the planet. In addition to giving people all over the world the opportunity to share their favorite cat videos, social media allows you, as a small business, to form genuine connections with these users to turn non-committal browsers into dedicated customers on your business email list.
(Photo courtesy of Constant Contact)
Growing a business email list is essential to a company’s success for one very important reason: email gives you a direct line of communication to customers. Maybe you don’t believe that email is still the most powerful business communication tool. But according to the digital communications platform Ving, 74 percent of all online adults prefer email as the method of commercial communication, 60 percent of work email accounts are checked one or more times a day, and 26 percent of users check their personal email account at least four or more times a day. That’s a lot of attention paid to email.
What do these stats mean to business owners? Growing your business email list should be a top priority. Growing an email list using social media takes some work, but it is well worth the effort. Below are three quick tips for building your list and growing your customer base.
Tip 1: Use Compelling Teasers To Get Your Customers On Your Social Media Pages
Email and social media pages can work together like peanut butter and jelly. You can direct your email subscribers to your various social media pages to expand your presence on those channels, and you can use your growing social media presence to get your new followers to sign up for your email list.
Constant Contact Senior Manager of Content and Social Media Marketing Dave Charest has been working in the digital marketing space for over a decade and shares these tips for writing compelling teasers. “There is not a magic formula to writing compelling ‘must read now’ teasers,” says Charest. “There is a way to make it easier. The teaser in your email should compel readers to click on the link that takes them to your social media page.”
Charest explains that ideal email teasers should answer the following three questions:
- What are you offering? Answer this question in the headline.
- How will it help the reader? Address this question in the message body.
- What should they do next? Give customers a call to action at the end of the email.
Charest also suggests keeping teasers concise and crisp:
- Only include information needed to support the reader taking the action you want them to take. Delete everything else.
- Write in the active tense.
- Speak directly to your reader.
- Be clear.
Tip 2: Track The Effectiveness Of Social Media Generated Leads
Tracking social media generated leads can be time consuming, but what the data gives you is as important to your company as bad breakups are to Taylor Swift’s album sales. Charest offers a few tracking tips. “You can track your email’s effectiveness by segmenting your social media followers,” says Charest. “Then look at open rates, click-through rates, and if your subscribers share or forward your content.” While fluctuations in subscribers and followers are also a telltale metric, don’t let incremental changes throw you off-course. If you take steps to get to know your audience, you’ll be able to share more relevant content, drive engagement and boost followers.
Tip 3: Create Laster-Focused Email Lists
Creating analytics-driven, laser-focused email lists for specific customer segments will help drive traffic to your business and increase sales. After all, selling umbrellas in Seattle makes more sense than selling them in Death Valley. Charest explains the most efficient method to do this. “It comes down to these three steps,” says Charest. “Define your ideal customer, engage them online and continually experiment to learn more about them so you can create campaigns that are right up their alley.”
For example, a local sporting goods store could run different Facebook campaigns for specific customer segments: one targeting hikers and one for anglers. Based on responses, the business can use social media analytics, and their own insight, to narrow down location, interests, gender, when their audience is most active online, which social channels they are most responsive to and what types of offers they are more likely to take. “Email lists are highly effective,” say Charest. “But only if the business has defined their target audience, engaged them and earned the right to continue the conversation.”
This article was written by Mario McKellop and Michelle Guilbeau for Small Business Pulse.
For more information on email marketing, visit Constant Contact.