How to Build an Effective Mailing List…And Why

Mailing lists are a great way to build consumer interaction, trust, and confidence and when managed correctly can increase traffic and conversion on your site.  Let’s think of this in terms of e-commerce sites for a moment so we have a clearly define “conversion”.  E-commerce website sell products and services so having a steadily growing user base that trust the service provider is crucial.  There are many Internet marketing strategies that can help build traffic and conversions but we will be focusing just on mailing lists and email marketing for now.

So how do you build an email list in the first place?  The best natural way to build a list is directly through your site.  Users sign up for mailing lists because they assume that you have something valuable to offer them.  Naturally, an e-commerce website needs to use a mailing list to eventually foster sales but before you can effectively do this, you must gain the user’s trust.

Statistically, consumers need to see a product or service offering seven times before they make a purchase.  One of the best ways to accomplish this is to get them on your mailing list.  This is the first step of the conversion process.  To do this, the site must have clear calls to action for an easy and quick sign up process.  The standard form just asks for a name and email address, or even just an email address.  This form should be on the home page and on all other relevant and highly visited pages on the site.  A newsletter sign up can be converted through a simple check box on other types of registrations forms or in the shopping cart process as well.

The next step of the conversion process is to design an effective newsletter or mailing program that keeps the user engaged and is somewhat personalized to their needs.  This is easier said than done.  Simply blasting random sales offers to the list without first assessing what it is they are looking for is not as effective nor will it be seen as valuable to the consumer.  Remember, they signed up to gain knowledge about what you have to offer so giving them relevant content, free advice, etc. will build their confidence and trust in your site.  Once that trust hase been built and you have a solid understanding of what they need, you can start placing the subtle sales offers and calls to action in your email marketing efforts.  They will be much more likely to listen to what you have to say if they trust you.

A great way for e-commerce sites to accomplish this is through automated email blasts that are geared to what the customer searched or purchased.  These are usually text or HTML email blasts that are generated from the site and go out regularly after recent visits to the site by the consumer.  This can be an effective targeting and re-targeting effort to keep them involved and continue to present the products to them until they convert to a sale.

For example, let’s say you were searching an apartment rental site and ran a search for apartments in downtown Chicago.  From the user’s search behavior, the site now knows what you are generally looking for.  If you then fill out a registration form for one of the apartment communities, the site then has an even more specific understanding of your needs.  The site could then generate automated email blasts to your email address (assuming the site collected that information from you) with reminders of what you had previously searched and adding additional offers for relevant properties in the area saying “You might also be interested in…”.

Again, running email lists are just one component of an effective Internet marketing campaign but can help increase traffic and conversions.  The campaign must be done properly to ensure your site stays within current Spam laws and does not annoy your users.  The users that you build trust with and continually open your emails and click through to the site are the most likely to convert!

Leave a Reply