“To get the right message to the right person at the right time you first need to get the right data to the right database at the right time” – John Caldwell
Honestly, the quote above suffices and amply complements the title of this write-up. We could stop here – but let us explain in detail why collecting email addresses is vital to further business. To start with, it is an easy and inexpensive way to create and sustain a strong relationship between your company and its brand with the customer. Strong bonds with customers increase emotional connections between customers and brands and translate to loyalty, profitability and brand advocacy. By collecting email addresses, a company will have in its possession valuable assets that will maintain and strengthen its relationship with customers and enable your company to reward and educate its target audience frequently.
Email marketing is a well-established practice now in the business world but without collecting email addresses and using them to spread awareness of your company and the industry, it would be little use. However, collecting email addresses does not suffice. A company must ensure that it segments the audience into groups and sends out messages that are relevant and customized for a particular group. Even if the receiver were one among the many people’s receiving the email, they would be interested in the products or services offered since they would be of use to them. Collecting email addresses of persons that could need your products will increase the click rate or opening rate and be higher than if these emails were sent to people on whom the company had no information.
Collecting email addresses is a valuable exercise for any company. It forms a database of potential customers and is fast, reliable and an inexpensive way to form relationships with them. A single email can reach out to thousands of people (as opposed to multiple phone calls and mailers that eat into the limited resources of a company) with a pertinent and informative message. A company must make the effort of collecting email addresses of people that actually sign up to receive emails from your company. Messages that go out to people on a random basis would usually be deleted since they are viewed as spam and the whole exercise is a waste.
Collecting the email addresses of potential customers, places responsibility on a company to protect and use this valuable data wisely. Depending on the customer segment, you should decide the kind of content that would go out in the messages – whatever your company decides to send must be informative, useful, interesting and engaging for the reader. A single instance of inappropriate content could lead the readers to unsubscribe from the email listing for good.
Collecting the email addresses is beneficial for a company because of the plethora of communication channels now available on-line. The email address of a customer would be a common link on all these channels and would help the company to identify easily its prospective and existing customers. The email address will ensure that your company does not duplicate its efforts by sending the same communication repeatedly to the same customer (which could be irritating to the customer). Having the email id of a person links together all the channels that the person is ‘present’ on, adds to the customer database and would enable the company to send messages on the customer’s preferred channel of communication. A company can send their best offers and most enticing promotional deals to specific / chosen customers via their email addresses. We have discussed previously that an enticing and catchy email subject will ensure that the receiver promptly clicks to read the message – this encourages engagement and interest for the future. In addition, the messages must have a call to action or CTA – this will encourage the reader to ‘share’ or post the message for others to read – this is free publicity for a company – a huge cost and time saving technique.
Collecting email addresses ensures that your company can remain in the forefront and keep the attention of the customers on itself. A regular newsletter, interesting articles, valuable information, industry trends and other such content will ensure that the readers view your company as trustworthy and dependable. Your company will become the go-to company since the content would focus on pushing sales with every communication. For the company, sending emails is a highly affordable and low effort exercise. So how does your company go about collecting email addresses to further business? What is the frequency of sending messages to the existing and prospective customers?
Many companies use the ‘face’ of their company – the website – to gather customer data, including the email addresses. An engaging website is the first step and integrating options on being able to leave information proves highly effective. The options could ask customers to subscribe to the newsletter via email, a request for further information on products and services and other such methods will ensure that the customers are encouraged to leave their email address. A company could also entice customers by offering ‘early bird’ discounts, loyalty cards and such benefits – customers love these freebies.
Use social media sites to connect with the target audience. It is perfectly appropriate to request for their email addresses via these sites. It would be more convincing if your company can inform them on why their email addresses are so vital and what your company will use them for – this gives the ‘power’ of choice to the customer. Ensure that everyone in the company is aware that collecting email addresses to further business is an active practice within the company. By doing so, any person from the company that engages with a customer will remember to ask for the person’s email id.
Many brick and mortar stores have feedback forms / registers. The staff must encourage customers to provide their feedback and leave their email ids so that the company can revert to them on any suggestions they make, promotions from the company and other such aspects. Such sign up and feedback forms should also be available online. They must be easily accessible, negotiable and precise. Long and cumbersome forms will put customers off and they will not comply with your request to fill in the forms.
Collecting email addresses will help your company to further its business as can be seen from the many different ways mentioned about. Remember that whenever your company is out of collect customer information, there must be an upfront answer to the all-time favourite question of ‘what is in it for me’. When people can see the value of providing their personal details and know what they can expect to receive via their email address, it becomes a lot simpler for them to divulge this information. Collecting email addresses is the first step towards increasing awareness about your company and its offerings, engaging people / readers enough to turn them into customers, ensuring current customers remain interested in your company and all this would translate to higher sales, increased profits, customer loyalty and brand advocacy. Go on – start collecting email addresses now!