Fans of your product, service or content are likely already chatting you up to their friends, and that can be very good news for your business. Take advantage of this by making your brand and message as visible as possible, and your fan base will grow even larger.
Here are some ideas for expanding the reach of your email campaigns:
Post your signup forms (almost) anywhere
Post your signup forms wherever you interact with folks — in store (via a tablet at the register), on your blog, on Twitter, on LinkedIn and more — and watch new subscribers roll in. When you create separate forms that filter to separate audience groups, you’ve built in automatic audience segmentation, so you can eventually send separate campaigns to your Twitter audience versus your in-store customers, for example.
Another way to attract even more new contacts? Offer discounts or exclusive content during the signup process, and then set up a automated campaign to make good on that promise once they’ve subscribed.
Target your subscribers by interest
Just as you might send unique content to folks based on how you met them (or where they signed up), you can show subscribers how well you know them by setting up automated campaigns based on their interaction with the first few campaigns they received from you. The Direct Marketing Association’s Email Experience Council reports that triggered campaigns had a 96% higher open rate in the fourth quarter of 2011 than typical email campaigns.
Let’s say folks clicked a campaign link to read about the seasonal trees your nursery just received. Set up a link-based autoresponder so those folks also receive information about soil treatment. When you connect with your audience in this way, they’ll be likelier to open your next round of campaigns — and to start telling others (via email forwards or social shares) about your campaigns.
Use email + social together
Do you have a Facebook page for your business? Add a tab for your page, and post a signup form to it. Set up a Twitter account and cross-promote your website, email campaigns, and Facebook presence there.
And make sure to enable social sharing in your campaigns, so recipients can click to share your newsletters on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
This one seems obvious, but seriously: Don’t be an email sender that your audience starts to ignore — or dislike. Prune your content for relevance, and stick to your editorial calendar. Ask subscribers how often they’d like to hear from you, and respect their preferences. Sending frequency — whether you’re sending too often or not enough — is the primary reason for opt-outs.
And make sure to treat brand new subscribers and your most loyal customers differently. New folks need an introduction to who you are and what you do, while your biggest fans likely want to get more involved in product sneak peeks, giveaways and events.
Remember, your audience is letting you rent space in their inboxes — so strengthen those relationships into something that builds your business. If you build it, they will come; if they like it, they will share.