Despite newer marketing tactics like mobile or social media getting more attention these days, the fact remains: email marketing is still highly effective for boosting sales. In fact, 81% of marketers say it drives customer acquisition for their brands.

But email marketing success starts with a great subscriber list. How can you attract more potential customers to sign up to get your emails? What do you do with them once you have them? Here, get actionable tips to ensure that your email marketing helps you increase revenue and keep engaging customers.

Attracting New Subscribers

The first step is to grow your email subscription list. Here’s how.

1. Give a Compelling Offer

With overflowing inboxes, no one’s giving up their email address without good reason. Brands that provide incentives are the ones that people are eager to subscribe to. So what’s a compelling offer? It could be a digital coupon or another exclusive offer that they can’t find anywhere else.  Make sure you communicate in your email subscription box that people are agreeing to receive promotional emails from you as a result of signing up.

2. Make It Simple

The less you ask of your email subscribers, the more you’ll attract. At the most, you can require them to provide their email address and first name; asking for more information, such as their address, might turn off people from subscribing to your list.

3. Provide Unique Value

If you offer the same coupon via email that you have posted on coupon sites and on your social media channels, there’s not a lot of reason for people to subscribe to your emails. That’s why the offer needs to be unique to your email list; if people can’t find the deal anywhere else, they’ll sign up.

Keeping People Subscribed

What happens if people unsubscribe from your list once they’ve got that initial offer? Here’s how to continue to engage them over time.

4. Be Professional

If you want people to take your brand seriously, you need to be professional in the emails you send. Use a professional email address (one with your domain name rather than a Gmail or Hotmail address). Proofread your email to ensure it’s error-free. Use a professional email marketing service like MailChimp so your emails look visually appealing.

5. Pay Attention to Results

As you send emails with promotions or coupons, it’s important that you measure results so you know which campaigns succeeded and which fell flat. Start by looking at your email open rate; this tells you how appealing your email subject line is and how many people opened your email to read it. Next, look at your clickthrough rate. This tells you how compelling your offer is, and how many people clicked to visit your site. From there, your website analytics can tell you how many people made a purchase from that initial email. Use this data to modify future campaigns for best results.

Building the Relationship Over Time

The longer you can engage a customer through email, the more fruitful that relationship becomes. Here are ways to nurture that relationship.

6. Make Customers Loyal Fans

Create a loyalty program that rewards customers for making more purchases, then email loyalty members special, personalized offers. You’ve got the marketing data about what customers have purchased; use it to customize the special deals you send each one rather than sending the same email to everyone.

7. Go Beyond the Sale

Your work doesn’t end after a shopper has made one purchase. You want her to keep buying from you, don’t you? That means you need to build that relationship. Send a post-purchase survey so you can get feedback on what she thought of the buying process and the final product. Encourage her to review you on Yelp or other review sites.

8. Send These Emails

Beyond general promotions, there are several different emails you can send to nurture that customer relationship. Send targeted emails if she hasn’t made a purchase in a while, complete with a discount code to use.

Surprise each subscriber with a Happy Birthday email that includes a freebie (no purchase necessary). If a shopper leaves an item in her online cart but doesn’t complete the transaction, send her a 20% off coupon to encourage her to make the sale.

Your email list is a goldmine if you know how to attract new subscribers, convert shoppers to customers, and nurture relationships with your customers long-term.

Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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