If you want to maintain a steady business, you need to develop and nurture your email list - the best source of current and future business for your company.
There are many types of customers in the world. There are walk-ins to your store who pay with cash. There are online-only customers who come to your business via search. Some customers come bearing gift cards. Others are the friends of friends who have been referred to you. There are catalog and phone buyers who see your product on TV or respond to a direct mail appeal.
Then there are the subscribers to your email list. Of all the customers you have, people who subscribe to your email list are probably your best customer.
Why is that? Email subscribers are simply more committed and loyal than any other visitor to your store or site.
There are a number of important reasons why email subscribers are better than other random web customers.
First, email is the most personal connection method. Email subscribers demonstrate their status as your best customer by the simple act of subscribing to your list or service. By doing so, they have granted you the right to communicate with them directly. Compare that with a customer who came to you via search, or by affiliate link or web product recommendation - what are those customers sharing with you?
A customer who shares a valid email address - what some call personally identifiable information (PII) - with you has "raised their hand" and voted with one of their most important pieces of information - a direct channel to their inbox. By granting you and your service the right to send messages to their inbox, the email subscriber has initiated the conversation with you. It is now a relationship. They expect to hear from you. If you do it well, they'll want to hear from you as often as you have something to share with them that makes sense.
The second reason is behavioral. Email subscribers are known openers and clickers. Known to you, that is. An email subscriber started their relationship with you by taking several actions: filling in a field or two in a form, clicking submit, and minutes later, often confirming that through a "confirmed" opt-in from their email account where they clicked again. The act of subscribing to an email list is intent-personified. Someone who does this is more likely to click on the links in the messages you send them, leading them to purchases or site visits that will make you money.
The third reason is actuarial. Once someone has joined your email list, they join an already active audience of existing subscribers, some of whom look very much like your new subscriber. Over time and over enough subscribers, patterns develop, and if you have a large enough sample size, you can learn what messages work, for whom, when, and why. As a member of your list, a subscriber has self-segmented herself. Her behavior over time may become somewhat predictable; she becomes part of a cohort and she will become someone you can count on to support your business - as long as you play by the rules that you established when your relationship began. She and others like her become your company's most valuable assets.
Random web customers and buyers who come from search may sometimes buy more from you, and you may be surprised when a blog post or random news story drives tons of traffic to your site. But in the end, if you want to maintain a steady business, you want to develop and nurture your email list - the best source of current and future business for you and your company.
Learn Digital Marketing Insights From Leading Brands!
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda, or register and attend one of the best ClickZ events yet!
As president of LiveIntent, Dave Hendricks devises corporate strategies and tries to simplify marketing language. Before growing LiveIntent, Dave was executive vice president (EVP) of operations at PulsePoint (then known as Datran Media), where he worked alongside LiveIntent chief executive (CEO) Matt Keiser and ran Datran's ESP StormPost (nka PostUp). A member of the founding executive team at ExperianCheetahMail, Dave began his email adventure at Pioneering ESP MessageMedia. Dave was named one of Business Insider's "Top 100 Technologists" in 2011 and Alley Watch claimed he was one of 15 people "changing advertising" in 2014. He plays electric guitar and you should follow him on Twitter @davehendricks.
Hong Kong, October 21-22
London, November 13-14
San Francisco, November 13-14
London, November 18-19
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.
October 23, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT