I meet a lot of small business owners who struggle with keeping in constant contact with their customers. They want to build and maintain lasting relationships with their customers, but they're not quite sure how to do this effectively (and without being too annoying)! In my experience, the best way to build a report with your customers is to send out informative, engaging email blasts that help your customers. Great content is part audience interest and also part helpfulness.
Before you send your email out, you first need to compile a list of people who want to hear from you. To do this, you'll need to add an opt-in page to your website, which will give your customers the opportunity to opt-in to your email blasts.
As with many things in the small business world, creating a successful opt-in page is easier said than done. Most people have plenty of spam in their inboxes, and they're not looking to receive more reading material. However, with a deliberate and strategic approach, you can gain the trust of your audience and build an email list like a pro.
Below are some actionable ways you can create an opt-in page that no only works but also helps you gain and maintain customer loyalty.
1. Know your Audience
Think about the audience you're trying to reach. At The Food Marketer, we specifically speak to small business owners, who are committed to expanding their digital presence and understand they need to have a stronger digital presence to get more business, however, they aren't technologically savvy, which makes them perfect clients for us, because we'll do the implementation portion of the marketing for them. You will also notice when we write blog posts, we won't throw in crazy marketing jargon because we are writing to the small business owner, not the marketing professional. And when we write how-to articles around digital marketing, we try to make the directions easy to follow, because we understand the technical portion of what we do can be difficult for our clients, and we want to give them directions they can accomplish.
Ask yourself "Who do I really want on my email list"? "Who am I trying to reach out to?" "Who do I think will respond positively to my brand?" I recommend making a list of answers to these questions on a piece of paper. I always find paper to be less judgemental of my thought process than my computer.
2. Cater your Copy to your Audience
Now you know who you're trying to reach, next step is to create copy for your opt-in. Use a tone you know fits the people you do business with. When we were creating our opt-in, we wanted our tone to be professional yet casual, with lots of encouraging words to get our viewers to take the next step to contact us for a 30-minute consultation, because ultimately, we want to be the solution to our customer's marketing overwhelm, not their biggest headache. Going back to you, you want your customers to feel like you're leveling with them and relating to them and not trying to sell them something that approach rarely works today.
Make sure to include an intriguing headline, bullet points about benefits the customer will receive if they opt-in to your email blast, a call to action to sign up and a simple opt-in form (name, email address).
3. Create a Simple Opt-In Form
The less information you ask on your opt-in form, the more likely people are to sign up. I personally recommend only asking for a name and email.
As you create your page, remember the page exists for one reason and one reason only: to get people to sign up for your email blast. Any copy that doesn't cater to this end goal only clutters the page and threatens to drive people away from it.
4. Don't be Afraid to Offer a Little Incentive
It can be difficult to convince people to opt-in to email blasts, which is why you want to consider offering a small reward to people who sign up. This could be anything you think your customers would appreciate. Free products, consultations or one-hour free service on the first visit are all potential ideas. Keep in mind whatever you give as your "free gift" you want it to display the value of working with you, which is why we offer a 30-minute FREE no strings attached consultation for anyone who joins our newsletter list, plus the Top 10 Digital Marketing Tips for Small Businesses. Without signing up for our newsletter, you can't receive those tips anywhere else on our website.
5. Keep Experimenting!
Once you've completed your opt-in page, pay attention to the number of customers that sign up. If you want to gain a larger audience, play around with copy, color and the overall feel of the page. It may take you a couple tries until you see which format works best for your customers.
If this all sounds a little intimidating to you, have no fear. We'd be happy to offer some one-on-one help to you or your company to help you create the perfect opt-in page. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in getting more information.