Email isn’t going anywhere and smart business owners know it.
Your email list is a business asset that no one can take away from you. It can always be saved and transferred between email marketing service providers as needed.
Your email list is also something that you sell along with your business, since an email list adds significant value in several ways. It allows direct contact with people who have either already spent money on your business, are interested in your product or are very passionate about your industry or niche.
When it comes to the long-term growth of any business, building an email list should be a top priority.
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The reality of website traffic is that most people who visit your website or online store are new visitors who will never visit again—unless, that is, you do something to keep them coming back.
Building an email list helps you get around this issue and retain more of the traffic you worked so hard to earn.
Your email list and campaigns drive repeat traffic back to your website by providing an incentive to return (either with discounts, valuable content, new products, etc.) and directly communicating it on a regular basis.
According to recent research by the Direct Marketing Association:
- The ROI of email is 3,800% (according to the Direct Marketing Association).
- 72% of people would rather receive promotional material via email than social media.
- 38% of people say receiving special offers is the top reason they subscribe to an email list.
In other words, if your ecommerce business hasn’t taken the time to adopt email marketing, then you’re leaving money on the table.
Keep in Mind: Anti-Spam Laws
Email marketing is the best example of “permission marketing” — a term coined by Seth Godin, marketer and bestselling author — which means people can opt in and out of their relationship with your brand as they please.
Unlike traditional advertising and other intrusive marketing channels, it’s ultimately their choice to hear from your business.
The relationship you build with your email list should be consensual; not just from a marketing standpoint, but a legal one too. There’s some red tape to be mindful of in the form of anti-spam legislation that applies to commercial electronic messages.
If you neglect these laws, you could face some serious fines if someone were to build a case against you—starting in the thousands—depending on the country you’re marketing to (not just the country you’re operating in).
While anti-spam laws will differ depending on where you’re marketing to, adhering to the following best practices is a good place to start:
- Get consent: You’ve obtained express permission or opt-in from your list to send commercial email messages, and have explained the nature of the relationship you’re establishing. Make sure you have a record of this in case you ever need to provide proof.
- Clearly identify yourself: Your messages must clearly identify yourself or your company as the sender, and offer some way to reach you—like a physical address or a website, usually in the footer of your emails.
- Offer a way to opt out: Every email needs to provide a way to unsubscribe that lets the recipient remove themselves from all future communication.
Check out The Definitive Legal Guide to Ecommerce for a deeper look at anti-spam legislation for specific countries around the world. Don’t be intimidated. These laws are based around best practices that ethical businesses should be following anyway.
Now with that out of the way, it’s time to start building your email list.
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