Any time you start working with a marketing professional one of their first questions is always “how big is your email list?”. Why? Because emails are a powerful marketing tool – and not just for sending emails! You can use that database to create audiences in Facebook and in turn create Lookalike audiences of people to target who are similar to current customers who gave you their email. WHEW!
But how do you grow your email list? If you’re an e-commerce store it’s easy – you capture the email of anyone who buys from you. Done. Simple. Want more? Run a contest on social media and direct people to fill out a form or use one of the many softwares out there to help manage it. Again, simple.
But what if you have a physical store? Collecting emails isn’t an automated part of the process so what do you do?
Granted that’s a crazy oversimplification but it IS the right answer. If you want someone’s email you have to ask for it. So let’s talk about some strategies to help you collect emails without overwhelming your staff or disrupting the sales process.
Tip #1 Plant the seed
Let customers know in advance that you’re going to ask for their email. A really easy way to do this passively is with signage in your store. “Sign up today and get a 10% off coupon emailed to you”, “give us your email and be entered into a monthly drawing”.
Maybe your customers need something educational. Let them know they can sign up to receive tips and tricks on how to get the most out of the products you sell.
Plant the seed early and you’ll find it’s much easier to collect the information when you need it.
On your signage or table tents use a QR code to allow them to sign themselves up.
Tip #2 Use Tact & Show Value
Don’t just come right out and say “gimmie yo email”. No one wants that. In the same vein don’t ask “would you like to join our email list?” that’s just really easy to say no to. No is easier than yes so why would I say yes to that? I don’t know what you’re going to do with my email so no thanks.
Now, if you’re using a modern point of sale system (like Lightspeed) you can add customers and customer info including emails. This is incredibly useful because not only can you track sales and purchase history but you can use this as a tool to help customers in the future! “Don’t remember what brand you bought last time? No problem! What’s your email? I’ll look it up for you”.
My favorite question in retail is “are you in our system?” when they say “no” you respond “excellent! Let’s get you added right quick. That way if we need to look anything up in the future it’s all already here. I just need your name and email”
Go a step further and let them know what you’re going to do with the email – “We’re going to send you a coupon for 10% off your next purchase” or “we sent out no more than 2 emails a month letting you know when our next class starts”. Give them context so they want to sign up.
Tip #3 Train your staff
You probably aren’t going to be the only person at the register all the time so you’ve got to make sure your staff is trained and bought in. If they don’t know or don’t care the only emails you’ll get will be accidents.
#4 Don’t spam
I hate that I have to say this but your email list isn’t an ATM. You don’t get to send out an email blast and get more sales whenever you want. It takes a lot of energy to build a solid email database so treat it with respect! You might think your daily email recaps are timely and interesting but not everyone will feel that way. Keep it simple and don’t overwhelm people once you’ve got them. Respect goes both ways.
Bonus tip: You can also use emails you’ve collected to build Lookalike audiences on other marketing platforms like Facebook!
Thanks for watching and Happy Marketing!