Email Marketing, List Growth

Small business video series: how to grow your customer database

I recently caught up with Mara Roberts from Adfinity Creative to talk about practical email marketing tips for small businesses. Mara specialises in helping small businesses get started with marketing.

We covered a huge range of topics from autoresponders through to measuring your success, and I’m really excited to share this video series with you on our blog.

To get you started, part one of the series is about one of the biggest problems small business owners face when it comes to email marketing – growing your customer database.

If this has sparked your interest and you’d like some practical tips, check out 24 easy ways to grow your email list like a pro.

Here’s the transcript from the interview:

Mara – This is Mara from Adfinity Creative. Today we are speaking about email marketing and I have with me Kelly Newbery from Vision6 to share all her hints and tips with us. 

Kelly, what has been your proudest marketing moment up to date?

Kelly – Last year I was invited to speak at a national conference down in Sydney and this was a really big milestone for me because I had the opportunity to talk about mobile friendly email design.

When the conference was held this was a really hot topic and it still is but it was a bit more emerging back then and when I was able to share hints and tips on mobile friendly email design the audience was so engaged and so excited to be learning about it and it was a really rewarding experience for me.

Mara – I speak to a lot of small business owners and over 90% of them would say they take part in email marketing to some degree, the fact is that if you dig a bit deeper into their email marketing a lot of them aren’t actually getting the results that they require and I attribute this to a few factors. One of them being their email vision and routine, and another factor would be their content and approach and also the way they measure their email marketing.

So, Kelly for small business owners, what is the biggest area that they can improve when it comes to their email marketing?

Kelly – I think one of the biggest areas for small business owners is list growth – getting more people to subscribe to your email list. When it comes down it, it may seem obvious, but the more people that you have on your list the more people you have the opportunity to convert into paying customers or the more opportunity you have to increase sales. So it’s important to grow your list and to spend time doing this.

I know it often gets chucked in the too hard basket because it can be a daunting task, maybe the phone is ringing, you have other emails to answer, people are coming in the doors – small business owners are busy people so it can be hard to set aside the time to grow your business.

A really good way to grow your business is to grow your email list so I think it is a really essential thing. There are a whole heap of tactics out there that you can implement in under five minutes that can help you start to boost your email list so I really recommend that people set aside the time to do it.

There are online tactics such as putting a subscribe form on your Facebook page or your other social media pages, making sure you have a subscribe form on your website and making sure that it is prominent so that customers can see it – those are a couple of really easy things… but then there are also offline opportunities – when you meet people at conferences or when you are doing business ask them if they would like to subscribe to your email list (or during sales calls). 

Mara – One of the things that I have seen with the rise in social media is that a lot of people are putting their Facebook buttons all over their website and I actually think that is the wrong way around.

I really think that Facebook is there to direct people to your website and your website is there to direct people to your email list. An email subscriber is so much more valuable than someone clicking through to Facebook. So put you subscribe forms on the top half of your website so it is the first thing that they see, so it is really big and clear and also be sure to include it on all the other landing pages of your website.

Kelly – Another thing to do when you are trying to boost your email list is to offer an incentive for your customers. I would say this is the best way to get people to sign up to your email list is to offer them something of value.

It can be anything from holding a competition which can be on social media if you have a lot of social media followers, right through to offering an educational resource which is only available when people sign up to your email list. An educational resource can be anything from a guide to a whitepager to a series of blog posts or videos that aren’t otherwise available.

If you offer your customers something of value they are far more likely to sign up to receive your emails. The thing to remember here is whatever it is that you offer of value it has to be relevant to your business and it has to be relevant to the emails that you are going to send out.

There is no point in holding a competition and offering an iPad because there are going to be people that will enter the competition to win the competition, not because they really want to hear from you. Make sure that your incentive is really relevant to your business.

Another great example is offering a coupon if you are an online business – so 15% off or free shipping, just something to encourage subscribers to sign up for your newsletter.


Kelly Newbery

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Kelly Newbery
Marketing Specialist

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