More than once, we’ve pointed out that, of all the various remarketing channels, email marketing consistently shows the highest ROI (Return on Investment). It makes sense when you think about it. Unlike other channels, the people you’re marketing to have already engaged with the brand, and have explicitly offered their email addresses because they want to hear more. Talk about preaching to the choir, right?

When they give you an email address, it’s an invitation. As such, it naturally comes with a certain trust. They’re expecting you not to abuse that trust, and to hold up your end of the bargain. They’ve given you an email address and have welcomed your pitch, so it’s up to you to offer something of value.

So, what exactly constitutes “something of value?” Well, that depends on what might be engaging or useful for your ideal client. There are plenty of ideas, but some tend to be more broadly liked, so we’ve put together this list of our favourite 5 easy ways to grow and nurture your email list.

1. Quizzes

Quizzes are fun, engaging, and entertaining. From a customer’s perspective, they’re a quick way to play a sort of mini-game during the day, and hopefully learn something new. A really well-developed quiz has a number of other benefits to your business as well. Beyond helping to build out your email list (collecting emails as your customers sign into the quiz) and collect valuable demographic data about your customers, you can automatically email the results of that quiz upon completion. This is a great way to automate part of your remarketing process to ensure that no one gets missed, and to lock in your brand identity with a particular topic.

As well, the results of that quiz might help to inform a conversion. For instance, a quiz about “which sort of beauty product is right for you?”, based on information about skin type and habits, say, would be well-positioned to suggest a personal product recommendation upon completion.

Finally, depending on the nature of your quiz, you can table the results and post them to social media, spurring further shares and engagement.

Quizzes are a relatively easy way to check off a number of strong business boxes, making them a particularly valuable tool.

2. Contests

Everyone loves a contest. And a free contest with a potential prize is even more alluring. Many people will be glad to join your mailing list, if it means the possibility of a win. One really excellent way to maintain engagement is to do a weekly or monthly draw. For instance, a monthly draw, and an email newsletter naming that month’s winners, as well as some news, recent deals, current specials, blog content, or anything else likely to invigorate engagement.

Just be sure that your contest is offering something related to your brand, and something that people will be genuinely excited to win.

3. Clubs

This is another of those email capture offers that just gets better, the longer it runs. The quintessential example is the recipe of the month club. Let’s play this one out as a hypothetical. Your customer signs onto the mailing list, you send a recipe each month as part of your branded newsletter.

Simple enough.

But here’s where it gets fun. Like with quizzes, this is also a great time to offer direct links to the appropriate products. All the better if your recipe is designed around a specialty, or hard to find ingredient, that your store happens to have a sale on.

4. Webinars

Pound for pound, webinars probably have the highest practical value for your customers, but they can also be intensive to produce, so be sure you’re ready to do them properly. Webinars are semi-interactive streamed online video conference or class that gives you a chance to directly interact with your audience, answering questions or responding to comments, and teaching something relevant to your brand and business.

Since these are typically live events (though it isn’t unheard of to publish a videolog after the fact), they need to be scheduled. That guarantees a more direct and more comprehensive sort of engagement from your audience, so they’re an absolutely wonderful way to build rapport. Consider emailing the major talking points a couple of weeks in advance, and inviting off-the-bat questions or feedback to improve the webinar before it goes live, and to build that sense of audience participation.

5. Courses

An extension of the webinar, an online course isn’t interactive, but does tend to be more comprehensive, covering a wider range of topics with greater depth. We’ve been running an email course called Shine Online wherein we send a section of the course like a micro-blog post, or newsletter, each week for 15 weeks, over the course of which we help a prospective business learn the skills to build their brand. It’s a free course, with no obligation, but it does have a level of interactivity, with downloads, templates, and more, so it gives our customers a product with real value.

The Bottom Line on Email Marketing

What all this really boils down to is this: if your customer has entrusted you with their email address, be sure to offer them something of real, practical value in return.

A large email list is a wonderful asset for any business, both for leads and for the opportunity to refine and streamline your brand identity through repeated engagement. Put some of these to work for your business, and watch that email capture list grow!

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