Online businesses, mostly with a home based business model, are known to bring a revolutionary change in each of the following areas:
- Business Operations
- Product Catalogues
- Customer Relations
- Reach & Accessibility
On the whole, every online home based business has a website which serves the following business purposes:
- It marks the beginning stage of the home based business
- The corporate website is the primary and unique identity for a business
- It is the outcome of all personal and corporate branding strategies
- It forms the structure of the company’s purpose of existence
As opposed to the face-to-face customer interaction in their brick-and-mortar counterparts, online businesses use other diverse methods for interacting with, acquiring, and retaining customers. On the whole, the significance of building and expanding a customer base is no different for e-businesses. In order to contact actual and potential customers, direct marketing methods are commonly use by a variety of business types and industries. One of these methods, most specific and useful for an online home based business, is that of Email Marketing.
As one would expect, Email Marketing involves reaching customers with a marketing message or campaign via email. Incidentally Internet Marketing is a combination of different efforts used to attract and acquire customers for the purpose of creating brand awareness and increasing sales. Thus, Email Marketing is an integral part of a company’s overall Internet Marketing campaign. Different Internet Marketing ideas must remain consistently relevant to the overall branding of an online business. This way, the message promoted through online advertising and marketing methods will have a higher potential of achieving desired results. Internet Marketing can be done by different using different media:
Web Marketing by promoting the company and its products through Affiliate Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Company Blogs, etc.
Email Marketing by sending promotional offers and advertising messages to masses.
Many people are of the opinion that the importance of Email Marketing is being affected with the increasing popularity of social media networks. However, several online business owners continue to share their success stories which involve increased sales through effective Email Marketing campaigns. So on one hand, Email Marketing is highly preferred by numerous entrepreneurs while several other online businesses failed to realize its benefits. This fact clearly highlights that an Email Marketing campaign must be developed to hit the spot.
Just how the concept of mass marketing has evolved into segmentation and targeting, mass Email Marketing also lacks the ability to appeal undifferentiated audience. The bottom line is that sending promotional offers via email can become fruitful only when it targets a specified audience or customer base. An ideal approach, to incorporate the concept of segmentation in a company’s Email Marketing campaign, is through building an Opt-in List.
Building and Expanding Your Opt-in List
What is an Opt-In List?
Firstly, online business owners are required to include a section on their website requesting customers or visitors to grant permission for saving their email addresses for future reference. This allows online business owners to build their Opt-in List, which is a database of email addresses of customers interested in receiving company emails. Unlike spam mail, an Opt-in List results in sending solicited emails to actual and prospective customers.
Opt-In List Emails
The emails sent to customers, who have opted to subscribe for this service, mostly comprise the following types of content:
- Advertising Messages
- Product Details
- Promotional Offers
- Upcoming Contests
- Official Newsletters
Ideas to Get Subscriptions
Subscription forms are the most common way to confirm with customers if they wish to sign up to the company’s email list. Apart from specific subscription forms to build an Opt-in List, online businesses add a “Yes or No” question at the end of other forms such as those for product orders, customer feedback, etc. Since customers are no longer confined to computer systems for their internet access, modern online businesses are also targeting smart-phone users by using QR Codes to link them directly to company’s email list subscription.
What an Opt-In List Can Do for Your Business?
Online businesses understand the value of gaining access to communicate with customers who are directly interested in their products of services. Subsequently, these entrepreneurs are constantly seeking innovative alternatives to keep in touch with their customers to update them with new offers, achievements, etc. Hence, building an Opt-in List should be a continuous process simultaneous with the phases of establishing and building the online business. The multifaceted benefits of doing so are listed below:
1. Relevant Customer Base
Despite them being beyond the company’s reach, countless potential customers remain to be an important part of an entrepreneur’s focus. However, the center of attention is always the customers who can be the driving force behind company sales. It may seem like a far-fetched dream for many but an Opt-in List gives direct access to such high potential customers. Such a contact list must be developed at an early stage. By the time an online business begins to grow, it would have had converted these initial email recipients into loyal customers.
2. Convenient & Budget-Friendly Requirements
For home run businesses, costs and budgets are extremely important. This concern is effectively addressed through opt-in email lists as they are built with extremely easy and inexpensive methods. With minimal investment requirements, an opt-in email list provides the remarkable benefit of increased traffic generation and sales in the future.
3. High Rate of Conversion
Most customers subscribe for company email lists after they have already tried the company products or services. However, there are many customers who are not entirely certain about their purchase decision but express their interest in the company. As a result, email promotions lead to higher conversion rate of these prospective customers into actual sales.
4. Long-Lasting Impact
The opt-in email programs do not only satisfy short-term goals of customer acquisition. They also provide the benefit of repeat customers and long-term customer relations. Therefore, opt-in lists are an effective tool for customer relationship management in online ventures.
5. Winning the Trust
The advantages of customer loyalty remain the same across any type of a business model. However, gaining customer trust is definitely easier said than done. Since opt-in emails are an authentic form of communication, they allow online businesses to develop a trusting relationship with interested customers.
If an Opt-in List is built along with the commencement of a business, online business owners can leverage this trust across different platforms of Internet Marketing in the long run.