How Email Marketing and Coupons Actually are a Good Mix

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February 2, 2012

If you read any Internet marketing blogs, I will almost guarantee that there is at least one—and there is probably more than one—post about how you need to be building your email list. It doesn’t matter if you’re another blogger, a news site or if you are selling products on your site, having that email list is really important because it is the sure fire way to consistently bring people back to your website on a regular basis and hopefully, turn them into paying customers.

Big companies across the Internet, such as [Insert Company] and [Insert Company], spend tens of thousands of dollars advertising and trying to get people to their website. Some of these big companies utilize email marketing as a means to increase their revenue, but surprisingly, some don’t. According to a study, email is still one of the most profitable means of advertising. For every dollar spent, nearly $20 returns due to email and that right there should be reason enough to start your email marketing campaign.

The problem with starting a new email marketing campaign is that, truthfully, it’s hard to get the email addresses. Sure, you can always buy them, but let’s be honest…If you got an email from a random person trying to get you to buy something, are you going to buy that product? Not likely. Therefore, why waste the money buying other people’s emails? It’s just going to piss them off and potentially hurt your brand down the line.

Because of this understanding, it is important to try a different way to get the much coveted email. And, like I said in the title, coupons/discounts can actually prove to be very useful here in helping you get the email. The reason for this is because people like to get something in return for their troubles. Subscribing to your list might be the best thing they ever do because of the savings or information you’re going to pass on to them. But, if the person can’t find an immediate gain by subscribing to your list, they won’t.

With this in mind, I’m sure you can begin seeing how coupons and email marketing mix.

By using a coupon, you are giving the subscriber something in return for giving you their email address. In other words, the customer is now getting something from you and in exchange, you have their email address to market to them. Before I continue, let me explain that not everyone will stay; people will get the coupon and then unsubscribe. But, the same as people aren’t likely to do something if there is no gain for them, they’re probably not going to unsubscribe unless there is a gain for them.

To make this little “trade” work, you need to do two things. First, set up an email collector on your website that says three things. The first, it should say what they’ll be getting. In this case, it’ll be a “25% off any one product” coupon on your website. It can be more specific, less specific, it doesn’t matter. You figure out what you want to give away. The next thing that it should say is what you’ll be sending them in the emails. This can include: special offers, information about upcoming events and other stuff they might find interesting. Finally, at the bottom, include a promise never to spam or sell their email addresses. This puts people at ease and will likely increase the subscription rate.

With the collection form set up, the next thing to do is set up an autoresponder. When the person subscribes and confirms their subscription—an important step for some list collecting companies—you want them to get the coupon immediately. However, you can’t sit by your computer all day sending an email with the coupon. That’s where the autoresponder comes into play. Set up a basic autoresponse that is sent to them when they confirm that welcomes them to the newsletter, includes the coupon, but also includes links to your Facebook, Twitter and other social networking accounts. This first email will be the beginning to you networking with them and that’s how you will increase your business even more.

With that single coupon, two things might happen. The first is that you get their email account. The second is that you might get a sale from that coupon. But, even if you don’t, what you have gained is the person’s email which you can then market to. If, for example, during next year’s holiday season, you’re having a huge sale, this list will come in handy. You send out a blast saying it’s 75% off whatever and all those people will come.

Some people think of the email list as an ATM. If they want money, they just send out an offer in the list. Instead, think of it as a marketing tool. It’s another way to get your message across. If you have a coupon, send it out. But, don’t spam them and don’t treat it like an ATM. While it might work for a while, if people get annoyed, they’ll unsubscribe.

Email marketing is a fantastic tool at getting people to purchase from your site. And, since you can offer coupons whenever you want, it’s a great way to get people to subscribe. Utilizing it will help see your online business grow month after month and year after year.

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