Creating & Nurturing an Email Database
If you are beginning with no database at all and have no lists of any kind of past, current or future customers, it is important for you to start creating one now. Get online and create an account with one of many email auto-responder companies such as AWeber, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact or iContact. They will manage your list database and send the emails out on your behalf. Start gathering all of the business cards you have stored away, leads, casual contacts or even family members. Upload them into the auto-responder program and create lists or segments. You can then create new emails and pre-set when, how and whom they will be sent out to.
Obviously, you want to be spam compliant. When you enter the data for the first time, make sure you set the system to send an opening email letting your contact know you added them to your newsletter. Explain to them why you created the list and what it’s all about and give them a link to opt in/out. That way, you’re not just spamming them. Make sure they do agree to it, but you can manually put them into the database the first time.
Next, you want to create an opt-in page on your website, Facebook page, etc. Make sure that you have one or many pages to create an opt-in form, a newsletter form, or anything that gives you the opportunity to collect email addresses that will go into your database (the auto-responder software will give you the form codes or links to easily plug into your sites). Additionally, if you speak on stage or other live events, you can create a text opt-in. Interested users can text their email address to a certain number and be included in the database that way.
You will want to segment your potential customers and clients by the form that they fill out, the type of list, their interests, who they are, etc. You can segment them using that email auto-responder software as well. The purpose of segmenting the data is so that you can send users information relative to who they are and how they came to your business.
There are two types of emails that should be sent out to your database.
- Auto-responder emails that are related to your followers’ interests and will be regularly and automatically sent to them: For instance, in our real estate investing lending company we have set up a free report and anyone who opts into that free report receives daily and weekly emails for the first year. The emails are related to the free report and then we follow up with them with information related to sections of the free report. These messages include detailed explanations and a call to action for additional information.Our goal with those auto-responder messages over time is to deliver relevant information but to also get them to apply for a loan because that’s our core business.
- Broadcast emails that go out with time-sensitive information: These emails normally contain time-sensitive information or live content that you want to segment, either to certain users or to the entire database. Examples would be to announce to the entire group your plans to do a live event, point them to an article about your business, or announce a limited time offer.With broadcast emails, you’re manually sending out messages with a specific purpose.
If you don’t have an email database, please do get one. It’s critical to your business success that you create and nurture your email database in order to gather as many followers as possible and grow your company.