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5 Ways to Use Social Media To Build Your Email List

By: Crystal Vilkaitis, RDI Diamonds` Resident Social Media Expert Email marketing continues to be hugely productive. Consider that 95% of online consumers use email. And it is estimated that businesses achieve 10% of their sales through email marketing.* Clearly this is a vehicle that should not be denied. And even if you don`t sell online, email (even more than social media) is proven to create action; getting a customer to call, come in or buy. To leverage email marketing, you must have an email list. As they say, "The money is in the list." So we need to focus on finding quality email addresses and ways to continually build your database. The higher the quality the list is, the higher the number of conversions you`ll have, and the more sales you`ll see. One of the best ways to build your list is to use social media. It`s important to know that email and social media go hand-in-hand when it comes to marketing your store.

Here are five tips to help you build a quality list using social media:

1. Make it easy to join. First, we need to make sure you have a way to collect the leads sent from social media. There are a few places you should have an opt-in box, one being your website. If you use a third-party email service provider like Constant Contact, SnapRetail, MailChimp, iContact, etc., to operate your email marketing, they`ll most likely have opt-in forms you can access and add to your website. You can either use their designs or create a custom design to match your brand. The advantage of using your email service provider`s opt-in form is that the email address and any other information you collect, like first or last name, will automatically be added to your list. This means that you won`t need to manually add them, or do any exporting/importing. This saves you time. What should I ask for on these opt-in forms? Make sure you don`t ask for too much information and be clear on the form what the consumer is opting in to (ex: to receive exclusive deals). I suggest asking for the email address and first name at the very least. You could also ask for their birthday if you do any special promotions during a birthday month, or a phone number if you call leads. But keep in mind that typically the more information you ask for, the fewer opt-ins you`ll receive. The majority of these third-party email marketing sites also have forms you can add to your Facebook page. The good thing about having the form on your Facebook page is that if the consumer is new to your brand, they might not trust going to your website. Or, your website might be dated and hard to use. If either is the case, opting in from your Facebook page is good because they know and trust Facebook and likely use it daily. To do this you`ll use a free custom app, provided by your email service provider. These apps can be found in your email platform or by searching for the application in the Facebook search bar, such as in this example: esp 1                   Here`s an example of a simple form on the RDI Diamonds Facebook page, allowing RDI to collect email address of jewelers directly on our page. rdi email signup2                   After someone subscribes to our list, their email address will automatically be added to our MailChimp account so we can market to them in the future. 2. Promote. Just because you have the opt-in form and email list doesn`t mean that anyone knows about it. You need to get the word out by inviting people to subscribe, telling them why they should join. Common reasons to sign up are to get exclusive deals, private event invitations or to be the first to know about new product arrivals. Schedule posts to go out on all the social media outlets you use, like Facebook or Twitter, or pin images of a past email you sent and link to your opt-in box. I suggest promoting your email list at least monthly on all of the platforms you use to market. Another way to promote your list using social media, specifically Facebook, is by asking people to join in your Cover Image. You can include text on your cover image that says something like, "Click to be the first to know about upcoming events and product specials," and then in the description of the Cover Image including a link where people can opt-in, whether it be on your website or the custom app on your Facebook page. 3. Give an opt-in offer. Having exclusive offers, like a % of $ off for email subscribers only or inviting them to private events, will increase your opt-in metrics. Clearly communicate your offer on your opt-in form, website and social media outlets. The offer doesn`t always have to be money off; it could also be a free consultation or a service like free jewelry cleaning or repair. Another option is teaming up with another local business like a restaurant, gym or home décor store, and offer a gift certificate. Make sure you`re providing an offer your customers would find value in. For example, if you`re targeting brides-to-be, offer a chance to win a trip or free catering through a local business. Bonus tip – I strongly suggest you have in-store signage promoting your email program. Anyone in your store would make for a perfect candidate to be on your email list and stay in touch with you. Make sure your sales staff feels comfortable asking for an email address by showing your staff the value of being on the list (for example, being the first to know about new products, receiving exclusive deals only offered via online, or invitations to private events). 4. Host a contest. To see a higher conversion rate of people joining your email list, host a contest or sweepstakes where the consumer needs to give you their email address to enter to win something, whether it be product, a gift certificate, local sporting tickets, concert tickets, a trip, etc. When running a contest on social media, you`ll want to use an application so that you can collect the email addresses. One app suggestion is http://woobox.com, which is featured here in an example from the Facebook page for Angie`s Boomchickapop. angie contest 3                                 Here`s another example from Albertson`s in which they simply tweeted asking participants to submit their favorite recipe from their mom to support a Mother`s Day promotion. On the entry form you`ll notice they collect an email address and phone number in addition to the recipe. Remember, the more info you request, the less entries you might receive, unless there`s a high-perceived value of the giveaway. albertsons 2       albtertsons 4                                             5. Run a Facebook Ad. Finally, you can run an ad that links to your opt-in form on your website or Facebook page (or both). Facebook only shows your posts organically to about 3-5% of your likes, so if you want to reach the other 90+%, you`ll want to do so using ads. One ad should focus on building your list and encouraging consumers to opt-in. Just be sure that you clearly communicate why someone should join. What`s in it for them? You can also advertise a contest post to gain additional exposure and entries. If you`re looking to learn more about email marketing, and how to boost your efforts, RSVP for this month`s webinar titled, "Integrating Social Media and Email Marketing to Produce BIG Results" happening on May 21st at 11am EDT; 8am PDT. I hope to "see" you there! If you`re ready to take your social media efforts to the next level, consider joining Social Edge. RDI covers 50% of the cost! Learn more at crystalmedia.co/rdidiamonds *Sources: Exact Target and Econsultancy.com

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