Once you have a subscriber on your list what do you do? What are your next steps to turn a subscriber into a customer?
I asked 7 of my friends and fellow Mailchimp partners and email marketing experts to share their top tips for turning a subscriber into a customer. Their answers were brilliant (just like I knew they would be) and insightful.
I would say, controversially, not by selling to them. The biggest mistake you can make is to take your subscribers for granted and keep pushing sales messages to them as if they are a slot machine in Vegas, in the hope they will convert eventually. Some of the brands that stand out to me as doing email marketing really well are the ones that don’t ask for anything, they simply tell you who they are, why their product is awesome, why they created it and what they stand for (values and ethics). There’s so much noise out there, so don’t compete with price, compete by telling your unique story.
CEO & Co-founder MailNinja
It depends on the products/services you are selling. With goods, a welcome offer is a usual way, ‘cause it works especially if there is an expiration date. For services, a free demo and/or useful content related to the needs your service is addressing may leverage the reciprocity and consistency principles (see Cialdini) and make people more inclined to buy. It’s easier when you have good content to keep people engaged with your emails until they’re ready to buy; otherwise, unless your product / service is really unique, after a few “buy me – buy me” emails most people will stop opening, let alone converting.
Digital Strategist, Co-Founder
Digital Update and Freelancecamp Italia
Through personalisation. Sending mailings based on it’s interest and behaviour. More ‘personal’ interaction will result in customers.
DO NOT send too many emails to your subscribers.
CEO and Founder
Online Marketing Bonair
That’s a mindset right from the get-go. You need to be thinking about ‘building buyers not just lists’. If you do that and keep in mind the customers you have now you can have a lot more focused customer onboarding programs. This means you grow your list with better quality subscribers who in turn become better quality customers.
I have a mantra for this, consistency leads to trust, which leads to loyalty which leads to people talking about you at bars and BBQs.
And that’s what you want. Word of mouth is still the most powerful customer generation tool.
Director & Email Strategist
Subscribers are people who know you, but customers are people who trust you. Our goal for every email communications program is to help subscribers get to know our clients so that they feel comfortable to approach and ask questions without ever being concerned that they will be immediately pushed into a sale.
We find that subscribers become customers most easily when we spend time educating them about our clients’ offerings and showcasing the best aspects of the clients’ organization. If the offering is good and the audience is well-built, the sale happens as soon as the subscriber recognizes that they are the right fit for what the client offers.
Digital Marketing Strategist
108 Degrees Digital Marketing
I love drip campaigns for this. Walking people through your sales process by educating and answering questions before they know to ask, shows your expertise and personality. The tenor and tone of your drip campaign should be helpful and educational not salesy.
Write the drip campaign as if you’re talking to your best friend. Ask questions and ask for responses. Listen for challenges and issues and then address them. No one likes a hard sell but people respond to a heartfelt offer to help solve problems.
Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Pro Partner
Nurture, nurture! When someone signs up for your email list, there are many ways you can engage a potential customer and nurture them along in hopes that they will eventually make a purchase. By providing valuable information, useful resources, and interesting stories, you can keep them engaged and interested in your brand…before you even make a big sell.
We always encourage our clients to provide something valuable with every email. Sometimes that’s simply a link to a great article or a fun video, but a nurture sequence is a great way to get those new subscribers to convert to a purchaser.
Co-Founder and Email Strategist
You turn a subscriber into a customer by informing and educating them. If you do this successfully, the sale will come to you. High-quality content leads to increased trust, which leads to more engagement, which leads to more conversions. And remember- don’t value your message more than you value your recipient.
Adam Q. Holden-Bache
Director of Email Marketing