Customer checking her email on mobile device

Your Customer’s Email Address is Valuable Digital Currency

Today, we’re talking about digital currency. No, not Bitcoin. It’s the single most valuable piece of data you can get from a customer: their email address.

The Email Address as Currency

Everytime that you get someone to give up the goods, you’re creating an opportunity to market directly to their inbox. Email addresses mean leads, and leads mean you’re on your way to closing a sale. It’s almost like they’re writing you an “IOU” for their attention later, in exchange for whatever you’re offering.

But what makes them so valuable? When a visitor stops by your website, there are only so many pieces of data that you can gather about them. Most of that data is impersonal and intangible. It might help you analyze what areas of the country are interested in your product and what keyword searches got them to your page, but it does little in the way of helping you convert that particular visitor into a paying customer.

Once you’ve snagged that invaluable bit of digital currency, though, you’ve got your hands on a tangible piece of information that can directly increase your chances of making a sale. It’s nothing to sneeze at, either. Email marketing has an average ROI of $44 for every $1 spent.

What’s the Catch?

Like hard-earned cash, leads aren’t going to just pass on their email address because you asked politely. It takes some finesse to convince them that the exchange is worth their time and their attention. It’s like you’re giving them a “free gift” that proves you’re worth the trade.

Think about almost any online retailer that you visit. Before you can even scroll to the bottom of the page, there’s likely going to be a popup offering a coupon code in exchange for an email address. That’s because it works. Visitors understand the perceived value and want to cash in on it.

Your gift doesn’t have to be a coupon code. In fact, that may be a totally inappropriate method for your particular business. Here are a few examples:

  1. You run a digital marketing firm that specializes in SEO strategies and blog content. Your free gift might be a blog post, optimized for a keyword that fits the business you’re writing for. This is a pretty major investment of time, but it has a good chance of being an effective lead magnet.
  2. Your company specializes in survival gear, like tents, preserved foods, and bunker materials. You could offer a paracord bracelet and a list of 10 uses in exchange for an email address. This will cost a little money on the front end, but remember that email marketing boasts an incredible ROI.
  3. MMORPG Mighties is a website that specializes in guides and articles about some of the best massively multiplayer online role playing games on the market. In exchange for an email address, users could gain access to forums only available to members.

Other gifts could include eBook downloads, industry reports, “secrets” in the trade, podcasts, webinars, a toolkit… The possibilities are limitless.

When to Ask

You have to be a little bold when asking for email address. It’s not uncommon to ask up to three or more times by the time the visitor leaves your website.

Here’s how Ban.do, a site that specializes in fun organization tools and accessories, incorporates this:

  1. When you visit the site, a pop-up ad appears within seconds of being on the home page. Notice their use of the word “fun,” which has perceived value in and of itself, the 10% discount, and the offer of “a whole lot more.” That’s a lot of gifts in one little popup!
  2. At the bottom of the homepage, there’s another space to sign up for emails. Again, they offer “seriously fun” emails and the 10% discount.
  3. If you make your way over the Bando blog, leaving a comment requires submission of your email address.

By this point, there’s a significant chance that you’ve gotten that little nugget of digital currency that you’ve been mining for, which will more than pay for the initial investment that you made in the form of a discount code or free gift.

A Few Keywords to Keep in Mind

There are a few words that will make the brain a little more excited when scanning an email address offer. Incorporating them into your offer helps make the connection that there is real value for the customer in completing the exchange.

  • Free: “Free Guide to Email Marketing”
  • Gift: “Subscribe to our emails and receive your paracord bracelet gift”
  • Download: “Download these incredible templates!”
  • Get: “You’ll get access to our forums”
  • Money: “Money Secrets for Small Businesses”
  • Learn: “Learn how I turned $5 into $5,000”
  • Signup: “Signup for our email list and you’ll get weekly tips for running your business”
  • Discount: “10% discount and free shipping if you opt-in”

All of these words signal to the visitor that they will be receiving something in the very near future in exchange for their compliance in what you’re asking for.

How Can I Start Email Marketing?

Your best bet for successfully incorporating these ideas into an email marketing campaign is to work with a digital marketing firm that has experience in this particular field. That’s where Nativ3 comes in. It takes a remarkable level of skill and insight into user behavior to craft an email program that will inspire action from the right people. At Nativ3, we don’t leave anything up to chance.

Find out more about what we can do for your email marketing program by dropping a line on our contact page.

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