Have you tried email marketing before? Did you give this channel a go with a few emails here and there, see little return, and decide it was a waste of your time? You wouldn’t be alone – email marketing can deliver lacklustre results. However, with sound planning, research and execution, it can also deliver. Big time. Indeed, some say it has the potential to generate $38 for every dollar spent (yes, a 3,800% return on investment). 

So let’s turn that email marketing frown upside down and take another look because it remains the marketing channel most consumers say they want businesses to use to communicate with them. And it has the potential to be a real gravy train for your IBD in so many ways. 

How to grow your newsletter subscribers 

Your subscribers might be virtual; however, you can grow them both on and offline. Here’s how! 

  • Make it easy to subscribe. This is the golden rule for so much when it comes to marketing and sales, isn’t it? Don’t create unnecessary friction. Make that subscribe call-to-action easy to find and easy to opt-in. If you’re considering a subscription pop-up widget, why confine it to the homepage alone? Why not put it on as many web pages as possible so there is no chance of missing it? 
  • Offer subscription incentives—really good ones. Don’t fall into that ‘5%-off’ hole. It will not help you make friends; it just looks, well, a bit cheap… If you want to incentivise people to subscribe, develop something compelling. Anything below 10% just looks like lip service. If your business model can handle 15% or even 20%, do it. However, you need to have a strong retention plan for your business to justify that discount level. You want the average signing-up customer life cycle to deliver a return not just when they join your database but moving forward.  
  • Include a subscribe call-to-action everywhere. That means on your staff email auto signatures, every blog article, confirmation of purchase email, social media pages, etc. In short, the works! 
  • Ensure your social media campaign is pushing subscriptions. Use your social media to remind people to subscribe, but be sure to whet their appetite as to why. Deals, exclusives, first-time notifications, limited releases; anything and everything you can think of to seal the deal! 
  • Create exclusive gated content. Does your store have customers hanging off your every bit of news? Do you or someone on your team have a reputation for being incredibly knowledgeable or entertaining? Do you have access to influential people, such as local sporting heroes? Calling on these sources to create gated content, which can only be accessed through subscription, might be just the carrot you need to dangle! 
  • Encourage people to share your emails. Everyone on your database can potentially become a marketing freelancer for you – at no cost! They have their own networks, so why not give them a good reason to share your newsletter and see where it can go? Incentivise them in some way (perhaps bonus points for every new subscriber who mentions their forwarding friend’s name) and see how far and wide those emails can go.
  • Explore affiliate marketing. Partner with influencers online and provide them with a code. The influencer can then receive some kind of kickback for every person who subscribes to you using this code.
  • Encourage store visitors to subscribe. Get your customer service team into the habit of asking every purchaser if they would like to join your online family. Promote the opportunities and incentives around the store, so hopefully, customers ask you first! Make it easy for people to opt-in manually should they wish (filling out a form at the sales desk), as well as jumping online. 

Five top reasons to grow your database (and email them!) 

OK, so we’ve explored how to grow your newsletter subscribers. That, in turn, begs the question of why to do it in the first place? 

  • To make more sales. As we saw at the beginning of this article, emails can proactively generate revenue. Why bring the horse to water when you can carry a bucket over and remind it how thirsty it is?!  
  • Build a community. Never underestimate the value of a community, tribe, family, following… Whatever word you want to use, that feeling of connection that comes when you involve someone in news, sharing stories, offering them exclusives. 
  • It’s seriously easy. Templates make it super easy to build, segment and then analyse newsletters. 
  • Low cost. Here at BikeExchange, we make it incredibly cost-effective to build and market to your database. We want you to make money, not spend it! 
  • You’re in the driving seat. Indeed, unlike social media marketing, you’re not beholden to algorithms and policies. Provided you comply with local marketing regulations, you’re free as a bird to say and offer what you want and how you want when you want. 

Don’t forget about GDPR 

Ah, yes, that elephant in the room! Speaking of marketing regulations – the General Data Protection Regulation is now well-established in Europe and the UK. We don’t think it will take long for this to become a global regulation. At its most simplified, GDPR was introduced to better protect individuals’ data; this includes their work and private email addresses. As such, how you collect, store and use data must be GDPR compliant. So, be sure to factor this in when you’re rolling out your plan! 

How BikeExchange can grow your newsletter subscriptions 

For over 15 years, BikeExchange has been focused on growing and maintaining a bespoke customer database. Globally we have over 500,000 subscribers and an average open rate of 40%. This is an incredibly powerful tool we use to promote our IBDs and encourage sales. We also have plenty of experience in understanding what works and what doesn’t when it comes to effective email campaigns. So why not contact us today and find out how you can benefit from our knowledge and potentially from a presence on a future email to our customers.