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Using Incentives to Turn E-Mail Marketing Contacts into Subscribers

3 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Building Your E-Mail Marketing Lists

Your e-mail marketing contact list is an asset — hopefully containing e-mail addresses belonging to loyal customers who spend money as well as referral sources who love to tell others about you. Offering an incentive in exchange for an e-mail subscription is really the least you can do to thank and reward your most valuable contacts, and can reward your business:

  • Increase sign-ups: The number of people willing to share their contact information with you is likely to increase if they feel that they’re getting something of value in return.

  • Increase loyalty: An incentive rewards your subscribers and can increase loyalty, repeat business, and referrals.

Giving e-mail subscribers immediate incentives

Some incentives, such as ongoing discounts, can be an inherent part of being on the list — and are, therefore, available immediately upon the subscription. Immediate incentives abound and may include

  • Discounts or reward points on every purchase

  • VIP access to special events, front row seats, and so on

  • Access to members-only information

  • Free trials, gifts, or additional services

Giving e-mail subscribers future incentives

Some incentives aren’t immediate bonuses, but become available sometime later. For example, a clothing store has a biannual 48-hour sale and only e-mail list subscribers can save 50 percent if they order within the 48-hour period. The subscribers have to wait for an invitation to take advantage of the incentive.

Future incentives are limited only by your own creativity and can include

  • Early shopping hours during the holidays

  • Invitations to periodic private events

  • Random rewards, such as prize drawings

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