If you’re ready to grow your email list with current and potential gift basket buyers, this article provides six steps to begin the process.

The truth behind big numbers

Years ago Internet marketers bragged about having email lists with 10,000 or more subscribers.

That sounds great to untrained ears. However, the real number to brag about is the number of people who open the email.

If you have 10,000 subscribers and only 200 people on average read your message, that’s a 2% open rate. That’s a low percentage. It’s even lower when you uncover how many people took action to click on links and buy whatever you sell.

These are statistics to keep in mind as you decide how to maintain a private email list. You may be starting a list now, or perhaps you have a handful of subscribers. Pat yourself on the back for achieving what you’ve done to date to begin marketing directly to people interested in your gift baskets. This is an important step in the initial gift basket marketing process.

Start at the beginning

The first thing to consider is which company will host your email marketing account. There are lots of options. The main question to ask yourself is:

Which company offers more bells, whistles, and services than I need right now that will benefit my business in the future?

There’s nothing wrong with low-cost providers. You can start with the cheapest option, but will cheap add value to your business?

The email marketing company that fits your goals now and later is a huge point of concern for my coaching clients. One designer came to me for help days after her emails were banned by the program she was using.

She estimates that the problem cost her about $30,000 because the crisis happened right before a major holiday. The designer was frantic. Thankfully, we quickly discovered another way to deliver her emails. She won’t make the same mistake again because of my guidance and advice.

It can prove difficult to decide which program to choose, especially since there are so many providers telling you they are the best. You and I can talk during a quick call about your choice to send emails before you begin. It’s better to make an informed decision than one where you guess and hope everything goes well.

These are some of the non-glamorous concerns to answer before selecting an email service provider. You’re probably more interested in the growing your list part. That’s next

Plan your content

People who join your list do so because you provide them with something they don’t have – news, information, ideas, and images that’s valuable to their lifestyle. They don’t want a sales pitch, which is the biggest reason for not subscribing or lots of unsubscribes.

What you’ll offer first to grow your subscriber list is a newsletter, and that takes planning.

Content: What will your newsletter contain to entertain and inform readers?
Length: How long or short will it be (you are not publishing a magazine)?
Frequency: How often will it be published (once weekly, twice monthly, etc.)?

Start with these three details and plan at least six months of content. Seasons and occasions will help determine what you’ll write. Also, think about heartwarming stories you’ve been told by customers and recipients. Readers enjoy such insight, and it lets them realize, on their own, that certain gift baskets you offer are the ones they must buy now.

The following ideas will also allow you to get your newsletter published sooner than later.

Ready to grow your email list? Six steps to start

Books - Gift Basket Business

Let them know what they’ll get.
Don’t just tell people to subscribe. Give them ideas about the content. You might share gift-giving stories or provide a list of upcoming holidays. Perhaps you’ll include gardening tips or business ideas.

Make the content about them, not you.
As mentioned earlier, your newsletter is not about all of the gift baskets you make. It’s about whatever your subscribers enjoy reading, insights and ideas that are interesting and important to them whether personally or for business.

Add a subscription box or button where possible.
Areas for a box or button and marketing strategies to get subscribers include your website, your site’s Facebook page, Twitter tweets, your email signature, business cards, and on any materials you regularly distribute.

Remind them about privacy.
No one wants their email address shared with third parties (anyone outside of you). Let subscribers know that their address stays with you, but only tell them this if that’s true.

Look at statistics to know which content is popular.
Every email marketing program includes a statistical view that reports how many subscribers received your email, opened it, and clicked on links. Review this information to learn more about your subscribers’ preferences.

Purge your list every six months.
You can grow your list to 10,000 or more subscribers. However, as mentioned earlier, that number is irrelevant if less than half are readers. Get rid of dead weight (which you pay for) by cleaning your list. Get help from the email provider’s support service to do this properly.

Time is your friend

Don’t expect your subscriber numbers to go from 0 to 1,000 in a month. Such growth may happen through programs that state guaranteed results. However, there are a huge number of problems you don’t recognize that accompany high-velocity growth.

It’s a situation you and I can discuss during a call so you don’t have the same problems the designer I mentioned earlier experienced.

Be patient and craft each issue in the manner subscribers enjoy. You’ll soon have an email list and sales from subscribers that other business owners envy.

Now that you’re confident and ready to grow your email list, which of the steps mentioned above is the most-difficult hurdle for you to achieve?