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Want to grow your mailing list? 4 things you need to know about Emails, GDPR & Sales Tips

Traders- Hints & Tips | Organisers Info

Learn more about emails, GDPR & other sales tips in this blog

Want to grow your mailing list? Here’s what you need to know about Emails, GDPR & Sales Tips

Having an email list is pretty essential for most businesses, but growing your mailing list can be another matter entirely. Here at Pedddle, we often get asked for tips by small businesses, on how to collect data and grow your mailing list to ensure you’re not only reaching potential customers, but nurturing your current ones and ensuring repeat custom too.

Why having an Email Database is really important

1. You own the data you’ve collected.
2. It has a 100% delivery rate – you know that it’s hitting the inbox of your audience (and not just being missed or scrolled past on social media).
3. You can tell a better story and give a proper representation of your brand (work on a serve/serve/sell rota, so offer something of value (serve your customers) then sell to them a third of the time!

Not got an email database yet? Start now by signing up to Flodesk.

There are plenty of free or cheap email providers (like Flodesk that we’ve mentioned above), that will keep your data safe AND they offer an automated ‘unsubscribe’ option. MailerLite and Mailchimp are great, or ones like Campaign Monitor are more expensive but are good for larger audiences. At Pedddle, we use Flodesk, as we find the layout super-easy to use.

Keep it consistent! Start with once a month, pick a day and optimum time to send emails out to your mailing list (once you’ve sent a few email newsletters, you can test which days and times get most engagement for you – it will be slightly different for different audiences). Build a routine, and it won’t seem as large a chore.

Try and encourage traffic back to your website. Include links to get people clicking onto your website (make it easy for them), and links to your social media channels too, so that they can easily follow, like and share your posts.

What’s the best way to grow your mailing list?

Yes, we have another 3 tips for this!

1. Design a sign-up form as a website pop up for your own website – then as soon as someone clicks onto your website, it gives them the chance to join your mailing list.
2. Give a freebie in return for signing up to your mailing list. This can be any kind of incentive, from 5% off their next order with you to a first-glimpse of future sales!
3. Give subscribers exclusive access to certain pages of your website. You could have some with hidden access, and those that sign-up get to see – like a blog with extra tips, a behind-the-scenes look at your studio, a vote on what colour you’re painting your new studio walls – anything they might be interested in!

The serve/serve/sell rota and content ideas to post about

We mentioned this above – that two thirds of the time you should be SERVING your customers/potential customers, and that the other third of the time you can sell your biz/products to them.

This is both in terms of your content creation and the things you post on social media, but the serve/serve/sell rota applies to your mailing list content and email newsletters too.

Lisa from The Stories Society recommends this strategy. Check out their biz if you’d like your social media strategy and content creation to be done for you!

But back to the serve/serve/sell rotation – what kinds of things should we be talking about?

Here are some ideas of things to talk about, that aren’t just your products:

1. Talk about your business

Give behind-the-scenes glimpses, workshop shots, or time lapses and videos of how things are made. Instagram Reels are pretty key in a current social media strategy!

Remember that people are nosey – they love to get to know you better and see how your business works, and these things enable them to connect with the brands that they shop with.

2. Talk about YOU

Yes, you can share memes that you find funny in your Stories! But ideally don’t pop them on the grid, unless they’re super on-brand or you can adapt them to your brand.

Show off your personality. As a business owner, post things about who you are and what makes you so. Whether that’s you as a mum, a dad, a woman, a garden enthusiast… whatever it is, it will interest people who want to connect with your brand. It’s all about storytelling. Share your interests, share tips and tricks.

3. Use your voice

Give your opinions and your view point on topical conversations. Note – this doesn’t have to be current political discourse (but it can be if you’d like). Talk about topics that you’re passionate about, and things that mean something to you – it could be your hobbies, your passions, your business ethics – but it’s time to find your voice and people will identify with that.

Don’t be afraid to be authentic, people will comment and share posts that they engage and connect with.

These things can be adapted to either serving your customers, or angling towards selling to them if needed (i.e. if you want to talk about your business ethics and have a fab new ethical product to show off, that could be a sales post).

What do we need to know about GDPR?

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) ruling came into the UK years ago now – but still affects the way we all collect data, especially when it comes to growing your mailing list. But GDPR still scares a lot of people and many people are afraid of data protection regulations and collecting email addresses.

You’re probably already aware, but you need to make sure:

1. All customer data you collect is safe, so no one else can access it.
2. You don’t have a pre-checked box at checkouts.
3. You won’t share your data with other parties (unless at sign-up, you told customers specifically any parties you would share it with in future).
4. You have a privacy policy available for all users of your website. This can just be a statement on your website – but as long as it’s publicly available to read.
5. You must be able to, if asked, provide the detail of any specific contact made with any given customer (the data they joined with, how and dates etc) – most email/ mailing list providers will collect this info for you.

A final tips – ALWAYS include an ‘unsubscribe’ link on all communication you send out, i.e. your emails – you HAVE to give your customers the chance to opt out.

NB: This blog was originally written in 2020, and modified in 2024. For any queries, please contact the Pedddle team.

Link to the 2024 Small Biz Boost Video on email marketing.