After giving you our top tips on using Twitter and Facebook we thought we’d pitch in with another massively useful tool: mailing lists. Yet again, whether your pushing delicious dinners, free film festivals or Dadaist pottery making classes, building up a list of fans is crucial. We recommend using Mailchimp as the easiest to use platform, but there are other mailing list programmes out there such as Sendblaster and Phplist.
The key to a good mailing list is making sure the users feel loved and that they are getting extra value by being part of it. So whilst you should absolutely keep them in the loop about up-coming events, it is also crucial to give them special offers, exclusive early booking for big events (perhaps at a discounted price) and a chance to enter competitions. It is also especially good for selling advance tickets – sometimes at early bird prices. If you run a theatre or comedy night, these are a brilliant way of selling tickets for shows months in advance and getting rid of those pre-show sweats about how many punters are coming along.
The same rules as Twitter and Facebook apply – pictures, videos, animations and jokes are all your friend, but make sure most of all that you make your new mailing list members your friend too. Well tended, you can make your mailing list the spine of your business. As well as collecting email addresses manually, make sure it’s easy to sign up online on your website, as footers on your email and on all your social media pages. It’s also worthwhile running regular competitions which require email addresses as a way of quickly building up the list. The prizes don’t need to be too grand, just attractive enough to get punters to enter.
Your mailing list is something you should make sure to put a lot of work into – it may be slow at first, but should grow exponentially and the members will be the people who will often turn out to be your most loyal customers. Tend it like a beautiful flower and watch it grow and grow!