How to leverage Small Business Saturday to grow your email list

Small Business Saturday is a big day for small business. What’s all the fuss about? Well, it’s a celebration of all things small business. What’s more, there’s a whole team behind the big day that’s working hard to make it count for small businesses all over the UK.

Did you know that in 2016, customer spending on the day increased by 15%? Or that the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK trended at number one on Twitter all day, reaching over 120 million people? (These stats are from Small Business Saturday) That is huge! And you can have some of that action. You just need to work out how you’re going to get involved.

In this blog post, I’m going to tell you how you can leverage Small Business Saturday to grow your email list. Why do you want to do that? Well, email marketing helps you communicate with your existing and prospective customers. In fact, it’s really effective. If you have a Facebook Page, currently your posts only reach about 2% of your fans. With email marketing, you can reach 98% of your email list! (These stats are from Constant Contact) Plus, for every £1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of £38. (This stat is from the DMA)

So, now we have that out of the way and, hopefully, I’ve convinced you that you should be using email marketing, let’s get to how you can grow your list.

Start a newsletter

If you’ve been thinking about sending out a regular newsletter, Small Business Saturday is the perfect time to start. Get thinking now about what you’d like to put in your newsletter (including your offer) and get going. Even if you don’t have anyone on your list at the moment, by creating a newsletter and showing the value you add, you’ll encourage people to join your list.

And whilst we’re talking about newsletters, I want to tell right now that you should be using email marketing software to send your newsletters. Why? So many reasons, but where GDPR is concerned, they give you sign-up boxes which makes keeping records of sign-ups easy. They also manage all unsubscribes for you, so you’ll always be sure you’re only emailing people who want to hear from you.

You also get other bonus tools, such as being able to get sign-ups directly from your Facebook Page, integrations with other small business tools, such as Eventbrite, and reporting. Reporting is so important, I wrote a whole blog post about it!

If you don’t know what do consider when choosing email marketing software, read this blog post I wrote.

Make your email sign-up mobile

Will you be headed out to take part in a market on Small Business Saturday? Or do you have a shop where you’ll be promoting your offer? Or even attending a networking event? People will be in a good mood when they see your offer, so it’s the perfect time to ask them to join your list to hear more about offers and other news.

But, move away from paper forms. Why? Because anyone adding their name will see the names and email addresses of other people who’ve added theirs. And a big part of GDPR is to keep people’s personal data safe.

Mobile apps let you collect people’s email addresses safely and keep a record of the time and date someone joined your email list. My favourite email software, Constant Contact, has an app that does just this. It’s free to use, doesn’t need an internet connection and puts people’s details directly into your Constant Contact account, saving you tonnes of time by not having to type them in manually. So, download an app on a tablet and take that with you instead!

Use technology to help you manage your #email list growth. It saves you time and makes you GDPR compliant.

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Add an opt-in box everywhere

If you’ve got a Small Business Saturday offer, you’re going to want to promote it. Everywhere you do promote it is a chance to ask people to join your email list. Here are some ideas for where you can put your sign-up box:

  • Your website — make it obvious and put it at the top, or even better on your navigation menu, so it follows visitors around your site.
  • Social media — make sure there is a link in your profile on all the networks you use.
  • Check-out page — if you’re selling online, your check-out page should absolutely have a sign-up box on it.
  • Email signature — if you’re emailing customers and prospective customers, having a sign-up box in your email signature gives them a chance to sign up.
  • Newsletter — what? But it’s going to people who are already on my list! Yes, but what if someone forwards your newsletter to a friend? Don’t you want them to sign up?

These are just a few suggestions, but if you get a pen and a piece of paper and brainstorm, I’m sure you’ll come up with loads more.

Just don’t do this: the box people tick to join your email list must not be pre-ticked. This isn’t allowed under GDPR, so make sure the box is unticked before you publish!

If you haven’t even thought about your offer, you need to be on my webinar. I’m going to spill the beans on how to create a great offer, promote it and extend your success into 2019.

Grow your email list
Opt-in box on my webinar registration page

Boost your list from referrals

You know you have a kick-ass offer and it’s going to be very popular. Why not take advantage of that and ask everyone who takes it up to refer you?

Why would they do that? Well, the trick is to entice them with an upgrade on your Small Business Saturday offer in return for that referral. Once they’ve made a successful referral they get a bonus and the person they’ve referred gets your Small Business Saturday offer.

But it doesn’t stop there! Make sure you ask everyone, referrer and the referred person, to join your email list.

Use your transactional emails

What do I mean by that? Transactional emails are ones where you’re confirming an order or getting in touch with someone who abandoned their cart. Anything really that has is related to someone doing business with you. You don’t actually have to have permission to contact these people by email for these types of emails.

So, if they’ve bought from you before, or were thinking about it, chances are they’ll want to hear about future offers and promotions. So, use these emails to give them the opportunity to join your email list. Once you have their permission, you can market to them.

Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard)

In the lead up to Small Business Saturday, you’ll have lots of exciting things to tell your customers and prospective customers about. Work out how you can turn these into blog posts and write about what’s going on in your business.

Maybe you’re launching a new product or service. You can give people a behind-the-scenes account of how it was developed, or tips on how to use that new product. Whatever you decide to write about, make sure you ask people to join your email list. Make it your call to action — the thing you want people to do after reading that blog post.

Once you’ve written your post, you’ll be busy promoting it everywhere, which will bring people to your website. This is a great opportunity to use a pop-up box to ask visitors to sign up for your newsletter. I use a tool called Privy, which integrates with Constant Contact and automatically adds anyone who signs up into my account.

Want some help with blog post topics? Read this post that has 15 ideas you can use!

Blogging can help you to grow your #email list. What can you tell people about your @SmallBizSatUK offer?

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Get social

Figure out a campaign to encourage people to join your email list. A campaign is where you push out content in order to pull a response from your audience. So, work out the type of content you want to push out to pull people into signing up to receive your newsletter.

Once you’ve done that, regularly share that content. If you’ve decided that you’re going to take up my suggestion of writing blog posts, then this would be a great campaign.

And don’t forget to share your newsletters on your social networks. People always find it easier to sign up for newsletters when they can see what they’re going to get. So, give them a taste of what you send out.

Run a competition

A good, old competition can work wonders for growing your email list, especially when the prize is something everyone wants. Work out what would make your competition attractive, make sure you have terms and conditions and a promotional plan.

Once you have these, you’re ready to promote your competition. On your landing page, make sure you have an opt-in box. Then, for every entry you receive, make sure you send out a confirmation email, and make sure that this email has a link for people to join your email list. Make it a no-brainer for them by telling them the value they’ll get by handing over their email address.

But, it doesn’t end there. You’ll have to announce a winner or winners. As well as doing this on social media, make sure you send an email to everyone who entered. Thank them for taking the time and tell them who won. Then tell them there will be more competitions in the future and if they want to be the first in the know, they can join your email list.

GDPR has made businesses wary of asking people for their email addresses. As long as you do this in the right way, there’s no need to be nervous. And Small Business Saturday is the perfect time to give your email list a boost.

If you want some help in setting up and promoting your Small Business Saturday offer, sign up for my free webinar on 16 October. If you can’t make it, sign up anyway and I’ll send you a recording!


Originally published at Marketing by Minal.