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How Attractive Is Your Email Magnet?

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by: Ellen Valentine (@EllenValentine)
20 May 2014

Many companies are still offering the same incentive for providing an email address that they did two, five, even 10 years ago. But the way potential customers interact with businesses has changed a lot since 2004, and so have their expectations about what they want – and deserve – in exchange for providing their email address.

I’ve started to see the term “email magnet” emerge among leading information marketers. The term refers to the offer you make to encourage anonymous website visitors to sign up for your email list. I think this is a good time for all marketers to go back to basics and think about their own email magnet. Let’s face it: Until you get someone to opt in to your communications by providing their email address, you’re limited in the ways you can reach out to them when you have some new information to share. So having a great email magnet should be among the most important items you develop in your department.

That may mean it’s time to move beyond the same sign-up discount or newsletter offer you’ve featured for the last few years – if not longer. The email magnet should contain some of your best content and educate prospects while providing information about your culture and brand. Plus, it should make their day!

That’s right, the best email magnets are about building a relationship, not pushing products. Here are a few examples to prime your creative content pump:

  • For parents of problem children, offer a personal parenting plan.
  • For women shopping for suits, offer a guide to looking slimmer and traveling to the next meeting wrinkle-free.
  • For fire safety professionals, offer a resource list of top industry trends they can share with their real estate executives, while also providing your take on the Top 10 things they need to do to minimize a catastrophe.
  • For heads of procurement (many B2B marketers forget about the procurement folks until it’s too far into the sales cycle), offer a guide to improving their negotiating skills.

In general, don’t ask for too much information in exchange for your email magnet offer, but certainly ask for one or two important pieces of info you can store in your digital database and use to tailor future offers and marketing communications.

Sophisticated marketers that have their digital marketing and content management platforms connected have the ability to display different magnet offers based on previous anonymous Web tracking data collected. This personalized website experience is exactly the kind of thing that will set you apart in the minds of prospects.

Also, don’t forget about the best practice of placing your offer above the fold in a prominent part of your website. You may even want to consider a modal or pop-up window on the first visit. If your Web design team puts up resistance, remind them that without email addresses, you won’t survive as a company!

If any of these suggestions rings true, take the time this summer to make a massive upgrade by launching a great email magnet.

Related Resources:

1) Ebook: “31 Tips for Building Your Database

2) Video: “Data: Building a Comprehensive Data Blueprint

3) White Paper: “15 Tips for Enhancing Your Marketing Team’s Vision, Skills and Data

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