May 5, 2015

How to Build & Nurture an Email Marketing Database of Quality Customers

The following article written by Digital Marketing Institute’s Co-founder and Director, Ian Dodson, was originally published on

Building up a healthy email database is essential for keeping your prospective customers warmed up and ready to buy. In fact, one fifth of marketers say their business’ primary revenue source is directly linked to email operations, according to a ‘2015 State of Marketing Report’ conducted by Marketing Cloud.

Below I’ll show you how to build a quality email database and reveal some top tips on how to segment and target your list effectively. Read on to discover how to maximize your open rates and conversions and ensure your brand’s message stays on your customers’ minds.

The Big Benefits of Email Marketing:

Email marketing was ranked as the best marketing channel in terms of ROI (Return on Investment) in a recent report conducted by Adestra, with 68% of companies rating it as ‘good’ or ‘excellent.’

Email marketing is a cost-effective and easily-accessible marketing technique that delivers real revenue results for business’ regardless of budget. It’s also a great way to keep customers clued into new deals and offers, a powerful way to keep prospects engaged and it’s super easy to track the results.

Choose an Email Provider:

First choose an email provider to help you build your lists and create and track your campaigns. One of the most popular email platforms is MailChimp due its user-friendly functionality and beautifully designed templates. Other quality email provider options include Campaign Monitor, Exact Target and Constant Contact.

Build a Quality Customer & Prospect List:

They are a number of ways to build an email marketing database. However, to build a list of quality customers and prospects you will need to master the art of intent – it’s best to capture the details of users who seem genuinely interested in your brand, product/service or content.

You can place a call to action on your blog to encourage readers to sign up to your newsletter. For example, our newsletter readership growth increased by 30% in one month when we implemented a similar sign-up box on our own blog.

Example: Newsletter Subscriber Call to Action on the Digital Marketing Institute Blog:

Build & Nurture Email Marketing Database - Newsletter Subscriber Box

You can also embed an email capture box at your checkout process, add a contact form on your product pages and create a banner giving users the option to sign up to special offers. Whatever method you choose it is essential to communicate the value you are providing to customers and prospects.

Segment and Target your List Effectively:

Not all of your customers are the same and they therefore should not get fed the same messages. Segmentation is important to add context for your different customer types and ensure your customers receive a message that is relevant to them at a point that makes sense to their purchase journey. You can then create tailored and personalized messages that answer your customers’ specific problems, while addressing their wants, needs and desires.

The two most effective way to segment your prospect list is by ‘who they are’ and ‘what they’ve done.’ The ‘who they are’ refers to demographics like age, gender, income and location. The ‘what they’ve done’ refers to the actions they’ve taken on your website. For example, one prospect could have downloaded a brochure, while another individual might have opted in to a specific offer. Any decent email marketing provider will allow you to segment your list with ease and automate your campaigns to send to your different customer types at a time of your choosing.

Next week, I’ll show you how to craft compelling email marketing messages that your customers actually want to open and read.

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