If you own or run a business, chances are good you have some kind of information on your customer base. For some businesses, this involves only addresses and phone numbers, while others are busy harnessing the power of email marketing. Even if you don’t want to turn into a company that fills up people’s inboxes with messages, your email list is still important to success, both now and in the future.

Using your email list for current sales

Whether you interface with your customers in person, by phone or online, you can use the power of your email list to increase your current sales. While your customers probably don’t want to be bombarded with daily messages from you, most will appreciate a well-timed message offering savings. The key to using your email list to get sales right now is to create a sense of urgency.

Although there are multiple ways to create a sense of urgency among your customers, one of the most effective is to offer a subscriber-only sale that lasts for only a short time. If your offer represents enough value to your customer, they’re more likely to make the immediate purchase. Limiting the sale to only your email subscribers also gives an air of exclusivity to your promotion, letting customers know they’ll miss out on future deals if they unsubscribe.

Using your email list for future sales

Unfortunately, not all of your customers will have an immediate need or the finances to participate in a short-term offer you send to your email list. You may be able to catch their interest during your next surprise sale, but another option remains. If your business model allows you to make deep cuts in your prices once or twice a year, you can plan for an annual or semi-annual sale.

To garner the most interest in your sale, try sending out a teaser message to your email list a few months in advance, promising additional details on big savings coming soon. Then, release the full details a month or so in advance. You may feel like you’re sending too many messages, but as long as you don’t go overboard, your subscribers will be salivating for your sale, especially if the prices are rock bottom.

How not to use your email list

While proper use of your email list can bring success, making critical errors can drive away your subscribers. For best results, avoid:

  • Emailing customers more frequently than is necessary
  • Listing all your subscriber email addresses on your group emails
  • Sending messages without a clear business purpose

In addition, remember to triple-check everything you send out. Your customers probably won’t leave you over one typo in a message, but they may begin to doubt the value of being on your email list if it’s a common occurrence. Just remember to nurture your email list and it can bring you sales for years to come.