Nowadays, you have an abundance of available marketing and communication channels. Many companies focus the majority of their efforts on social media, but you can’t forget about building your own subscribers’ database and developing your own channels. Why is it so important? Put shortly, because it gives you more flexibility and more freedom. Let’s dig deeper.
Let’s consider a fictional but not unjustified scenario. You run a business and have focused most of your marketing efforts on social media, let’s say on Facebook. You do have a website, but it’s more of an online business card than a central place for your company. You have thousands of real fans, and you are very active when it comes to promoting your services, sharing valuable content, and interacting with people. As a result, your account is growing, and you have plenty of work.
Now imagine that at some point, Facebook changes some of its regulations. You can’t promote your business the way you used to or be as effective at reaching new customers as before. What does it mean for your business? A big problem, for sure! You can even go out of business because people no longer come to your company.
Of course, no such thing has yet happened, but the truth is Facebook can block any business account for no particular reason, and it can take months to get it back (if ever). You surely don’t want to find yourself in such a situation, right? So, what’s the remedy?
Your business’ presence cannot be based on just one channel, like Facebook or Instagram. You must develop your own channels so that if anything wrong happens with Facebook, you can maintain your customer/user base and stay in business.
How can you do that? There are a few things to consider.
There are still hundreds of companies out there that operate without a website. It’s a big mistake. You simply need an online place to showcase what you do or what you sell. Having a domain with a specific business name protects it from other people who may want to take your customers over or do some bad PR for you.
Secondly, a website gives you access to building your own subscriber base. That’s the next crucial thing.
You should always encourage people to stay in touch with your business. One of the best ways of doing so is by offering them to join your subscriber base. This is especially important in the publishing and e-commerce sectors, but not only.
Of course, if you want people to join your subscriber base, you should give them something in return. No one will “like” you just for the sake of liking you, right? Typical incentives comprise:
Discounts for regular customers
Early access to new offers and content
Preferential cooperation conditions (e.g., free delivery)
Valuable pieces of content (blog posts, newsletters, webinars, etc.)
If you offer something your customers desire or are interested in, you can expect many new subscribers!
We need to clarify one thing – we’re not saying that you can’t use social media. On the contrary, this channel is very popular these days, and your customers simply expect your presence there. But it cannot be your ONLY channel. Mostly because of the reasons we outlined in the introduction to this post.
Once you start building your subscriber database, you should start communicating with them using your own channels. And here, you’re spoiled for choice! Depending on the type of contact details you gather, you can use the following channels:
Text messages (SMS, chat)
Use these channels freely and encourage customers to reach out to you through them as well. This way, people will get used to communicating with your brand using email/chat and not just social media fan pages.
Sure, building your own subscriber base takes some effort, but it’s definitely worth it! And here’s why:
Independence from social media regulations: Have you seen The King’s Speech? At some point, Lionel Logue said to King George VI “My castle, my rules”. And that’s the best description of why you should have your own channels. Your website, your subscriber base, your rules. You can do whatever you want and don’t have to worry about ever-changing algorithms and regulations.
Loyal customers: Becoming a subscriber takes some effort, but the people who do that often are more loyal to the brand. They are more likely to build a long-term relationship with your company, which significantly contributes to developing a stable and profitable business.
More conversions: When are you more eager to buy? When you see an ad for the first time in your life or when you see an offer from a brand you know and value? In many instances, the latter is the answer. With active owned channels, you can close more deals and sell more products.
Reaching the right people: Ads and social media posts can reach many people and are great, but most people who will see them won’t be interested in buying anything from you. With your own subscriber base, that’s a different story. Here, you reach people who you know are already interested in what you have to offer. So, your messages fall on very fertile ground.
You probably realize that you can’t just automatically add everyone you know to your subscriber base. You need to have consent from your subscribers. That’s what GDPR requires but also common courtesy. The best way to grow your subscriber base is using the so-called double opt-in mechanism.
This means that once someone gives you their email, they also need to confirm this decision by clicking the confirmation link. That’s the safest way of ensuring your subscriber base is made of people who are on it willingly.
How can you start building your subscriber base? For one thing, you can put a subscription/newsletter box on your website. Such a sign-up form should, obviously, be GDPR-compliant. Here’s a good example of such a form:
As you can see, there are two open checkboxes with consent to receive different kinds of marketing messages. That’s what you should do. You can also add another field for the subscriber’s name (a good idea for personalization purposes).
Secondly, you can use push notifications to grow your subscriber base. We’ve published a use case (mostly with the publishing industry in mind, but not only) showing how you can use web push to do so. Put shortly, it’s all based on having this small box encouraging your website visitors to receive notifications from your website, just like in this example:
You can also use other channels, including social media and offline channels (for example, if you run a brick-and-mortar store), to inform customers/users about the possibility of joining your subscriber base.
Whatever you do, the key to success lies in consistency and a good offer tailored to people who are interested in your brand.
Now you know why it’s so important to have your own database of subscribers. Stick to the advice in this article, and you will be able to develop your own list of subscribers! And here at PushPushGo, we are eager to help you with that! Take a look at our use cases for the publishing industry and start by creating a new account on our platform!
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