Saturday, December 5, 2009

Why paper email opt-ins / registrations / enrollments lack the punch for in-store List Building & Email Marketing?

Paper Email Signup Cards, Email Marketing and List Building eClub registration cards, comment cards, Newsletter enrollment forms, Mailing list postcards or Email Optin Sheets are very common when you go to store-front businesses such as Restaurants, Spa, Salon, Retail, Auto, Hotel, Motel etc. It is the primary way of collecting customer opt-in information which is then used in Email Marketing to build customer relationships online and drive more traffic to the store, thus increasing customer loyalty and retention.

While it is inexpensive to get started, it suffers from drawbacks if you want to get serious about building quality customer databases:

1) Low Opt-in Rates: Paper Email List Registration Card Email is like the Phone Number on the Web. Anything and everything on the web revolves around Email Address as point of contact. Customers these days are too sensitive to leave their personal information on a piece of paper.

2) Customer Data Lacks Quality: Paper Email List Registration Card You end up with lot of hard to read and decipher hand writing and scribblings or incomplete email registration cards and optin enrollment sheets.

3) Rigid and Lengthy Process: Staff needs to collect them, then organize and store them safely. If third party handles the email marketing for you, then you would need to mail these collected sheets weekly or monthly. Signup Cards either get lost or misplaced or mangled up in the day-to-day floor operations of the business.

4) Requires Manual Data Entry: Manual Data Entry Headaches Some one needs to sit down and look at these hand-written email addresses and other info and key them into the computer for use in email marketing campaigns. Either you do yourself or need to rely on a third-party provider to do it for you.

5) Delay in welcoming new customer: Delay welcoming new subscriber From the time customer opts in to your permission email list to the time they get their first email from your business could be anywhere 2 week to 2 months, if and only if it survives the whole process intact. This causes increased drop-out rates, as customer no longer remembers the business or has lost interest and moved on.

6) Customer Data Handling & Theft: Customer data discarding The handwritten comment or eclub enrollment card goes through so many hands before it ever makes it into your email list. There is every possibility of data theft or sale, especially when multiple third parties are involved. How the paper registrations are discarded also affects customer privacy. This in-turn affects your business reputation.

7) Cost: Cost of In-store Email Marketing The cost of the whole process when you consider the steps involved, the opt-in rates, the data quality, effort your business has to put in etc is something that goes unmeasured today. If you add it all up, its expensive for the business.

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