The From Line
Rants, raves and ramblings about multi-channel marketing.
Building Lists Organically Part 2 of 3: eLoop Tools at your Fingertips
We all want to grow our distribution lists. The logic is simple. If more people see our messages then more people also have the opportunity to respond to them. One of the most overlooked methods of increasing the number of recipients in a database is organic growth.
The concept of organic growth means that your list grows from within. In other words, current recipients might opt-in to receive additional communications or emails from you or they might refer other members to your list. Another, equally as important, way to look at organic growth is limiting list attrition. You want to keep the recipients that you have.
eLoop has two features that can help you grow your list organically and limit attrition. If you are not already incorporating them into your messages, start now. First is the opt-in form, which allows your readers to subscribe to your emails (thus complying with CAN SPAM requirements) and customize their preferences. For example, they can choose which of your email campaigns are most valuable to them as well as select the delivery form (i.e. HTML or text messages).
eLoop users can create opt-in forms in the Data Collection section of the platform. The forms can be customized in several different ways but the most popular are:
- Data points – you can add several different data points or information fields to your form so you gather the information most relevant to your needs. Most users use the first name, last name, and email address fields. But, you can ask other questions to help populate your database with information that will help personalize and target your campaigns.
- Communication categories – if you have different types of emails going out to your database you can set up your opt-in form to allow users to select what type of emails they receive. For example, they might choose to receive your monthly electronic newsletter, but not other announcements about events.
- Whitelists – readers don’t always understand the idea of the whitelist or how to add your organization to their “approved sender” list so your emails end up in their inbox and not their junk folder (or blocked entirely). Adding simple instructions to the bottom of your opt-in form increases the chance your emails are delivered and read.
The best way to use the opt-in form once it is created is to place it in a prominent section of your Web site where readers, and potential recipients, can easily see it and subscribe. eLoop makes it easy to create the form and copy the HTML source code directly into your Web management tool. How to Create an Opt-in Form in eLoop
Before you can create an Opt-In form a few things must be completed in eLoop.
- Communication categories need to be established. Please see Communication Category info below.
- If you decide to link to the Opt-In page in eLoop instead of incorporating it into your website you will need to create an Opt-in page template.
- eLoop is a double opt-in system so you will need to create a verification message in the message section of the Out-bound Messaging module.
- If you would like to incorporate questions into your opt-in page such as “When is your birthday?” you will need to have them setup in the Q&A Section of the Data Collection module.
Creating an opt-in form for your Web site in eLoop is easy following the directions below.
- Mouse over Data Collection
- Select Opt-in Forms
- Click the new icon (select the category from the tree first. If this is the first opt-in form you have created or you want it in the general folder, select “Top Level)
- eLoop will lead you the eight steps to set up your form. You can access more detailed information from the HELP section.
You should also add Communication Categories to your account. Communication categories are just what they sound like—a categorization of the communications that you send out to your database. For example, your e-newsletter (we’ll call it XYZ E-News) that goes out monthly could be classified as one category. Maybe you also have a weekly news blast called the XYZ E-Update that fits into another category.
Besides keeping your account organized, communication categories are beneficial because they give recipients an alternative to opting out of your list completely (i.e. attrition). Instead, they can opt-out of receiving one category of communication. Here is an example using the two publications above.
John Smith finds value in XYZ E-Update because it gives him a quick snapshot of industry news. But, he doesn’t have time to read longer features in XYZ E-News and doesn’t want to receive it. He decides to opt out of all XYZ’s email because he sees no other option to keeping his inbox volume under control. When he gets to the opt-out form, he finds that he actually does have another option. He can select to only receive the weekly E-Update. So, instead of opting out of ALL of XYZ’s email, he chooses only to receive the email he finds valuable.
How to Set up Communication Categories
Setting up communication categories in eLoop is easy following the directions below.
- Mouse over Account Settings
- Select Communication Categories
- If you are creating a new Category select Top Level
- Click on the New icon
- Name the Category and provide a description
- Select the folder to save the Category (if this is a new category select Top Level)
- Click Save
Don’t forget to incorporate these two easy steps into your campaigns to reduce your list attrition and increase your organic growth.