Every SME can Implement an Email Marketing Strategy – Here’s where to Start

Updated on 28 May 2018

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By Jandre de Beer, Digital Marketer and Owner of V8 Media.

Building a customer database is still one of the most profitable long-term marketing strategies, and in my opinion, it’s a must for any business.

However, when building an email list, you must be ready to convince people with a good reason why you feel you require their email address; otherwise, you probably won’t make the “circle of trust.”

As a marketing consultant, the first thing I advise a small to medium business to set up, is a data collection and email marketing strategy. In my opinion, alongside Search Engine Optimization, it’s one of the most profitable strategies around. We’ve had some of our clients generate an ROI as much as 800%, and that means, you can too!

The hard truth is no one wants to sign up for company newsletters anymore

To build your email list using an opt-in form, you’ll need to target the right audience and convince them why they should trust your company and provide you with their private data.

To help you kick-start a mailing list, I’ve outlined a few things you need to include in your opt-in forms to help convince a bigger percentage of visitors that their data is safe in your hands and that there is value for them in opting in.

What’s in it for the client?

An essential question your opt-in copy should answer is the “What’s in it for me?” question. Potential subscribers will want to know what they will be getting in exchange for their emails.

The hard truth is no one wants to sign up for company newsletters anymore, to the reader it just means, I’m most probably going to get spammed.

Instead of using a vague “Subscribe to my newsletter” you could use something like “Join Our VIP List and Get Notified About Exclusive Deals and One-Time Offers.” This gives potential subscribers an idea of what they will gain in exchange for their emails.

Describe the Offer

Clearly describing the offer is extremely important, as people will want to know what they are getting in exchange for their emails, and if it is worth the “I might get spammed” risk, then they will submit their details.

From the previous example, the puppy website owner could have offered a free E-book on how to train puppies, but instead chose to focus on the fact that they want to promote limited offers and deals.

This way only those who are interested in specials will end up submitting their emails.
By clearly describing your offer, you’ll help not only potential subscribers decide if your offer is worth it or not, but it will also be able to collect more targeted emails.

Build Trust

There’s a good chance that most of the people you are trying to capture through your opt-in form are not familiar, or only vaguely familiar with your brand. To warm them up and get them to submit their data, you’ll need to help them trust you.

An excellent way to build trust in potential subscribers is by adding social proof to your opt-in form. Social proof like “join over 20,000 peers” will go a long way to build trust in visitors. If over 20,000 people could trust you with their emails, then what’s there to fear?

hands laptop man work desk

Set Expectations

How often do you wish to communicate with subscribers once they submit their data? Let them know about this via your copy. Like the above example, the opt-in copy should inform subscribers of both the topic and the starting date of your email campaign; this will further boost credibility and trust.

Include a Powerful Call-to-Action

Your Opt-In Forms should contain a clear and compelling call to action. For instance, if you are focusing on pushing people into your special’s list the word “Submit,” will most likely be less powerful than “Start Saving Money” or “I Want to Save.” As a rule, your call to action button should stand out from the rest of the page, as this help draw the visitor’s attention.


In a nutshell, having something exciting to offer, clearly explaining your offer, and why you want the user’s email goes a long way. At the end of the day for the user, it all comes down to trust and value.

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