J+H Insights:

Why Every Consumer-Packaged Goods Marketer Needs a Customer Email List

Where is your email list?

It is very common to find a CPG marketer that is not focused on maintaining an email list.

The thinking is that since the brand is sold at retail and Amazon, there is no need to spend the time and effort on email. But nothing could be farther from the truth.

Maintaining a database of your consumers (even a few thousand of them) has multiple advantages.

  1. They act as your own free focus group.
    These are people that have purchased or engaged with your product. This means they are your exact demographic group since they are your customers. With an email list, you can solicit their opinions on new products, flavors, package sizes, etc.
  2. They are free market research.
    As you know, conducting market research on a brand is costly, but when you have a scientifically valid number of users in your email database you can conduct typically costly research for nearly nothing. You can ask your consumers why they buy your product, if they switched from another brand, how often they buy or what other items they use with yours. The questions are endless!
  3. They can spike the ball when you need it.
    Imagine you just landed a new SKU at a certain retailer and you need it to move off the shelf right away. You have a known dedicated email list that you can ask to go to that retailer and buy it. You may choose to incentivize them with a money-off coupon only good at that retailer or other incentives.
  4. They can act as your testing group.
    Do you want to try a new flavor or scent? How will it be received by your customers? Here is your chance to reach out to your list and offer them a free sample of your new idea and measure their reaction to it. These are loyal consumers that will value getting an inside look at new items and will be eager to share their opinion.

How do you build an email list?

If you offer ecommerce on your own brand site, you should already be building a database of emails. However, if you are a brand that does not want to sell directly from your site, there are other ways to capture emails to build your list.

  • Start an Insider Club on your Website
    This is where you tell customers they can be part of an inside group and that they will get exclusive news and information about the brand as well as being the first to try new products for free.
  • Offer Money Savings
    Offer consumers a free downloadable coupon for the low, low price of their email address. But be careful not to ask for too much information. The more you ask for, the more people will not comply. Just collect the email list; you can collect other demographic info over time.

The bottom line: Any brand not taking advantage of a customer email list is losing out on one of the lowest cost research and promotional tools you will ever have. There are many low-cost platforms available like Mailchimp or Constant Contact that will make this an easy addition to your business.