Want an easy way to grow your email list and boost sales? Partner with non-competing businesses and organizations that share your customer base. When you partner with other business to promote one another’s email newsletters, products and services, you can:
- Earn instant trust. Their audience will trust them when they recommend you, and vice versa.
- Double or triple your reach. If your mailing lists are round the same size, you can reach twice as many prospective customers. Partner with a third business, and you can triple your reach.
- Increase sales. Partnering with other businesses introduces your brand to new prospects who match your customer demographics and are likely buyers.
Here are three ways to find partners and develop mutually beneficial relationships that grow your respective email lists and boost sales:
1. Partner with local businesses
Other local businesses share your customer base, and many do not directly compete with you. Reach out to them to see if they’re interested in partnering up on a local email campaign. Ideas include:
- Promote one another’s weekly specials via email.
- Suggest one another’s email list and explain the benefits of subscribing.
- Create a special package. For example, a restaurant and movie theater might promote a “couple’s date night” package. Each business offers a discount, customers are subscribed to both businesses’ lists and they get an affordable night out – a win-win-win situation.
- Work with other local business to create a “community deals” newsletter that goes out once a week. Each business can list its weekly specials and help promote the list to its customer base.
Not sure whom to partner with? Reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce for a list of businesses. Your Chamber might even help match you to the perfect email partner.
2. Partner with online businesses
Have a regional, nationwide or global customer base? Think beyond the zip code and identify potential business partners that have similar scale and customer demographics, but do not directly compete with you.
For example, an online bookkeeping company might partner with an online invoicing software firm. Or, a company that sells dog food might partner with a company that sells dog toys. Online email partnership ideas include:
- Promote complementary products and services.
- Promote one another’s lead magnets – eBooks, for example – to encourage customers to subscribe to each other’s email lists.
- Promote special offers to customers; for example, when someone buys dog food from one company, they might offer them a 15% discount when they subscribe to the dog toy company’s list.
- Create affiliate partnerships, where each company gets a monetary kickback when one of their subscribers buys from the other.
- Create joint venture partnership packages in which you bundle two products or services into one discounted offer. Like local partnerships, it’s a win-win-win: both businesses share the marketing investment and earn sales, and customers get a great price.
There’s no shortage of online businesses, so do your homework and find the best potential partners who sell complementary products and services that do not compete with you. It’s a great way to instantly expand your audience and increase sales via trusted recommendations.
3. Partner with nonprofit organizations
Nonprofit organizations can help you reach a relevant audience that’s eager to financially support a charitable cause. You can sweeten the deal by offering something in return, such as a product or service. Ideas include:
- Hold a special time-limited sales event in which a portion of each sale is donated to a nonprofit organization. Holidays, membership drives and special events are good opportunities
- Offer a special coupon to anyone who subscribes to a nonprofit organization’s email list. The nonprofit will share subscribers with you so you can deliver the coupon and continue marketing to its audience
- Simply donate a portion of proceeds from every sale to a nonprofit that’s near and dear to your customer base. You can continue the program as long as it’s beneficial to all parties
When you partner with nonprofit organizations, they’ll promote your email list to their members, donors and email subscribers. The relationship is mutually beneficial because they get a portion of proceeds (or some other donation, such as an in-kind donation), you earn more customers and subscribers, and customers simultaneously get a great deal and contribute to a charitable cause.
How to make email partnerships successful
By now, you should have noticed a common theme: For email partnerships to be successful, you must create a win-win-win situation. That means all partners benefit and, most importantly, customers benefit. Here are some more tips to make email partnership work:
- Partner with those who share your audience and do not directly compete (and who are easy to work with).
- Ensure the relationship is mutually beneficial, and that the benefits are equal.
- Never spam subscribers earned via email partnerships. It’s a good idea to make it clear exactly how you intend to use your growing email list when you set up partnerships.
- Consider subscribers first. What will motivate them to subscribe to your list? Your partner’s list? Then decide how to create a package or program that encourages subscribers.
- Test the waters with a single partner first. If you’re successful, look for new partnerships or consider partnering with multiple businesses for a single promotion. If you’re not successful, identify what went wrong and correct it: wrong partner, wrong audience, wrong offer?
A well-designed email partnership program can pay huge dividends for all partners. Focus on customer benefits, and each partner can grow its own list exponentially plus earn more sales through trusted recommendations and the ability to reach more people time and again with ultra-affordable email marketing.
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© 2019, Brian Morris. All rights reserved.
Brian is a freelance writer who has contributed articles to VerticalResponse and its partners Deluxe and PsPrint.
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