January 22, 2010

Ten Ways to Collect Email Addresses


Hostway Team

By Kristie Lorette

Many businesses don't know where to start when it comes to preparing and launching an email campaign. The first step to creating an email campaign is to build a list of email addresses from quality leads. Here are 10 ways to start collecting email addresses to build your list and start an email campaign.

1. Offer Something Free

Give your Web site visitors something for free in exchange for their email address and name. The free offer may be a downloadable report or an e-newsletter subscription. It should be something intriguing enough to compel visitors to provide you with their information.

2. Announce Free Offer Everywhere

Promote your free offer on the home page of your Web site, transactional pages of your online shopping cart, in your email signature block and anything else that gets in front of your current and potential customers.

3. Integrate with Social Media

Promote your free offer on social media networks to find new potential subscribers on your Facebook Fan Page and Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. You can reach target market audiences that you may not otherwise have an opportunity to get in front of and drive them to your Web site where they can sign up to receive your email campaigns.

4. Re-engage Old Customers

Contact old customers by sending out a letter or postcard to let them know about your free offer. Include a Web site address where the old customer can register online with their name and email address or have them call your office to provide their email address to you.

5. Develop Email Courses

Create and promote an email course where you offer to teach subscribers something useful that also promotes your business expertise in an indirect manner. An email course is a set of short emails (typically five to seven emails) that cover a particular topic of interest for your customers. The email course teaches the recipients about the topic in a short and succinct manner and is typically used as a lead-in to up-selling customers on paid products or services for your company. You can use autoresponder email software to schedule the emails to go out (once a day or once a week) until the course is complete.

6. Convert Direct Mail to Email

Promote your free offer in marketing collateral such as direct mail pieces. Be sure to include the address to your Web site specific landing pages they can enter their email address in exchange for your offer.

7. Launch a Blog

Creating a blog and posting two to three times per week allows you to share fresh content continuously with visitors to your Web site. Regularly remind readers to add their names to your email list to learn more about your company or your special offers. Include a sign up form right on your blog.

8. Collect Email Addresses when Customers Call or Visit

Use opportunities when your customers call your office or visit your location to ask their permission to send them emails and obtain their email address. Even in circumstances where you may have mailing addresses or phone numbers for clients, you can broaden your communication efforts by obtaining their email address.

9. Run a Contest

Run a contest at a tradeshow, meeting or in the lobby of your office where you collect information such as email addresses. Running a contest allows you to collect the information on potential customers and open up channels of communication to convert leads into sales.

10. Collect Business Cards

When you exchange business cards with someone you meet, ask their permission to add them to your mailing list. You want to do this with potential customers or referral sources rather than everyone you meet, but this is another way to grow your mailing list.

The first step to starting an email campaign is to collect email addresses. Use these 10 techniques to increase your subscriber list, which increases the number of opportunities you have to turn leads into sales.

About the Author

Copywriter and marketing consultant, Kristie Lorette, is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and businesses create copy and marketing pieces that sizzle, motivate and sell. It is through her over 14 years of experience working in various roles of marketing, financial services, real estate and event planning, where Kristie developed her widespread expertise in advanced business and marketing strategies and communications. Kristie earned her BS in marketing and BS in multinational business from Florida State University, and her MBA from Nova Southeastern University.

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