Even in this age of social media mania (and I LOVE social media), email is still one of the best ways to get your next customer or sale.
However, in order to send out great emails that people want to receive,(and will respond to), you need people to send it to, and that’s why ‘list building’ is so important.
List building isn’t just about numbers though – you do want more people on your list, but you want more of the RIGHT people. These are people who are interested in your products and services, and who have a desire or need for what you do.
This means doing ‘permission only’ list building, so that you know that your recipients really WANT to hear from you, and you have to get them to give you their address (don’t just buy a list or collect emails without permission).
Here’re 10 ways to capture the email addresses of these people for your email mailing list:
1. Your business card
Put an easy link to your email newsletter sign up on your business card. Don’t forget to tell them why they should want to sign up, e.g. free tips and offers.
2. Sign-up sheet
Do you do events or have retail/restaurant premises? A sign-up sheet on your counter or welcome desk encourages people to join your list. Around 40% of customers will sign up when asked.
3. QR code
You have already seen QR codes – those little square bar-codes that you can use to send smart phone users straight to a web page. With Constant Contact, we generate a QR code for you AND a mobile-friendly web page to capture the contact details of your people. You can then put your QR code wherever you like – including on leaflets, brochures, menus and product labels – get the idea?
4. Email signature
Add a sign up link in your email signature. Every person you send normal business emails to is a potential recipient of your newsletter, so add a descriptive link (telling people what they will get from you) to your email signature just below your usual contact info.
5. Your website homepage
Your website homepage is probably the most visited page on your site – grab people whilst they are there with a big sign up box. Use an incentive, like a free guide, voucher or video, and make it stand right out so it can’t be missed.
6. Comment cards
Whether you have a physical business venue, send products out by post, or deliver services, getting client feedback is a good idea. Use a printed comment card to do this, and ask for their email address whilst you’re at it.
7. Every page of your website
Yes, you read that correctly. I want you to put a sign up to your mailing list on every page of your website. Your home page and contact page is just not enough because you don’t know when your site visitor will be ready to sign up. It doesn’t have to be huge, but it should be easy to spot and it should be on every single page.
8. Blog articles
People who read your blog articles are interested in what you have to say, so a sign up link at the bottom of every post is a great way to develop a relationship with those people. If you use WordPress there are plugins available that will help you to do this. If that sounds too complicated, just have a bold text link that you copy and paste in each time, e.g. ‘Want more articles and tips from us? Get our newsletter’.
9. Your Facebook Page
Don’t have a Facebook Page for your business yet? You should have one, and you can find out more about that using our free Social Media Quickstarter site. Once you’ve got that set up, use an app (Facebook Application) to put a sign up box on your Page. Different Email Service Providers have their own apps so you need to find the right one. If you are a Constant Contact user, you can use either the Join My Mailing List app.
It’s really easy to build your mailing list with Twitter. Here’s what you do: the day before your newsletter comes out, give people the opportunity to sign up by telling them that it’s coming and giving them a registration link. Then, when you publish it, add a link to view it online and make sure that there’s a ‘sign up’ button on your newsletter so that anyone who goes to look at it can also sign up.
If you can do all of these things, or even most of them, you will see your mailing list start to grow. Of course this isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a really good start.
I’d love to hear which method works best for you, so please let me know in the comments.