Do you know what the most valuable asset in your business will be in the next five years?
Your email marketing list! Yes, I know it may be difficult to believe right now, but imagine if you were a baker who acquired tons of clients throughout the years and, all of a sudden, something called the Atkins anti-carbohydrate craze comes along?
Sure you could come up with an alternative carb-free product, but how could you quickly get in contact with all the people you sold to throughout the years to let them know before they bought into the hype and took their business elsewhere?
Aside from any trends that may be happening now and are timely in nature, think of long-term reasons as well as accomplishments where your email subscriber list could come in handy. What if your company merged with another company and the name changed? How would you be able to notify your customers that you are still around, but with just another name?
Maybe you were presented with an award for something or you won a major contract, or perhaps your company doubled in size and is moving to a bigger space in a nearby community. What if you were discontinuing a product and wanted to offer a half-price special for a limited time? In each one of these examples, certainly email would be a faster (and less expensive way) to get the message out to a big group of people as opposed to trying to design, print, label and mail postcards.
There are tons of reasons, from timeless ones to timely ones, why building your email is critical for both the short and long-term success of your business.
So now that you can see the importance of having an email sign up list, let me share with you my 9 ways to help you improve your ways to capture email sign ups of your pre-qualified website visitors. Many of these ideas will greatly improve your chances of getting a customer to share their email address with you and approve for you to share your information with them.
Remember even if you know a person’s email address and it is in your contact list, if you send them unsolicited email, whether promotional or informational, it is considered SPAM and you could get in very big trouble. So please use the following methods by which to gather permission based email addresses (permission based means the customer said that it’s ok to sign up their email or gave you “permission” to send them updates about your company):
(1) Put an email sign up box on your website (preferably in a corner spot) and offer a special report, free tips or a white paper. Use a permission based email marketing company such as Icontact to easily create the email sign-up box and manage your subscriber sign ups. And for non-techie computer people like me, Intellicontact has a lot of nifty little features included in their web-based program. You can quickly generate the link to post the little sign-up box on your website (no html programming necessary).
Just choose the color that you want your sign-up box to be, copy and paste. They have templates for you to set up your first ezine. And they also have auto-responders so that you can create your special reports to deliver automatically when someone signs up and a survey program so that you can get feedback from your customers about ideas, new products or services that you are offering or considering.
(2) Pitch your special report, free tips or ezine in your email signature line. This will help to direct everyone to your website who interacts with you via email. It doesn’t matter if it is just a one-time inquiry or someone who interacts with you regularly but just never had a reason to visit your website. This will help encourage the recipient to pay a visit to your website and potentially sign up for whatever you are offering.
(3) Host a free teleseminar. You can host a free teleseminar on a topic such as an overview on your company, to announce a cool new product or service, to interview a special guest, or to tie in with a trend or current event. Have users RSVP via email and offer your ezine or special report as a gift for early-bird registrants.
(4) Use an audio generator on the home page of your website with a recorded message to bring attention to your ezine or special reports email sign-up box for your roaming web visitor. You can use any number of services such as ShoutCheap or something equivalent. Once again you do not need to be a tech guru to use the program.
(5) Incorporate an email sign-up box on your blog. Yes, on your blog. Have people register their email for weekly or bi-weekly blog updates and offer tips or something a little different from your website ezine sign-up offer.
(6) Speak at a Chamber event or other professional mixer and offer a one-year subscription to your ezine (valued at set your price $$$) as a free gift to all attendees who drop their business cards when they register. Also, make sure you offer a door prize (or a few) to increase business card drops.
(7) Print your special report and ezine offer on the back of your business card or go to vistaprint.com, register your email and wait for a free premium business card offer. It will arrive in about 2 weeks. Make a special card to give out at networking events that encourages the person you meet to go to your website or blog to obtain their free blankety blank special report or tips.
(8) Include an email sign-up box in your monthly ezine. So when your ezine gets forwarded to a non-subscribing recipient, they can sign up to receive their own copy.
(9) Include your ezine or special report web address link in the thank you section at the bottom of your printed invoices. Instead of a special report or in addition to, you can offer a coupon or a discount off a future purchase.
In addition to these ideas, understand that a bit of personalization, great sales copy and professional presentation is also very critical. Because what good is it to make a lot of effort to capture email subscribers’ names if you can’t keep them intrigued and engaged? Tag you’re it! So how are you going to get me to sign up for your email list?