If you can convert a single visit to your website into a lasting relationship, your chances of gaining or retaining a customer are much greater. You can do this by getting that visitor onto your mailing list. Email is without a doubt the most cost-effective way to manage a relationship. Here are 10 tips on how to get your visitors, whether online or offline, onto your email lists.
10 tips on how to create an opt-in list
1 - Put a subscription form on your website. With so many websites to choose from how can you expect people to remember your website and come back tomorrow or the next day. If you don't have a subscription form on your website, you are loosing the opportunity to turn a visit into a relationship. And don't put the form just on your home page - put it on every page. Make it an integral feature on your site. GraphicMail has the tools to allow you to customize your subscription from and embed it directly into your website. If you've not yet done so do so immediately. Our support staff will be happy to help you with any questions on cutsomizing it and intergating it into your website pages.
2 - Include the subscription form on online purchases and free downloads. Every form on your website should ask for permission to send future emails. If someone makes an online purchase, include a check box on the order form asking them if they want to be included on your mailing list. (Web developers: download the GraphicMail API to integrate your sign-up logic into your GraphicMail account).
3 - Work with partners. Find related businesses whose product or service is complementary to yours and ask if they will add your newsletter to their opt-in form. Trade offers - add an additional check box to your sign up form so people can subscribe to your list and your partner's list at the same time. Instead of advertising your product or service directly, consider advertising for your newsletter on the sites where your target audience is likely to visit.
4 - Use viral marketing. Even if you only send emails to a handful of people, make sure you include a "forward to a friend" and a "subscribe" link in each one. Even if you're sending email to a friend or co-worker, include a link to your sign-up form to keep up the momentum. Your email may get forwarded, so it too is an a potential means for building your list. If you have not enabled this feature that GraphicMail provides do so immediately.
5 - Get listed in directories and search engines. There are a ton of free directories out there that list email newsletters. Go online and submit your listing to as many as you can. GraphicMail has it's own directory; to see it click here. To get listed there go to your RSS/Publish page and choose the category where you want to publish your newsletter.
6 - Make building your mailing list part of your marketing strategy. Every piece of print should have a link to your website and your email subscription information.
7 - Post subscription information in your retail environment or reception area. A simple sign can go a long way. Include a place to collect business cards next to it or let people sign up right then and there using a computer on your premises or have you staff ask for the information and input it directly into your website subscription form. Do the same when you are exhibiting at a trade show.
8 - Promote your email lists at checkout and after every sale. Whether over the phone or face to face, ask your customers if they'd like to be on your email list. Even if they say 'no' - they still go home with printed packaging of some form, i.e. a shopping bag or the product packaging itself. Promote your email list there, too
9 - Ask people you meet. Word of mouth is one of the strongest marketing mediums. Talk to people, let them know you have valuable information to share. Include subscription information on your business cards.
10 - Use the telephone. Ask everyone who calls in to your company if they'd like to join your list.
Techniques for collecting email addresses
To ensure high open rates and low bounce, complaint and unsubscribe rates you need to actually be sending to people who want to receive your mail.
1. Use a confirmed opt-in or double opt-in subscription method. Double opt-in ensures highest quality, since you are guaranteed direct permission from the subscriber and a valid email address. GraphicMail offers both of these features.
2. Offer people something of value in exchange for their contact information, e.g., special discounts, monthly tips-n-tricks, meaningful articles.
3. Ask for more than just name and email on your direct email marketing subscription form. If you find the right balance then the people who value your offer will give you a little bit more personal information in return for receiving your mailings.
Realize building a list is an ongoing process. Don't expect 1,000 addresses overnight. It's a long term process with long term benefits.