Essential Rules for Email Marketing
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Ways to Collect Email Addresses

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Cover pix of Relationship Marketing with E-Mail byPaul L. Richardson

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Smart Ways To Collect Email Addresses

Building a list of people who have opted in to receiving email marketing messages from you is a vital aspect of your overall marketing campaigns. These can be people who have been interested in you and your product or services but may not yet have purchased. Being able to send them messages without the fear of being punished for "spamming" helps keep your name in their minds. Advertising statistics show that, on average, a person may see your message seven times before deciding to buy so getting them and keeping them is worth the time and effort. Following are some of the best ways to get them to sign up with you.

Offer Freebies

Everybody likes free stuff, especially when it is a valuable item that can help them in their own ventures. In order to convince them to give up their email address requires giving them something in return as an incentive. Popularly the items that go over the best for getting people to fill in your opt-in form are informative reports, ebooks, book sample pages and chapters, and useful software products.

If you are not a writer yourself you may need to search a bit to find just the right informational report or product to present a "can't refuse" hook. Make sure the product, report, or ebook is related to the niche market you are working in. If your site is about golf then offering a free book on fly-fishing will not get you many new readers. One good place to find such products is through the Joint Venture Partnership Giveaway Events that flourish online. A quick search engine inquiry on "giveaway events" should help you locate several.

Site-Wide Subscription Boxes

The vast majority of the new traffic to your website will come through search engines. With many pages of your site indexed by the search engines there is a very good possibility that a new user will NOT come in through your homepage first but will be sent directly to the page that has the information they filled into the search engine. Since a new user may come in on any page it is wise to have a subscription box on every page of your website.

If you have an autoresponder on your site, there should be a tool in the program for generating the subscription box. If you do not have one of these vital tools, a simple email form can be generated in HTML code or as a JavaScript. Again, offering something of value for free will lure more people into actually filling in your subscription box with their email address.

Running a Contest

A contest can build up a lot of interest and traffic to your site and with the entry fee being merely their email address it is not hard to get people to participate if the prize is good.

There are a couple of potential drawbacks however. A lot of the people signing up for contests are habitual contest "junkies". These people are only interested in getting something for free and have no interest in ever buying anything. Your list can fill up with many dead ends this way. If you are offering cash or a big ticket item as a prize you need to check with local authorities to make sure the contest does not violate and laws governing contests and gaming statutes.

Display Your Autoresponder Link

It is standard operating procedure for most people to display their website's url when they place advertisements in classified sections or ezine and article directories. Instead of listing the website, LIST THE AUTORESPONDER ADDRESS INSTEAD. In this manner you can have their email so that your instantly returned autoresponder message can give them the details and direct them to your site from there. It is like catching two birds in one net.

If you do not have an autoresponder on your site it would be to your great advantage to obtain one. Not all autoresponder programs are created alike and some research to find out what features make for the most effective programs is suggested. Some websites make it their business to run autoresponders for you for a monthly fee. Others are stand-alone programs that you would install on your own website server. While some can be expensive, there are some excellent autoresponder programs that can be obtained for free. All you would have to invest would be the cost of your hosting company install the script for you if you do not know how to do it yourself.


The tactic of programming a pop-up window with your subscription box and offer to open when a visitor enters or leaves your site has proven to be an effective way of obtaining more opt-in email addresses. There is a bit of controversy over this method and you may wish to view both sides of the problem before activating one.

Many people do not like pop-up windows and will feel some aggravation at having to close one. This is one of the reasons there are so many pop-up blocking programs around. Even most web browsers have automatic pop-up blocking protocols in place. Despite this, you may decide to put one in place anyway. As aggravating as they can be for some, marketing research still shows a high rate of subscription yield from their use.

Take All the Opportunities You Get

Remember to ask anyone you are talking to, be it on the phone or face to face if you may have their email address. Many business people now list their email address on their business cards. If you have a physical brick and mortar store you have another place to seek the addresses of potential new subscribers to your email marketing messages.


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