Utilised properly, e-mail marketing can be a potent addition to your overall web marketing. It’s a great way of keeping your customers, subscribers and users informed about the latest news on your site and it can directly market to them the latest products and services.
Whilst more and more companies are turning to developing and utilising RSS feeds, e-mail marketing still provides a way of targeting, marketing and promoting directly to your customers.
Here are some great ways to help build your e-mail marketing list;
1. Feature a Sign-Up Form on Each Page of Your Site. Be sure to remember this basic concept. Sign-up opportunities should be ubiquitous throughout your site.
2. Promote Benefits on the Sign-Up Page. Enhance subscription value with sample emails, testimonials and strong call to action copy.
3. Offer Opt-In Incentives. Incentives like white papers, discounts and special reports significantly increase conversion rates.
4. Optimize Your Site for Search Engine Placement. Optimize current and archived newsletters for search engines to increase traffic and subscriptions.
5. Pay for Search Engine Services and Promote Your Email on the Landing Page. If you pay for search services like Google AdWords be sure to include email subscription information on the landing page.
6. Add Opt-in Check Boxes on Demo Requests, White Papers and Registration Forms. Well-executed forms and pages may improve conversion rates by 50 percent or more.
7. Include “Send to a Friend” Options. Generate new subscribers with minimal effort if bundled with promotional campaigns.
8. Use Direct Mail and Catalogs. Encourage email subscriptions on all print ads.
9. Direct Employees to Include Messages and Links in Email Signature Lines. Add “Subscribe to the Company X Email Newsletter” to employee email signatures.
10. Direct Call Center and Sales Employees to Obtain Permission and Capture Email Addresses Over the Phone. Instruct call center and sales staff to ask customers and prospects if they’d like to receive newsletters or promotional email.
11. Send Post Cards to Customers Encouraging Them to Subscribe to Email. If you have postal contact information for customers but not email addresses, send a post card with opt-in sign-up offer and URL.
12. Hand Out Sign-Up Forms at Public Speaking Engagements and Seminars. Promote your newsletter in presentation and handouts.
13. Implement Rented List Campaigns and Subscriptions. Promote your company in email campaigns and landing pages when you rent email lists.
14. Promote Sign-Ups in Confirmation/Transaction Emails. Add messages and links to opt-in pages of all confirmation and transaction emails.
15. Include Opt-in Line on Credit Card Receipts. Not an obvious method, but may be quite effective.
16. Add Opt-in Message to Warranty and Product Registration Cards.
17. Add Sign-Up Message to Invoices.
18. Display Opt-in Forms at the Cash Register. An approach used by restaurants and retailers to advertise weekday discounts, catering services etc.
19. Promote Your Email/Newsletter in Articles and Article Attribution. Include a reference and link to your newsletter after the byline on articles in trade and consumer publications.
20. Include Opt-in Message and Check Boxes on Shopping Cart Pages. Remember to ask for email format and product/information preferences.
21. Promote Your Email/Newsletter in Other Company Publications. Promote online newsletters in print newsletters, magazines and brochures.
22. Include Newsletter Subscriptions in Trade Show Lead Generation Forms. Obtain permission to send your monthly newsletter to booth visitors.
23. Promote Your Newsletter/Promotional Emails in Industry Directories and Sites.
24. Distribute Press Releases Based on Newsletter Articles. Newsletters with topical articles may warrant a press release. Make sure the press release includes links and information on how to subscribe.
25. Include Information and a Link to Your Newsletter in Press Releases. A good option for smaller companies. Include your company newsletter and other resources in press release copy.
26. Include Opt-in Information on Customer Satisfaction Surveys. Ask permission to communicate valuable information and email newsletters and promotions.
27. Include Opt-in Forms in Product Shipping Boxes. Advertise email promotions on packing slips and direct mail cards with links to your site. Many retailers and catalogers also include promotional offers from non-competing companies.
28. Employ a Reputable Email List Service. List services obtain email addresses and permission to email existing customers. Be sure you obtain permission before (or as part of) the first email you send.
Remember, if you are going to use an e-mail marketing system, you must act responsibly. This means you MUST double opt-in your subscribers (this means that the user registers for the e-mail list then CONFIRMS the subscription via his email account), and you must give CLEAR methods to unsubscribe from the mailing list and not use this as a means to add them to another list.
Naturally the ideas above are just a starting point. There are much more than 28 ways to build an email marketing list; but I hope it helps give you the incentive to try one, some or all of them.