By Jennifer Gregory
Jennifer Gregory is a journalist with over 17 years professional writing experience. Jennifer blogs via Contently.com.
One of the secrets to having a successful small business is your email list of customers and potential customers. Instead of sending spam to people who are not interested, you want an email list with people who have chosen to receive information from you, also known as an opt-in email list.
For a list to be opt-in, a person must specifically request to receive your email list and not be automatically added to the list without their knowledge.
Many business owners think that the goal is to build the largest email list possible. But in actuality, a small list filled with the target audience for your business is much more effective than a 5,000 person list filled with people who would probably never purchase your products or services.
But how do you find the people to include on your email list? Follow these insider secrets to build an opt-in email list that will grow your businesses exposure and bottom line.
Have an Opt-In Feature on Your Blog or Website
Have an easily accessible feature on your Website or blog to allow people to subscribe to your email. Keep it simple and place it prominently on the site, such as a box for readers to enter their email with a Submit button.
You should also have an opt-in box for your email list on your product purchase pages and webinar registration page. Set the box to automatically be selected when the page is displayed so that they will need to deselect it if they do not want to be included.
Partner With an Author or Industry Expert
Cinnamon McCann found she increased her exposure to customers by partnering with experts in her field for webinars. For these events, both her and her speaker sent out email blasts publicizing the event, providing each other with a new audience of potential customers. You can also use this technique by inviting guest bloggers, interviewing experts on your own blog and inviting industry leaders to in-person events. If you have implemented opt-in features on your website, purchase pages and registrations then you increase the chances of members of the other person’s email list becoming a member of your email list.
Offer an Incentive for Joining Your Email List
Consider offering an incentive for joining your email list, such as a free copy of a recent webinar recording or a coupon for your product. The best way to offer an incentive is to market it through a carefully selected group, such as a professional society related to your industry or in a conference goody bag. Use an incentive that is both enticing enough for people to want to sign up, but also one that will help benefit your business also.
Use Social Media
Social media is a great way to reach people to include on your email list and extend your sphere of influence.
Keep an active Facebook page, network on LinkedIn and post on Twitter. Focus your social media efforts on your target audience through professional organizations related to your business, upcoming conference and people following other businesses or experts that are your target audience.
Once you have a solid opt-in email list, be sure to provide content that is useful and interesting to your target audience through your email list. Once you get them to opt-in, your goal is to keep them from opting out.