Starting today, I'm going to start a series on business specific subjects you'll need to build your online business.
First up is 6 great ways to collect email addresses. Bluntly put, your list is the lifeblood of your business. Without a list you can market to you're basically SOL. Another thing I want to mention right here is the trust factor. People are worried about someone sharing their personal information and rightfully so. If people can trust you with their personal email address it goes a long way for your business, not to mention your reputation.
For me, my promise to never share an address is my word. And you never break your word.
Ok, the 6 ways I promised you…
1. OFFER A FREEBIE
You have to give in order to get. If you want people to offer up their email address you're going to need to offer an incentive. And nothing works better than a complimentary (read that FREE) gift of some sort. It can be a no cost report, software, book or even sample pages of a book. That last one works like a charm. But your gift has to be something of value – something people can really use and will appreciate.
2. PUT A SUBSCRIBER BOX ON EVERY PAGE
This is a clever little trick that everyone seems to miss. You'd also be surprised to see where some people put them. They need to be right at the top of the page. Another big plus is that when the search engines index your page, a visitor may come directly to a page other than your home page. If your subscriber box is only on your home page, you're missing thousands of people who might otherwise sign up.
Very often, a contest will generate a buzz and traffic for your business. Create a contest and put a form on your site or use a pop-up box. All of the major email marketing companies supply this tool. Just remember though that not all the people that sign up this way may be good prospects for what you're offering. Some may just be looking for freebies and have no intention of buying your product or service.
4. DISPLAY YOUR OWN AUTORESPONDER ADDRESS
When most people advertise, they include their website address only in their marketing ads. Why not include your auto responder address instead of or include it with your website address? This way you're one step ahead in the process and capturing all those email addresses of the ones that could have gotten away.
5. HIT SPAM MAIL BACK
A little trick I use (and love it) is to simply respond to all the spam I get. That's right – respond to it. Yes, I know by responding they know you're a real person but I've had great luck in never getting that spam mail again. All I do is reply to the letter, writing back something like "Your opportunity looks nice but I'm busy right now and will look it over when I get a chance. If you really want to see a business that blows everything else out of the water, check this out!" Copy & paste it into a signature file you can just choose with your mail program. Yes, I also know they can just change their email address, then you just check their IP address and you can confirm if it's that Tart that spammed you before.
6. JUST ASK
If you're talking on the phone or have people in your contact lists, don't be shy-ask for their email address. If you're "out and about", ask for their business card which usually includes their email address.