You may have already heard the hype about how for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25. It’s true, email marketing can be one of the best ways to attract new customers and repeat business. But if you’re just getting started, the process and road to returns may seem daunting, so where do you even begin? The most successful email campaigns all start with a great email list.

Although it can be tempting, or seem like a quick fix, you never want to purchase an existing collecting customer info onlineemail list for this purpose. Nothing is as effective at alienating and annoying your prospective customers than spamming them with communication they did not choose to receive. Starting from zero is no picnic either, but fear not, with these tips, you can start building a quality list that will jumpstart your email marketing efforts.

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Facebook:

Your business page is a great place to start. Since it already displays all the pertinent info about your business, you know that visitors to that page are more likely to be in the market for your products or services. There are a couple of different methods you can use to take advantage of this traffic. First, you can utilize Facebook’s call to action option to prompt customers to “Sign Up” for your list. This can link back to the signup form on your site, or you can create a Google Form to capture these submissions. Alternatively, there are some Facebook apps that you can install that allow you to put a signup form directly on your page. Once you have this set up, you can also test Facebook advertising, hold a contest, or leverage other methods for growing your list.

Contests:

Contests are a great way to build a new list. It’s important to first identify which information you’re looking to capture. Be mindful of the number of fields required to enter the contest because potential respondents may abandon the signup if they believe it will take too much time, effort, etc. By selecting an award that reflects your business’s identity, you increase the quality of emails you’ll receive. For instance, while a spa holding a contest with a new iPad or car as prizes might yield thousands of signups, you’ll find that very few of them are actually interested in the content you’ll be sending them after the contest or in your services in general. For this reason giveaways or a credit that can be redeemed at your business for products or services of their choice are a great option. Contests also provide a perfect opportunity to segment your customers. If you own a clothing boutique for women, you could ask what fall fashion trend they’re most excited about as well as their name and email address, so that you can send them customized recent additions, sales, and more based on their response. Personalized emails are known to convert at higher rates, so obtaining this data early on is a great way to position your business for future success.

Page Optimization:

First, make sure that your email form is clearly placed on every page your website, whether in the header, footer, or sidebar. If you have any other forms, such as price quote requests, pamphlets or online appointments, make sure to include a box that allows them to opt-in to your email list as well. As always, it’s important to set expectations by providing context and explicitly stating the frequency of emails you intend on sending. Lightboxes, or those once-dreaded popups that prompt a visitor to your site to join your email list, are gaining in popularity due to reports they’ve  increased the number of subscribers by as much as 1375%. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for potential customers should they want to signup at any point during their time spent on your site.

Incentives:

Finally, an exclusive welcome offer is always a reliable motivator for email signups. By offering a discount on their first purchase, a free add-on or upgrade to a service, or a small, special gift many people who are interested in your products are more likely to convert, or give your business a try. Be sure to do the math to define what the incentive will be and how much it will cost so that it doesn’t negatively impact your business in the long run or become unscalable. Know the worth of your offerings, and don’t undersell them!

Signpost helps grow your lists by automatically tracking and aggregating the contact info for anyone that calls or sends an email to  your business, and makes these profiles available in your dashboard.

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