One of the best ways to market your services is to build an opt-in email list of prospects and customers who have agreed to receive mailings from you. Here are a few small business email marketing tips for building an opt-in mailing list.
What Is An Opt-In Mailing List?
An opt-in mailing list is a database of names and email addresses of your prospects, customers, and clients. When someone visits your website, you have a short form with text like “To receive updates by email, please enter your name and email address below.” Web visitors who are interested in hearing from you will enter their information, thus opting to join your email list.
Many email service providers add an additional layer of protection called “double opt-in.” With double opt-on lists, once web visitors enter their contact information into your form, they are immediately sent a message telling them to confirm they want to receive email updates from you.
Why Choose Double Opt-In?
The short answer is that you only want prospects who want to receive your newsletter on your list. If you don’t send them an email asking them to confirm their subscription, you don’t know if they requested to join your mailing list themselves or if someone signed them up.
How To Start Collecting Prospect Information
When visitors come to your small business website, you only have a few seconds to capture their attention before they leave. If they leave without giving you any information, chances are, you’ve lost them. They won’t be back. However, if you encourage them to join your newsletter, you get them to raise their hands and tell you they are interested enough to learn more.
Here are three tips to start capturing names and email addresses from your small business website.
- Sign up with an email service provider. Services like Aweber or Constant Contact offer reasonable rates for small businesses. Both companies provide you with HTML email templates, autoresponders, and detailed statistics showing who opened your email and who clicked to your website. They also automate the process of having people subscribe or unsubscribe to your newsletter.
- Place a form on your website. Both Aweber and Constant Contact give you a snippet of code to copy and paste into your website’s design. Place your opt-in form at the top of your page in a prominent location. If your box is buried, your visitors won’t notice it and you won’t get subscribers. Consider placing it in the upper right-hand corner of your site.
- Give people a reason to opt-in. A good way to increase the number of prospects who subscribe to your newsletter is to offer them a free special report about a problem or frustration they might be having.
By following these small business email marketing tips, you will dramatically increase the number of website visitors who subscribe to your opt-in mailing list.