A good place to start is by having an opt-in section on your website that allows people to sign up for your newsletter or something else that you can offer for free. This is relatively easy to implement and it is in the best interest of your business to send out regular newsletters. Newsletters help to keep your contacts engaged and up to date, they are a perfect vehicle for announcing new services and products as well.
Email Hosting Services
There are many free services today that allow you to create ultra-professional email templates. It’s recommended you look in to this if you don’t have one already in place. If you don’t already have a website for your business you really need to consider getting one. The email host you select will supply you with the HTML codes that you will need to include on your website pages.
Most mailing services provide you with number of great tools that make this process much easier for you. Their tools are typically self-explanatory and often come with easy-to-follow instructions. They will generate links to include in your coding which use phrases such as “Click here for updates on our website” or “Sign up for our newsletter.” When your visitors enter their information your list begins to grow.
Market your Website
The marketing of your website can be accomplished by a number of avenues; through flyers and business cards, as well as e-mail marketing. You will find that interested customers and prospects will add their e-mail addresses to your list for newsletters or for promotional information rather quickly, especially if your information is of value to their own personal business or lifestyle. They may wish to receive a weekly newsletter or they may simply want to be notified of any sales or specials you are having. It’s a good idea to have both options available when they initially submit their information.
Purchasing A List
You are also able to purchase or rent email lists from professional email list brokers. If you chose this method you must be very strict with verifying the list to ensure your broker is following the latest laws against anti-spamming – and if you are sending email to many different countries it is your responsibility to understand and follow the anti-spam legislation of the countries you are sending to. There are rules about opt-in procedures and it is in your best interest to include a double opt-in method when your customers first sign up. It’s also wise, and in most instances it’s the law, to include an ‘unsubscribe’ button in each email you send to allow the customer to be removed from the list (opt-out) if they so wish.
Your list will grow over time and it’s important to scrub it every so often so that it remains clean. Keep your audience informed and up to date on the events and milestones your business has going on via your website and in your newsletters and emails. Remember to be consistent with newsletters, keep the information on your site current and in the end you will find yourself with a great list of clients/consumers who you know will be loyal to you because they can count on you being there when they expect you to be. This goes a long way in creating word-of-mouth references and referrals (which we all know are the best kind) that in turn helps you to continue to grow your list.