… And six winning strategies to grow your e-mail lists

One of the most challenging aspects of e-mail marketing is mailing list development.
In fact, of all the questions we’re asked by thousands of our small business customers, the one we hear most often is “How do I get a bigger e-mail list?” 
Each case is unique but, in general, we favor an approach that strives for bigger and better lists to produce the highest return possible for e-mail marketing campaigns. 
Here then are some tips you can use to build your own robust list of qualified recipients.

Plan thoroughly
Many list building programs flounder due to lack of focus. It’s important to identify your target audience and their interests as precisely as possible. If you cater to your members’ concerns and make it clear what they can expect to gain from getting your e-mail, you’ll collect a lot more addresses and limit turnover.

Include a registration form on your site 
Make it easy for people to register by placing a signup form on your Web site homepage.  In fact, you may want to place multiple forms on your site in order to track where visitors are signing up the most. We recommend that you put a link or even include the actual e-mail address signup box on as many pages as possible within your site.

Don’t pry
Try not to interrogate visitors. Collect the information you need for registration and basic analysis and leave it at that until you’ve developed a relationship with your members.

Pop-up windows
When someone prepares to leave your site, why not try a pop-up window as a last ditch effort to encourage signups for your newsletter?  You’d be amazed how many people will register on the way out if the presentation is compelling.

Leverage other Web sites
Contact other sites that appeal to your target audience and discuss partnering with them. By working together, each party can include the other’s signup form in its outgoing communications so you can grow your newsletters collectively.

Got an offline business? Ask for the e-mail
Don’t forgo real world promotion. Old ideas like placing a fishbowl on the counter for depositing business cards still work. There’s a reason they’ve been around so long.  Alternatively, you can place a registration book on the counter asking people to sign up for your special offers.  Then, once a week, enter them into your contact management systems
Lastly, remember that building a mailing list is like growing a plant: it requires time and care, but the results are priceless. If you employ these techniques, you’ll be reaping the benefits for years. 

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