Build Your Newsletter's Subscriber Base

Have a great e-newsletter, but not enough people to share it with? Build your subscriber list with a co-registration campaign.
This story first appeared in the August 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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Wishing for more subscribers to your company's e-newsletter? Then create a co-registration campaign to connect with a new audience--visitors on other websites will be able to sign up for your newsletter on the spot.

Newsletter owners with a list size comparable to yours might do a free cross-promotion. Search the web for newsletters with content similar or relevant to yours. For example, if you publish a parenting newsletter, look for newsletters on pregnancy or children's sports. You can also try finding partners at the Co-Registration Directory, a free service run by Co-Reg Complete.

If your newsletter contact list isn't big enough for cross-promotion yet, or you want to boost your subscriber numbers quickly, work with an agency that brokers co-registration deals, such as Aptimus Inc., PermissionDirector SilverCarrot Inc. Rates can range from 4 cents to more than $1 per subscriber, with a minimum investment of $1,000 to $2,500. But before you buy, make sure you ask these questions to prevent being accused of sending spam:

1. Where will my newsletter opt-in form be posted? If the co-registration agency won't tell you which sites will post your sign-up form and won't give you tracking data, then the agency might be sending unsolicited e-mail.

2. How will my newsletter sign-up information look? Make sure your company or newsletter name and a description are included. People should sign up for your newsletter specifically, not one on a particular topic, or your e-mail could be mistaken for spam.

3. What kind of tracking information will I get? At a minimum, you should receive the times, dates and IP addresses where newsletter sign-ups occurred. Get actual websites whenever possible.

Customize your confirmation e-mails sent to new subscribers. Thank them for subscribing from the referring site, and offer newsletterlike content. This helps safeguard your company against potential spam complaints--and it makes new subscribers feel welcome.

Speaker and freelance writer Catherine Sedaowns an internet marketing agency and is author of Search Engine Advertising.

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