6 Ways to Build Your Email Subscriber List

If you'd like to expand your marketing reach, consider these 6 ways.

By Jim Higgins

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This story originally appeared on PR Newswire's Small Business PR Toolkit

Few things are more valuable to a business than an email subscriber list full of interested customers and prospects. Although many believe that the age of the spam filter has destroyed email marketing forever, the fact is, spam filters are only designed to protect people from unwanted mail. If you build a list of folks who want to receive your emails, you'll avoid spam filters and stay top-of-mind with your prospects.

If you'd like to expand your marketing reach, consider the following ways to build your email subscriber list:

1. Offer sign-up forms on your website

While your customers are browsing your website, make sure to give them the opportunity to sign up for your newsletters without making a purchase. Remember, prospects can be transformed into customers over time if you find a way to make them remember you. A great way to do this is by offering a "subscribe to our newsletter" form where prospects can enter their contact information to receive your emails. In order to maximize the number of subscriptions, make sure to put this "call to action" on the header or footer of your site so that it is visible on every page. You might also include a link to subscribe in the signature line of your email, giving your current customers and day-to-day contacts the opportunity to request your newsletter.

2. Ask customers to sign-up when they make a purchase

When your customers make an online purchase, they have already shown an interest in your product; which means they are a prime candidate to buy from you again. During the checkout process, offer a button that gives you permission to send them email communications. Place this in an easy to see area so they can take advantage of this opportunity. Also, make sure to let them know you'll never spam them with unwanted emails.

3. Offer free stuff

Nothing gets folks' attention like free stuff. Encourage people to sign up by offering free content such as white papers, checklists or guides. Just make sure whatever you provide, it's top quality. Remember, the content you offer is a reflection of your company's quality and you want to make a great first impression!

4. Offer an exclusive opportunity or deal

Offer a sale for subscribers only. It can be 10% off or a first look at a new product or even the ability to purchase a product before regular customers. Remember, there are two things people always love -- getting a bargain and being part of an exclusive group! Combining the two can be a strong incentive for folks to join your list!

5. Let them share

Word of mouth is still the best way to secure new customers, although in the modern world it may be more "word of email" of "word of social media." Give customers the ability to forward your emails to their friends. Make sure to put this option in large print at the top of the screen to encourage this behavior. The more your emails are forwarded, the faster your list will grow and the better your chances of increasing sales.

6. Deliver value-add content

Blatant sales pitches are annoying. Customers that receive too many "buy my product" emails are likely to hit the unsubscribe button -- not good! Rather than simply pitching your product, generate content that your customers will value. Links to articles from third parties or sharing your own expertise is a great way to build credibility and goodwill at the same time. Our advice to customers is to remember the ratio 4:1. For every 4 value add emails sent, you've "earned the right" to send a promotional-focused email.

Jim Higgins

Contributor

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