TOP FIVE DO'S AND DON'TS OF OPT-IN LIST BUILDING
There have been a myriad of books and articles lately about the validity of Opt-In lists, advantageous for both click-and-mortar as well as brick-and-mortar companies. Once you have targeted names in your company-managed list, you can cross-sell and up-sell those existing and potential customers your offerings a proven less-expensive way of increasing revenue and creating customer loyalty.
We know some tried-and-true tips and tricks for building your list. There are five key points to consider and five glaring points to avoid when creating Opt-In Lists from the very beginning.
KNOW HOW TO REACH YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Spend some time in Market Research to find the Top Ten places to reach your target audience in the next three to six months. Then work backwards with how you get the email addresses of those candidates. For example, an email campaign to a list of target emails (purchased from a trade magazine, for example) can have a trackable link back to a signup page. An affiliate listing should mention that you have an opt-in list, and preferably an opt-in sign-up from the affiliate site. Your booth at an event could have a PC that will allow a quick sign-up (or worst case, have a clipboard sign-up sheet or a fishbowl for business cards.) A radio spot can list your home page URL. Remember that part of your marketing budget should cover various outbound ways of reaching your customer just make sure that once they know about you, they know how to opt-in to your mailing list. Although it will cost you to get those names the first time (through various targeted and brand awareness campaigns), the results are a true company asset.
MAKE IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO JOIN
Have a very visible location on your homepage or jump page for sign-ups. Evaluate if it can be on every page of your Website. And of course, make it easy for people to opt-out or unsubscribe. Chances are you won't get many sales from those who don't want to hear from you and can't figure out how to stop your communication. Simple, easy-to-understand subscribe and unsubscribe mechanisms add credibility to your company brand, too.
Teri Dahlbeck is the cofounder of GotMarketing.com