Building Your Opt-in Mailing List


Building your opt-in mailing list is one of the most effective ways to familiarize visitors with your website, and create long term opportunities for sales to your target market.

Choosing an Opt-in Email Service
Constant Contact is, by far, the leading opt-in email marketing system. It is trusted by more than 300,000 small businesses to provide them with software and support in creating successful email marketing solutions, and insightful online survey tools that begin dialogues with their customers.

As always, StorehouseBuilder recommends a limited collection of resources. We do so because it is our hope that by limiting your choices we will minimize your mistakes, and maximize your profits.

Atttracting Subscribers
The two best ways to build your opt-in mailing list is by:

1) Placing Opt-In Links on Every Page of Your Website
2) Creating Interesting and Useful Content

Opt-in Links - The best way to start is by including a link/button to your opt-in page on every page of your website. Consider experimenting with the placement of the link/button. Try at the top of the page, making it visible to your visitors before they scroll, and at the bottom of the page following the conclusion of your content/sales pitch. Because every website is different, it's up to you to figure out what works best.

Interesting Content - Let's say that you have decided to build the world's greatest Apple computers and accessories online affiliate store. You've decided that it's a great product, the affiliate commissions are generally good, and the conversion rate is exceptional. Great! Search engines will bring you a fair amount of traffic, and your other advertising campaigns will generate even more visitors. While a few of your visitors will buy your product on their first visit, many will need an opportunity to consider their purchase. This when an opt-in list becomes important. It will provide you with additional opportunities to turn this visitor into a return visitor, and eventually a customer.

To bring that customer back, you need to provide them with a reason to come back. Providing them with up-to-date information on products in development, product reviews, articles, and technical information for getting the most out of their Apple products will prove attractive to many visitors - it does for MacWorld magazine. They create useful content to encourage people to subscribe, and the companies that advertise, sell products because MacWorld's readers have consistent exposure to their advertising campaign.

Contents and Sweepstakes
If your budget allows for a modest advertising campaign, you could consider a contest or sweepstakes. Contests and sweepstakes attract people. When they do, people get involved with you, and this involvement leads to sales. If you decide to offer a contest or sweepstakes, it's important to remember that the purpose is to 1) collect names and email addresses, and 2) initiate a long-term relationship with a target market customer.

Some sweepstakes experts believe that the excitement that sweepstakes creates for people often causes them to look past what seems practical. There might not be enough money for the rent, but there always seems to be enough for sweepstakes!

Contests and sweepstakes have grown to become a core ingredient in the recipe for successful marketing. It's worth considering. If you do decide to hold a contest or sweepstakes, make sure you have checked into all the legal aspects before you ask anyone to guess how many jelly beans are in your jar.

Wondering what prize you should offer? An Apple iPod? An around-the-world cruise? Maybe. Perhaps the best prize of all - cash! No shocker there.

by Andrew Fling


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