Attracting Quality Opt-Ins

December 21st, 2008 | By Anthony Schneider | No Comments

You’re only as good as the quality of your list. And although you may want to increase the quantity of your lists by emailing everyone you possibly can, its important to remember that you’ll only get good business results if your recipients take action on your message.

Email lists are the most efficient way to keep in touch with your subscribers, customers, friends, partners and other groups. It costs pennies to add email addresses and send a transmission, so make sure you keep building but do so through ways that will attract quality opt-ins.

Here are some tips and techniques for attracting the right audience:

Put a newsletter opt-in form on your Web site
Although this is a common tactic, make sure you put a newsletter opt-in form on your homepage and on any other relevant pages of your site. That way people will be reminded to sign up wherever they are.

  • Include a brief description of the newsletter features, benefits and how often you plan to email them
  • Don’t ask for more data than you need- collect name and email address initially (you can collect additional data later)

Promote your email newsletter on contiguous content sites and social media
Find the digital watering holes where prospects are likely to gather, and get them to sign up then and there.

  • Advertise on a relevant trade directory or partner site
  • Advertise on Facebook or other social media sites
  • Promote your newsletter in direct mail and offline communications

Use referrals
Use a referral program (such as Peersuasion) to provide an incentive to your current opt-ins to refer their friends, family and colleagues.

  • Peersuasion and other referral mechanisms provide a turnkey system for turbocharging the peer-to-peer referral process with surveys, sweepstakes and other options
  • Startups and nonprofits have additional leeway to ask subscribers to spread the word to friends and family

Leverage offline opportunities, such as trade shows and retail outlets
Think about physical locations where you can flak your email newsletter.

  • Provide a computer or sign-up sheet at these locations so people can opt-in
  • Make sure you get permission if you collect addresses in a written format
  • Remind the recipients how and where you collected their data when you email them

Review and revise
Take a look at what’s working and what isn’t. Review your current lists and remove dead weight.

  • Remove any bouncebacks
  • Remove any records that haven’t opened your email recently or haven’t responded to an offer in X amount of time

Note: What about buying lists?
While there is a time and place for buying lists, it’s not a common tactic for finding a new audience for your general email marketing. If you do want to experiment with list buying, make sure you keep track of your return on investment. And be sure to let us know the results!

So remember, make sure you keep your lists up to date and make sure your opt-in processes allow you to track the source of your data. By establishing best practices you’ll keep your recipients happy and improve brand loyalty, which will translate into positive results for your marketing.

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