Build Your Online Business with Opt-In Lists | WebReference

Build Your Online Business with Opt-In Lists

By Steve Renner

Before revealing the secrets of the trade, there are some myths that need to be cleared before one begins building an opt-in list. These marketing misconceptions could pose an obstacle to profiting well from your business.

Not a lot of people use email

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods today simply because almost all people use email. Check on those email fields or blanks required to be filled up on various forms needed in processing different transactions. A person without an email address is similar to a person without an online home, which is a shameful truth for this generation.

Email marketing can offend a lot of people

The not-so secret way to surmount this dilemma is through permission-based advertising. There's no harm in trying after asking for permission.

It's stupid to send an email to everyone

The key to this predicament is to have a discerning eye on who to email and who not to email. It's a better idea to look for some metrics on which group of people would give you high a return on investment (ROI).

The Real Deal with Building an Opt-in List

After clearing the fog regarding email marketing myths, here's how one can benefit from employing the power of email marketing campaigns - building an opt-in list.

However, building an opt-in list is not easy, particularly for the uninitiated. Here are some tips on how to succeed in this kind of marketing endeavor.

1. Strategic Collection of Data

Know which information from your audiences will help you in lowering expenses and/or make sales flourish. Devise a tactic to make people voluntarily provide you with the information necessary to create higher conversion.

Overload of data isn't good. Ask only for opt-in, with their full name and email addresses. Make sure that the profiles that you gather are updated to aid in improving the relevance, timeliness and satisfaction from each deal you make.

2. Good Implementation

The old adage says it all, "Action speaks louder than words". This easily translates to the difficulty one has to undergo during the execution of his or her email marketing efforts. It's a good thing that various methods, often low-cost, abound to hasten and facilitate the building up of an opt-in database.

Tracking your email marketing results can pose great hardship, too. Technology and relevant sources should be employed in making this aspect of your marketing manageable. Your high traffic groups of opt-ins with the greatest result should be noted.

The following are the most widely used methods to leverage channels without overspending:

1. Make use of Web sites

It's an excellent tool for data collation and providing you with relevant info regarding your email offers. Use forms that solicit your visitor's email address and consent.

2. Make use of print ads, brochures, TV, radio and direct mail

These are the more popular ways of marketing aiming to lead traffic to one's site. You may want to ask for signups for email services. Make your Web site more visible through these options. Offering free electronic newsletters and/or rewards program can make it easy to win the confidence of your audience.

3. Maximize your sales force

Customer service associates can help in helping you benefit from your email correspondence. Sales people with proper education on how to aid you in this endeavour can contribute to a higher ROI. Techniques such as offering account updates and special programs through email can land you those lists of valuable visitors.

4. Don't make your point of sale pointless

Forms for signup located at cash registers and other high-traffic and highly visible locations can be excellent venues for your business to collect email addresses. Notifications of upcoming sales through their email addresses and names can coax them into supplying you with the information you need.

5. Conferences or trade shows can work, too

Give Away event offers (a prime example being http://www.awesomefungifts.com/) or entries on sweepstakes are great for opt-in to volunteer their contact details.

These tactics should be applied with caution and should focus on earning the trust of your opt-in list instead of simply collating data for your own benefit. Always make sure that the forms that you use (and other methods) make it easy to subscribe.

Steve Renner is a well known Internet Marketing Expert, author, consultant and speaker. Get Professional Internet Marketing training and resources at imtrain.com

Original: January 23, 2008