What is 'opt-in' marketing and how can I build up my list?

Opt-in marketing, also known as permission-based marketing, is centred on obtaining a customer’s explicit consent to receive information/newsletters/special offers or promotions from a company. This is usually achieved by having a ‘sign up here’ link on your website. It is now law to have an official opt-in list, which isn’t as daunting as it sounds and is relatively straightforward to develop. It will also ensure that the people you are targeting actually have a genuine interest in what you are offering, so it really is a win-win situation. You’ll soon find that an opt-in list can easily become your company’s greatest asset.

In this article, we’re going to tell you what some of the best ways are to build up your subscriber list, and therefore keep on the right side of the law, because being blacklisted as spam is hard to come back from.

Your number one priority should be to get people to your website. It’s all very well if you already have a lot of traffic, but if visitors are simply checking your site and exiting without performing any action or entering their email address along the way, they are as good as lost to you.

Ways to build up your opt-in list:

Engage with your target audiences through blogs

If you haven’t yet started an opt-in list you need to kick start the process by posting and submitting articles online to various relevant sites. Use your knowledge of an industry or product to your advantage and offer advice and recommendations on different forums. People will come to know you and trust what you say, and therefore sell. This would be a good time to ask them if they would like to sign up to your newsletter or direct them to your website to find out more about your company. Once here, you could even ask your visitors to refer you to friends, which they will be willing to do if they feel they can trust you. You could potentially double your opt-in list right there.

Pay attention to your call to action

We have spoken a lot about your call to action and how vitally important it is in email marketing. It’s a fact that people generally do not subscribe to an email list because they haven’t been told to. Make it easy for them by having a quick link sign up form on your website and tell them what they can expect from you once they have registered.

Make it easy for people to subscribe

Remember, initially you are only looking for their basic details, so don’t go overboard with your sign up questions. If people sense that it’s going to take 15 minutes to fill in their details, they are unlikely to do it, and then you would have lost a potential long term customer. Don’t forget to point out that the service is FREE (everybody loves a free service) and that they can opt-out at any stage. It’s important to make this process equally as simple for them.

Give them an extra reason to subscribe:

You might want to offer something to your customers as a way to get them to divulge their details. One way of doing this is to offer free downloadable articles or e-books. Give them a snippet of the content and if they want to read the entire document they will need to register on your site with their email address. It’s as easy as that.

Email marketing is all about developing and maintaining a long term relationship with your customers, but you have to make that first contact and gain their loyalty, slowly. Contact them frequently, perhaps once a week, but don’t inundate them with emails too quickly. Developing an online relationship with your customers is not far off from real-life. Too much, too soon will get you dumped, quickly. It’s crucial to get your customers to trust you before you try to sell them anything, but once you have gained this trust you’ll be well on your way.


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