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Organic Growth for Email Lists

You don't need a sophisticated ad program on a 3rd party daily deals website to gain traction with your local customer base. If you have a physical storefront like a dry cleaner, restaurant, bakery, coffee shop, or auto repair shop, you want a loyal, repeat customers.. right?

Here are five easy ways to get started:

1. Use online registration - on your website, on a social media profile page
2. Use offline registration - ask customers if they want to be added to your newsletter or sign up for special in-store offers; a simple sign-up roster or guest registry book can help
3. Embed opt-in messaging in transactional emails
4. Use a brand-relevant prize if engaging in a contest or sweepstakes
5. Use market research studies as a means to gather relevant customer insight, contact info

Pros:

This is relatively inexpensive and subscribers have already expressed an interest about you or your products/services. They are pre-qualified, or at the very least, open to receiving information or relevant offers from your organization. Growing your own list can help reduce spam complaints and opt-outs.

Things to keep in mind:
  • Make sure your sign-up box is highly visible on your website (top left is common)
  • Don't limit your subscription box to just the home page; make it available in more than once place and be sure it can be easily picked up by a search engine when users type in "email newsletter" when searching in conjunction with your brand(s) or company
  • Give people a reason to subsribe: free offers, free webinars, new product announcements, offers from relevant partner firms (e.g., if you are a Photographer magazine and you have exclusive offers for teachers who buy software/hardware from an academic reseller like Studica); free industry research or highlights; coupon for free shipping, 50% off an item (Michaels.com); free gardening newsletter and %-off coupons (HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com)
  • If you're using a contest as a means of traffic traction and conversion, track the lifetime value of subscribers obtained this way to determine if the promotion is worth repeating
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