Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.
Email marketing has an incredibly high return on the investment due to its low cost relative to the high returns. One of the challenges one faces when trying to get into email marketing is the challenge of procuring email addresses for marketing. Here are several tips on how to procure valid email addresses for marketing purposes. And none of them involve buying email lists from various clearing houses or swapping your existing list with someone else and hoping the information is valid.
So You Want a Freebie? Give Me a Valid Email Address
A popular way to solicit visitors to provide an email address is to offer them something in return. It may be a free eBook to be sent to their email address or a drawing for a free item you’re giving away. I've seen authors share short stories with their email list as a reward for signing up. Now they have a reason to make sure the email isn't blocked, and they'll almost certainly receive the notice about book signings or release dates.
Don’t forget to tell the stories of those who received the free item, since this is a testimonial you can share on your site and it proves to the social media followers that you did actually give something away. Another option is giving them a discount code or coupon in return for signing up for your email marketing list, contingent on them receiving the emailed discount or coupon. Making this clear up front prevents people from giving you a junk email address and ensures that your email address gets past their spam filter.
Don’t forget to offer your current followers a freebie or reward if they refer their friends to your email list, such as giving them access to premium content for a month if so many friends sign up for the email marketing list. This requires using customer relationship management software or another system to track referrals.
Free Content as a Lead-In to Email Marketing
One common tactic is to set up a blog and share useful advice in snippets, and then require that people sign up for an email list to receive your in-depth content. This approach requires having both free content online as a lead-in and quality in-depth content to share in newsletter format, though you can use snippets of your deep articles as the “lead” or hire others to create content for you.
You can automate this process by putting a pop-up on your website after people have been on it for a specified period of time asking them to enter their email address so they can receive updates and notices of new content. However, you should not have the pop-up appear immediately, since search engines penalize sites that put up these pop-ups when users visit a site.
Contribute to a Newsletter or Blog
Consider guest blogging on others’ websites and then asking them to click on the link below to sign up for more content by you. Or you could contribute articles to others’ existing newsletters on the condition that it includes information on how readers can sign up for your email marketing list as well. A side benefit of this approach is that the link to your website on their site will generate traffic to your website whether or not visitors sign up with an email address. And this traffic from the referring site will increase your website’s rankings with search engines.
Email Collection Along With Online Ordering
If you’re already selling a product or service, you can include the customer’s email address in your marketing list if you give them a clear warning that you can market to them unless they opt-out. Google in particular will penalize your site in rankings if you don’t give people a way to opt-out or refuse to honor their request not to be spammed.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Sonia from New York on November 20, 2017:
Very informative and interesting page. It certainly provides relevant content on the subject matter. I will visit again!
Tamara Wilhite (author) from Fort Worth, Texas on November 19, 2017:
It is actually a problem if you don't let them opt out of email marketing, since Google penalizes sites without privacy policies and that disregard customer privacy requests.
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on November 19, 2017:
Very good and what harm if they can opt out? Great idea. May refer back to this later. Could be a money maker.