[show_avatar [email protected] align=left avatar_size=120]The Money is in Your Email List – Are You Cashing In?… If you have been on the fence about whether or not to use email marketing as a tool to communicate with your current and potential clients, then it’s time to jump over the fence and dive into email marketing.

Email marketing will enable you to grow your business by communicating with your online community.  Growing an online and/or offline business requires communication from as many different angles as possible. Email marketing is one important angle that should not be over looked.

If a visitor comes to your website can he/she sign up for your email list without entering their information on the “contact us” page?  Understanding the online consumer is not a difficult task.  Think about how YOU interact with websites you visit.  What catches your eye on the website?  Did you sign up for their mailing list or click on the Contact Us page?  Nine times out of ten, most website visitors do not access this page because they don’t have a question or concern that warrants the business to “contact” them.

If you collect email addresses as part of your business model you can stay in touch with people through a simple email marketing campaign and build trust. Even if you are not selling or offering anything, the process of staying on consumers’ radars is important to any growing brand or business online. In today’s economy all businesses need to be aggressive in branding and communication regardless whether they are just launching a business or have an existing business.

One BIG NO NO concerning email marketing is to add people to your email list from directories, other businesses email lists, yellowpages, etc.  If you participate in this practice you will be considered a “spammer” and your email service provider WILL shut down your email account.  When attending networking events and exchanging business cards, I have found it more effective to send  an individual email to the new contact and invite him/her to join (opt-in) your email list via a link that will direct them to the sign up page.

In order to entice people who are not familiar with your brand to sign up for your mailing list, you must answer the age old question – “what’s in it for me?”.   To help you encourage your potential email subscribers to sign up for your list, we have included some “opt-in” ideas for building your email database.

Check out the following opt-in ideas for building your list:

  • Send birthday greetings/discounts to your email list.
  • Create an ebook and offer it free as an incentive to subscribe.
  • Offer a product discount for purchasers who subscribe to your email list.
  • Create any type of “how to” article or “top ten” list which compliments your product/service or solves a problem.
  • Run a controversial survey or contest and turn the results into a newsworthy article.
  • Give away useful free stuff.

If you are not sure how to implement email marketing in your website and/or blog, check out the following Email List Building Best Practices.

  • Feature a sign-up form on EVERY page of your website, not just the home page.
  • Include links to your email sign-up form in your outgoing emails.
  • Use offline promotions-brochures, letterhead, business cards, receipts, invoices, press releases, etc. to encourage people to sign up for your email list.
  • Collect only the email address, name, and state.  DO NOT require address or phone number fields in your email sign up.  Most consumers will not provide this level of information for an email list.
  • State in the email confirmation how often you will communicate with your subscriber.
  • Capture email addresses from your social network platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc). Keep in mind, if your Facebook page has thousands of “fans/likes” and your Facebook Business Page is deleted your contacts are gone.

If you are not sure what email server provider to choose take a look at our recommendations:

Mailchimp – Great for businesses that are just implementing email marketing into their business mix.  You can sign up for a FREE account for up to 2000 subscribers.  Check out the Mailchimp featured here.

Contact Contact – One of the first email service providers.  You can sign up for a 60 days limited trial – Click Here

Aweber – A trigger based email marketing service provider.  You can create a series of emails that can be sent to the subscriber over a day or time span.  Click Here for more information.

GetReponse – You can create a series of emails that can be sent to the subscriber over a day or time span, create and deploy surveys and much more.  Click Here for more information.

I am your Plus Size Business Advocate, so please be sure to send your questions to me at [email protected].  If you have not registered your Plus Size business with the Plus Size Marketing Group, please click HERE to register today!