9 Key Sources for Building Your Opt-In Lists
It's no secret.
Your opt-in list means everything to your online business.
Building a great email list you can send to again and again is
key to your success. Here are the nine fundamental sources from
which you can build your opt-in email list:
1. Your Current Customers
This is your best source of contacts. The hardest thing for any
business to do is to find new customers. It's expensive, time
consuming, and you have to earn their trust. But - it's easy to
sell again to a satisfied customer. They already know you and
As long as you provide products or services that are of fair
value and high quality, your customers will continue to trust
you and buy from you. In fact, they will prefer to buy from you.
A loyal customer base is your best friend in business.
If your business does not yet have a database of customer email
addresses, here's how to get them:
The next time you contact them by post or mail, make a special
offer if they reply by email. It could be a free report or
special discount. You MUST get their email address.
Remember: there are more of your customers on the Internet than
you think, and the rest of them will be online very soon.
2. Customers For Other Businesses
Joint venture through endorsed mailings. Customers of other
related, non-competing businesses are excellent prospects for
your personalized email offerings. In exchange for a split of
the profits, let the other company send their endorsed emailing
of your offer to their customer list.
Here's a secret: you should be willing to give away a healthy
portion of the profits on the front end, because the buyers will
become customers on your list. Once they are loyal buyers, you
can sell to them again and again on your back end. That's why
joint ventures can be highly profitable for you in the long
3. Your Web Site Visitors
One of the most powerful ways to build a targeted list of
prospects is through forms on your Web site. For a 'how-to' look
at this process, visit the home page of
Business Copywriting.Net where
you'll find three tactics encouraging people to opt in:
They invite people to subscribe to our free newsletter. They offer a
free, no-obligation copywriting consultation. And, they invite people
to refer their site to friends and associates.
There's a lot you can do to get people online to interact with
Offer a free report on autoresponder. Create a newsletter.
Provide free downloads of freeware or shareware programs
appropriate for your audience. And always, always ask for their
name and email address in return.
Give people good reasons to give you their contact information
so you can stay in touch with them, sending them new offers for
your line of products and services.
In all forms of advertising you do, online and offline, always
give your email address. Encourage people to contact you by
email, because your objective is to funnel prospects and
customers into your email box. You will automatically create a
hot list of prospects whom you can responsibly contact via
Include your email address on business cards, stationary,
invoices, faxes, print, radio and television advertising. Give
customers incentives to email you. This email 'relationship'
empowers you to send them updates and offers by email.
5. Press Releases
Press releases offering genuine news (as opposed to a poorly
disguised sales pitch) are highly effective. Here's how to use
them to build your email list:
Your press releases can offer a free report that people must
email you to receive, or a product that can be emailed back to
them. Write your press release to provoke this response from
readers, and collect their names and email addresses in the
When a prospect contacts you for a free report, contact them and
offer to send the report to any of their friends they think
might be interested. As you can see, this is similar to an
When a referral comes in, send out a personalized email letter
to the referral explaining that they were referred by their
friend (give the name), and you are sending them a free report
because their friend asked you to. To ensure that they don't
mind you keeping them on your list, end your message with this
"To be sure this message has arrived, please reply with the word
in the subject line: 'thanks'. We'll know that we sent this
report to the right place, and that we've fulfilled our promise
to (friend's name)."
If they do not reply to let you know they received the report,
be safe. Assume they are not interested in hearing from you in
the future, and don't mail to them again.
7. Renting Lists
This can be very expensive, but worth it if the list is highly
targeted. Prices can vary between .05 and .40 per name
depending upon the number you are mailing, how targeted the
list is and how the names have been gathered. Our suggestion is
to test mail to a small list at first and gauge your response,
or use one of the direct email services listed below.
Only get lists from reputable companies online, and be very
careful about this. Never mail to a CD-Rom list of millions of
names. We promise - they don't want to hear from you, you'll get spam-fried in the process, and many addresses will be defunct.
Direct Email Services
Direct email services will send out your email in bulk to a
targeted, opt-in list. Be sure to confirm that these companies
do indeed mail to lists of individuals who are targeted,
voluntary subscribers. And before you spend a dime, make sure
that these are the people your business most needs to reach.
Direct email is sent to 5,000-200,000 Internet users who
subscribe to this service. It is a powerful tool when used in
combination with a Web site, electronic storefront or an autoresponder.
Email to opt-in subscriber lists. They offer co-op and private ad
Please Mail Me!
Special offers for first time advertisers.
Offering business-to-business and consumer (voluntary
subscription) email lists.
WebPromote Direct Email
A good, reliable company.
8. Direct Response Mail
Give prospects you mail to by post an extra incentive to respond
by email. Tell them their order will be processed much more
quickly, and offer a bonus if they respond by email.
The goal is to transform your expensive postal mail prospect
list into an inexpensive email list. The more people you can
reach by email, the more you will reduce your costs (and the
higher your profits will climb).
9. Membership Organizations
People working together for a common goal are excellent
prospects for your email list. If you belong to an association,
network, an alumni group, a club, a school board, or other
organization where 'birds of a feather' have flocked together,
offer them a discount for your products and services - and only
allow them to contact you by email.
Publicize this special bonus for members through their
newsletter or other announcement outlets. You're doing their
membership a service, which is certainly newsworthy.
Mining these 9 sources can build your opt-in list in record
time. Start as soon as you can - a good list is worth it's
weight in gold, and is fundamental to your success online.
... article by Scott T. Smith ...
.__ Copywriting that Sells __.