The Webmaster Place





E-mail



   

Building an E-mail Address Database

E-mail marketing works, there's no denying it. Its key advantage over other Internet marketing methods is that it enables you to contact the customer instead of forcing the customer to contact you. This ability is especially useful when something that your customers need to know as soon as possible has happened. Whether you've just released a new product or decided to cut your prices by 10%, the fastest way to spread the word is via E-mail.

However, unless you want to give your company a bad name, you can't simply start sending E-mails to people that haven't agreed to receive them. The only ethical and reasonable way to advertise via E-mail is to first obtain a permission, or an opt-in request, from the receiver. The trouble is that this can't be done via E-mail, as it would be similar to asking someone whether you can ask them a question. What's the point in doing that, when you've already done what you wanted them to allow you to do?

Getting people to opt-in

========================

Due to the above reasons, creating your own opt-in E-mail database is not an easy task. In addition, because of privacy concerns and the fear of spam, many people are reluctant to give out their E-mail address without a good reason to do so. These fears can be soothed by creating a strict privacy policy and sticking to it, but it's harder to convince your visitors that it would be in their best interest to reveal their E-mail address to you. Fortunately, there are some time-tested solutions available for that problem as well:

1. Arrange a sweepstakes with an attractive grand prize, for example one of the more expensive products sold on your site. Require everyone who wants to enter the drawing to give out his E-mail address and agree to receive occasional E-mails from you.

To get the best possible results, it is advisable to declare that the winner will be contacted via E-mail and needs to claim the prize within 7 days in order to receive it. By doing so, you'll eliminate the problem of people giving out bogus E-mail addresses in order to avoid receiving advertisements.

2. Open a discussion forum on your site. By only allowing registered users to post, you can collect E-mail addresses and deter pranksters from writing abusive messages at the same time. However, if you decide to use this method to build your list, be very careful. Sending advertisements too frequently to the regulars of your forum may cause them to move elsewhere and thus reduce the traffic to your site.

3. Start publishing a newsletter. Although it requires quite a bit of work, an interesting newsletter quickly gathers subscribers and increases the size of your E-mail database. An additional advantage of having a newsletter versus a simple E-mail announcement service is that you'll be able to submit to the multiple newsletter directories on the Internet.

4. Continue to allow everyone to access most of the content on your site, but also add a "Members only" area that contains articles or other information that is valuable to your visitors.Give out free memberships, but require members to register, reveal their E-mail addresses and allow you to send them an E-mail advertisement every now and then.

This idea is especially suitable if you're eventually planning to charge for some of the content you provide. The step from requiring your visitors to register to requiring them to pay is smaller than moving from giving everything for free to fee-based access.

5. Whenever you ask your visitors to give out their E-mail address, remember to offer them the possibility to join your opt-in mailing list at the same time. Do you have a form on your ite that allows the visitors to contact the webmaster or the sales department? Perhaps you have a Tell-A-Friend script that asks for the sender's E-mail address and name? Both are excellent opportunities to suggest subscribing to your E-mail announcement list or newsletter to your visitors.

If you want to gather a sizeable list of E-mail addresses from your visitors, you shouldn't be afraid of trying hard to get them. Just keep in mind that there is a fine line between being persuasive and being annoying. Don't cross it.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Lauri Harpf runs the A Promotion Guide website, where he offers free information about search engines, directories and other promotion methods. His site can be found at http://www.apromotionguide.com/.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Back to E-mail



Related Links:

Don't see what you are looking for? Try our search:
   


Home

Articles
Advertising, CSS, DSL, E-mail, Hosting, Server Side Includes, 404 Pages

Internet
Internet Access, Broadband, Encryption, FTP, Internet Providers, Servers, Telnet, Web Pages, more...

Bandwidth
Bandwidth Test, Bandwidth Meter, more...

Web Hosting
Web Hosting Services, Affordable Web Hosting, Business Web Hosting, Cheap Web Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, Domain Hosting, Ecommerce Web Hosting, Free Web Hosting, Ftp Hosts, Internet Hosting, Unix Hosting, Virtual Hosts, Web Host Directories, Web Hosting, Web Hosting Providers, Web Hosts, Web Site Hosting, more...

Web Master Tools
Content Management, Hit Counters, Link Popularity, Pay Pal, Message Boards, Free Message Boards, Web Log Analyzers, Web Directories, Web Site Promotion, more...

Web Programming
ASP, CGI, Java, Perl, PHP, more...

Web Authoring Tools
HTML, Frontpage, Studio MX, XML, more...

Web Design
3D Software, Computer Animation, Graphic Software, Multimedia Design, Multimedia Software, Photo Shop, Streaming Audio, Streaming Video, more...

Database
Design, Management, Marketing, Software, Tools, Frontpage PHP Database Hosting, SQL, Web Database, more...

Apache
Apache Web Server, more...

UNIX
UNIX Hosting, UNIX Servers, UNIX Training, SCO UNIX, more...

Templates
Web Templates, Free Web Templates, Flash Templates, Frontpage Templates, more...

Banners
Banner Ads, Banner Exchange, more...

Ecommerce
Ecommerce Development, Ecommerce Hosting, Ecommerce Shopping Cart, Ecommerce Software, Ecommerce Solutions, Ecommerce Web Hosting, Merchants, more...

Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Programs, Affiliate Program Directories, Free Affiliate Programs, Affiliate Software, more...

Search


  Home   Site Map   Add URL   Terms and Conditions   Privacy Policy   Advertise   Contact Us