Strangers in the night

Every site should have something on it which attempts to get visitors to leave their details. Hundreds – possibly thousands – of people breeze past your website each week, completely anonymously. They might be potential customers …but most are just drifting around the enormity of the web and will never come back unless you remind them. Would you allow that to happen at an exhibition stand? Of course not. So how are you trying to persuade them to leave their details and join your mailing list? Come on, you need to be creative here.

The best way to appeal to technical people is by offering the promise of future technical updates which will make their lives easier. That’s why blogs work so well, but other free information such as White Papers and eBooks are effective too. To get someone to give up their email address, they must think that whatever you’re going to do with their email address, they’re getting the better part of the bargain. This is why clever marketers also make clear the limits of what they’ll do with that email address.

21 Awesome Ideas to Grow Your Email List on the Inbound Internet Marketing blog is full of good suggestions. For most of you, I reckon at least half of the ideas will have potential, and you certainly don’t have to limit yourselves to just one.

If the only way your website collects email addresses is through the “contact us” form, it probably adds just a handful of visitors to your mailing list each year. And that’s a terrible waste. Imagine how big your mailing list would be if just 1% of your annual traffic signed up to get more information from you.

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