Delivering regular, helpful emails to prospects, leads and your existing customers can be a great way to keep your company name in front of potential buyers, and a great way to tie existing customers to your business.

Building an email list should be one of the top priorities for small businesses seeking an effective marketing channel that’s targeted, and focused squarely on the key demographic – the business’ marketing sweet spot.

By building an email list, you actually develop a mail list of people who want to hear more from your company. Your emails don’t end up in the spam folder — they end up in the inbox where they actually get read.

However, building an email list takes some time, and if you make some common mistakes, you may actually lose customers.  Here are some simple ways to help build a business email list of high-caliber prospects eager to engage your business.

1. Add an opt-in module to your website’s home page. Visitors interested in learning more about your business simply enter their email addresses in the form, click “send” and you’ve added a new prospect to your email list.

This is a high-quality prospect who took the initial action of business engagement by providing an email address to discover more about your business.

2. Add an opt-in module to the Contact page. A website visitor who clicks on the Contact link is an interested prospect – someone who wants to learn more about your products or services.

By placing an opt-in module on the Contact page, you simplify the process of business engagement for your highest-quality leads – people and companies that want to hear more.

3. Don’t make an opt-in module mandatory. Don’t require site visitors to provide an email address to access your website. Many first-time visitors will “bounce” – never get past that home or landing page with the opt-in because they don’t want more spam.  Let visitors roam your site and learn all about the benefits you deliver.

4. Entice visitors to opt-in. FREE is good. People like free, so offer something in exchange for that email address. Some possibilities to incentivize prospects to opt in:

  • A free consultation or analysis
  • A free eBook download
  • A free monthly newsletter
  • Free business articles for download and use in preparing business strategies
  • Free screen saver downloads
  • Coupons that deliver real savings
  • Service-tier upgrades (Upgrade to the GOLD PACKAGE Today FREE!)
  • Free smart phone app
  • Useful information and incentives via smart phone

5. Strategically place pop-up boxes throughout your website. Pop-ups are those boxes that appear as you move from page to page through a website. Many Internet users hate pop-ups because they interfere with the visitor’s search, and in many cases, pop-ups block text visitors want to read.

The key to the successful use of pop-ups is to place them within the context of the page being viewed by the visitor. For example, a small pop-up with an email address link may be useful to visitors reading the “About Us” page. Mouse-over the CEO’s picture and a direct email address link pops up.

Pop ups shouldn’t block text. They should be easy to close. They should appear in places that help visitors, not annoy them, and they should motivate site visitors to take the action you want – to provide an email address to your database.

Building an email list takes time and creativity. Site visitors know that when they provide an email address, they may be spammed forever. Assure opt-ins that their emails are safe with you.

Provide incentives. Provide useful information. Make opt-ins glad they opted in and you’ll avoid the dreaded spam folder, and you will probably see a greater ROI on your email marketing campaigns. Why?

Because your emails are sent to people who WANT to read them!


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.