Building a Professional E-mail Marketing Database
Email Marketing Software
Gathering contact information so that you can stay in touch with your customers and leads is a big step towards success online. Professional entrepreneurs use E-mail Marketing Software to build opt in type e-mail databases of the visitors to their websites and blogs. Email marketing software allows you to manage a database of email contacts and e-mail autoresponders can be used to automate tasks that would otherwise be extremely tedious, such as e-mailing 5,000 subscribers your next newsletter.
A good email marketing service will provide you with a widget that you place on your website, that will allow you to easily accept subscriber e-mail addresses directly into the database. Having the email addresses of your blog or website visitors all in one place makes it easy to contact them with updates and let them know about new content in your site or a new product you want to promote. Another benefit is the ability to easily send out an occasional newsletter to your subscribers which reminds them of your website and also serves to establish your brand name.
There are plenty of free e-mail autoresponder / database services. If you are just starting your blog and you do not have any significant traffic, I recommend getting a free email marketing service so that you can learn how it works. Starting off with free email marketing software is a great way to learn how to utilize autoresponders to maintain email contacts and build your brand, and not spend money needlessly for a service that you may not be ready to make proper use of.
The downside of using free email marketing services, is that if you build up your database and then you decide that you have enough traffic to warrant paying for a professional service, you may not be able to migrate your current free database to the new professional one. That could really hurt your business if you have hundreds or thousands of opt in e-mail contacts that you do not want to lose.
When you are ready to start building a long term email database to grow your business, and you can afford the ~$20 a month fee, then it is time to look into signing up with a professional service that will meet your e-mail database goals long term.
Here is a professional e-mail marketing service that is very popular, for maintaining your website or blog e-mail contacts long term... Aweber Communications
Building Your E-mail Marketing List
To get readers of your blog to sign up for your e-mail list, I don't recommend having an annoying pop up that appears right in front of the users face demanding their e-mail address. Many users will see that and immediately navigate away from your page. The best way to get subscribers to your e-mail list is to have the e-mail opt-in widget prominently displayed in the upper right hand corner of your website. A very effective way to get people to subscribe to your list is to offer them an incentive for joining it, like a free e-book, desktop wallpaper, or software, etc.
Once you have created quality original content that attracts visitors to your website, its time to engage them and try to get e-mail addresses to populate your database with. Your goal is to build an email database of your readership's e-mail addresses by having them double opt-in to your e-mail list. Double opt-in means that after they sign up for your newsletter or free e-book, etc, an e-mail will be sent to the subscriber requesting that they verify the e-mail address. To receive the free incentive they must click the link in the e-mail that is sent to their in box. Double Opt In insures two things for your benefit. Firstly you will not have fake e-mails in your database. Secondly you will be within compliance of the Can-Spam Act initiated by congress in 2003 which is designed to suppress e-mail spam on the internet.
When you write good content and make it a fun or informative experience for your reader, they will want to join your newsletter, and a prominently displayed (but not annoying), easy to find place to subscribe to your newsletter or e-mail list is in good taste and extremely valuable for building your business long term. Remember to keep in mind the downside of the free e-mail marketing services, so that you can anticipate when its worth it to start paying for a long term solution.
- Aweber E-mail Marketing Services
Professional E-mail Marketing and Autoresponder Software