Hopefully you know how important email marketing can be to your business in today’s market. However, for many businesses, the question is “Where do I start?” It can seem like a daunting task to collect this kind of data, but with the right tools and tips, it can be much easier than you think. There are many ways to get people to sign up for your email marketing offers or email database. Below is a list of many ways that you can begin growing your list.

1. Put an offer on the back of your business cards to get people to sign up for your newsletter.

2. Bring a clipboard or sign-up book with you to tradeshows and ask for permission to send email to those who sign up.

3. Collect business cards at tradeshows and scan them into a spreadsheet. Make sure you ask permission to send email to them and then mark the card.

4. Include a newsletter sign-up link in your signature of all of your emails.

5. Send an opt-in email to your address book asking them to join your list.

6. Join your local chamber of commerce; email the member list (if it’s opt-in) about your services with a link to sign up to your newsletter.

7. Host your own event (Lunch & Learn) – Smoke shops, head shops, and vapor shops can all host an event and request attendees to sign up. I know of one retailer who has a party every quarter and invites the neighboring businesses.

8. Offer a birthday club where you give something special to the people who sign up.

9. Incentivize your employees – Give them cash for collecting VALID email addresses.

10. Giving something for free on your website, like an educational PDF, and make visitors sign up to your opt-in form before you let them download it.

11. Referrals – Ask you customers to refer you to their friends. If they use the “share” link on your sign up email, or their name shows up in response to the “where did you hear about us” question, offer to give them a discount.

12.Recovering Bouncebacks – Send a postcard or call them asking for their updated email address.

13. Trade newsletter space with a neighboring business, include a link for their opt-in form and ask them to include yours in their newsletter.

14. SEO – Make sure you optimize your site for your keywords. You need to be at the top of the natural search when people are looking for your products or services.

15. Use giveaways – Send people something physical and ask for their email address as well as their postal address.

16. Do you have a postal list without emails? Send them a direct mail offer they can only get if they sign up to your email list.

17. Include opt-in forms on every page on your site.

18. Use popup windows – When someone attempts to leave your site, pop up a window and ask for the email address.

19. Include a forward-to-a-friend link in your emails just in case your recipient wants to forward your content to someone they think will find it interesting.

20. Include a forward-to-a-friend on every page of your site.

21. Offer a community – Set-up an online community and have your visitors interact. Require that they sign up for your newsletter and/or special offers.

22. Offer “Email only” discounts and don’t use those offers anywhere but email.
23. Telemarketing – If you’ve got people on the phone, don’t hang up until you ask if you can add them to your newsletter.

24. Put a fishbowl on your counter and do weekly prize giveaways of your product – then announce it to your newsletter database. Add everyone who put his or her card in the bowl to your newsletter list.

25. Include an opt-in form inside your emails for those people who get your email forwarded to them.

26. Use Facebook – Host your own group and invite people to it, then post new links often. From time to time, post a link to sign up for your newsletter.

27. Use Pintrest or Facebook by posting the hosted link from your newsletter into linked items to spread the word.

28. Include an opt-in form on your Facebook Fan page.

29. Tweet the hosted link of your email campaign every time you launch.

These are just a few of the many ways that you can build your email database to aid in the marketing of your store. I encourage you to take the first steps. I’m sure you’ll be surprised to see how quickly it can grow! SSA

Arthur KleinArthur Klein is the president of Match Marketing Group. With over 20 years of experience in marketing (both traditional & ecommerce) for the luxury industry, Arthur has consistently increased profits & market share for his clients in developing and implementing creative ideas that grow businesses and build brands. He can create a financially responsible communications platform that is right for your business, and manage it all from strategy and concept to campaign execution. You can contact him directly at 201-693-2364 or [email protected] for any further questions.