Email marketing is an elegant, simple solution for your small business, but learning how to build an email ┬álist can be challenging at first. Don’t let the task of compiling an email contact list stop you from taking full advantage of the benefits that this marketing median has to offer. By utilizing the following tips, you can build your email contact list with ease and efficiency.

1) Rock Your Website.

This is by far the easiest way to expand your email contact list. By providing multiple locations on your site for visitors to opt-in to receiving email, you can effortlessly collect email addresses. Tip: Be straight forward about exactly what your clients and prospects stand to gain by signing up. This ensures that you are sending to the people who want to hear from you.

2) Maximize Your Social Media.

Let’s face it, in 2013, we are working in a world of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Keep in mind, just because you prefer to utilize one avenue of social media, doesn’t mean that your clients don’t have alternate tastes. Take advantage of Facebook applications that collect email addresses. Build profiles in as many platforms as you can. Be sure to advertise yourself frequently and fully by encouraging people to opt in to your email marketing campaign, tell them what they will gain by doing so.

3) Go Paperless.

It is as simple as changing your ways, use email as your go-to for correspondence. Not only is this method efficient and convenient, it puts you in the position of collecting email addresses from the get go.

4) Empower The Clip Board.

Make it a solid practice to carry a clipboard (or smartphone with a notepad) where ever you go, be it networking events, trade shows, or in the waiting area of your office. This tried and true method is a great way to encourage people to join your mailing list. Again, be sure to let them know exactly what they stand to gain! Whether you are offering market tips, promotional contests, discounts, or just to stay in touch.

5) Get By With A Little Help From Your Friends.

I have often heard from clients that they don’t want to “bother” friends and family with their marketing efforts. Truth be told, we all know the awesome power of “word of mouth”. Don’t be afraid to include the people close to you in your marketing efforts, let them know before hand exactly what you are trying to achieve. They have the power to touch the people in their lives that are your potential clients, and the good news is, they want you to succeed! By including them in your email marketing efforts, you are offering content for them to share when they encounter someone who would benefit from what you have to offer.

6) Become An Internet Educator.

Don’t underestimate the power of your industry awareness. Offer webinars, chime in on forums, hold seminars, etc. This is an excellent way to put forth something valuable, build relationships, and you guessed it, expand your email contact list!

7) Use The Power Of The Ask.

Take the time to go through your contacts, if you are missing an email address, call and get one! Let your clients know you are sending out a newsletter, and explain how it will benefit them. People are often times, more than happy to be a part of it.

8. Export Your Life.

Take advantage of the email and social media accounts that you already have available to you. Did you know, you can easily export contacts from any email and most social media platforms? Chances are, you have been building a contact list without even knowing it. For example, many of our clients are delighted when they learn that they can export their email contacts from LinkedIn.

Make a date each month to work on your marketing efforts. Understandably, your working life is as demanding, if not more than your personal life. By making a date to tackle your marketing efforts every month, you can gradually build and maximize your efforts. Take it one day at a time! We all know that classic tale of the tortoise and the hair, there is nothing wrong with taking that wise tortoise approach. Take it slow, on your email marketing date, or in your spare time, enter in those business cards, take on that webinar. Marketing is vital to the success of your business!

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Genine Packert
genine@outboundengine.com