September 28, 2009

29 Ways to Collect Email Addresses for Your Business

Thank you, Barbara Joyce with Custom Professional Accounting, for spotting this article from Vertical Response with tips on gathering email addresses.

There are a ton of ways to get people to sign up for your email marketing offers. I've put together a list for you to read, so you know all of the ways you can be growing your list.
  1. Put an offer on the back of your business cards to get people to sign up for your newsletter.
  2. Tradeshows - Bring a clipboard or sign-up book with you to tradeshows and ask for permission to send email to those who sign up.
  3. Include a newsletter sign-up link in your signature of all of your emails.
  4. Send an opt-in email to your address book asking them to join your list.
  5. 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.
  6. Host your own event - Art galleries, software companies (one here has a party every quarter and invites the neighboring businesses), retail shops, consultants (lunch & learn) can all host an event and request attendees to sign up.
  7. Offer a birthday club where you give something special to people who sign up.
  8. Incentivize your employees - Give them $ for collecting VALID email addresses.
  9. Giving something for free like a PDF? Make visitors sign up to your opt-in form before you let them download it.
  10. Referrals - Ask you customers to refer you, and in exchange you'll give them a discount.
  11. Bouncebacks – Get them back! - Send a postcard or call them asking for their updated email address.
  12. Trade newsletter space with a neighboring business, include a link for their opt-in form and ask them to include yours in their newsletter.
  13. 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.
  14. Giveaways - Send people something physical and ask for their email address as well as their postal address.
  15. 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.
  16. Include opt-in forms on every page on your site.
  17. Popup windows - When someone attempts to leave your site, pop up a window and ask for the email address.
  18. 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.
  19. Include a forward-to-a-friend on every page of your site.
  20. Offer a community - Use Ning as your easy-to-set-up community and have your visitors interact and sign up for your newsletter.
  21. Offer "Email only" discounts and don't use those offers anywhere but email.
  22. Telemarketing - If you've got people on the phone, don't hang up until you ask if you can add them to your newsletter.
  23. Put a fishbowl on your counter and do a weekly prize giveaway of your product - then announce it to your newsletter. Add everyone who put their card in on to your newsletter list.
  24. Include an opt-in form inside your emails for those people who get your email forwarded to them.
  25. Tradeshows - Collect business cards and scan them into a spreadsheet. Make sure you ask permission to send email to them, then mark the card.
  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 Facebook - Post the hosted link from your newsletter into Linked Items to spread the word.
  28. Use Facebook - Include an opt-in form on your Facebook Fan page.
  29. Use Twitter - Twitter the hosted link of your email campaign every time you launch.

September 24, 2009

LinkedIn Seminar

Following up on the first One Byte at a Time seminar, we are moving into more in-depth seminars on Social Media. First we're going to delve into LinkedIn and the features it offers a small businessperson for networking. It's great to connect with friends and colleagues. But how do you make money with LinkedIn? We'll discuss:

  • Establishing yourself and your company as experts.
  • Finding new prospects.
  • Building your brand.
Discussing only LinkedIn during the seminar will give us time to get into specific examples and how-to's.

Join us on October 21st. We'll begin at 5:30 pm with networking. The LinkedIn seminar will begin at 6:00 and be 1.5 hours long. Cost: $20 per person.

Westar will be hosting this event in their newly remodeled showroom at 15500 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop, Scottsdale, AZ.

They will be providing the refreshments & fresh-baked cookies.  Please be aware that dinner will not be served so we may utilize as much time as possible for the seminar.

While the seminar is geared toward the design community, all Your Computer Lady clients are invited. Email or call to make your reservation. or 480-929-0335.

September 16, 2009

Secret Twitter Tools! Shhhhh!!

I'm going to share a couple of tools that you can use to become a better social media player. Many of you ask me, "How can I find the time to tweek?!"  Here's one answer. or

Both of these FREE sites allow you to schedule tweets for future delivery. You don't have to come up with content every day! Sit down on Monday when the phones are quiet and write 7 tweets for the next week. Schedule one a day. Your twitter friends don't know the message was pre-written. But you've worked more efficiently. It's always better to do similar tasks in a group instead of individually. You've also taken the time to think through your messages. Is this the persona I want to project? Is this pertinent information that is valuable to my tweeple?

Of course, you can send out a spur of the moment tweet. Those are icing on the cake. But your scheduled tweets will build your brand and your reputation.

PS - Most blog software will allow you to schedule blog posts. You could set up a series of posts too!!!

September 12, 2009

Blogging for SEO

Well written article from FireDrum Internet Marketing explaining how a blog on your web site can help with Search Engine Optimization.

I agree with Maureen that a blog is a simple, inexpensive way to add value to your site. Too many companies put up a web site then abandon it. No! The web site should be the hub of all of your marketing efforts. Posting info via a blog makes this easy to do.

What if you aren't a writer?  What to do if that blank screen terrifies you? Use an experienced copywriter (like Your Computer Lady) to take your facts and figures and massage them into an article. As long as you provide the technical expertise, an outside editor can polish up the content.

Click here to read the full article.

September 9, 2009

Cross-Pollination of Marketing

This excerpt is from an eMarketer article I read this morning. It documents a subject that has been coming up in a lot of discussions lately - the value and necessity of cross-pollination in your marketing efforts. There is no silver bullet that is going to bring you fame and fortune. No marketing tool that is going to make your business a success. You absolutely have to tie all the efforts together so they support each other.  It is a harder way to market. There are more pieces. There's more work to check all the details. In many ways, though it is less expensive. You can do many small things which can be easily adjusted instead of one big, expensive effort that is boom or bust. There is a lot of opportunity for a small business to be a successful marketer.  One manufacturer recently put on a huge happy hour / product introduction event. All the salespeople had to attend. Lots of money for food. Lots of money for beautiful printed materials. Lots of effort. But they picked an off night. Their name wasn't that well known. Less than 10 people attended. For less money, they could have sent a year's worth of e-newsletters to educate their prospects and build name recognition. They could have sponsored a couple of professional organization events and met the attendees one-on-one. Of course, they would have to join the organization and participate! They could have built a social media campaign to reach out to prospects. The chances of drawing a large crowd and wow-ing them a presentation that immediately results in a purchase are pretty slim. We're cautious consumers these days. But steady, cross-polinated efforts will bring steady, long term results.

For example, a January 2009 study commissioned by iProspect and conducted by Forrester Consulting showed that Internet users exposed to a promotional ad might not click on the ad itself, but often took some other form of action:
  • 27% searched for the product, brand or company using a search engine.
  • 21% typed the Web address directly into their browser and navigated to the advertiser’s site.
  • 9% investigated the product, brand or company through social media or message boards.
Measurement of display ad effectiveness must take into account such cross-pollination, not simply click rates, in order to be accurate.

Full eMarketer article

Here's another really good example from Steven Groves' blog about a small coffee shop's efforts.  Good blog, by the way, if you're wanting to learn about social media.

September 1, 2009

Social Media Seminar Tonight

The handout is printed. I'm finalizing my presentation for tonight's 1 Byte at a Time seminar. I think this is such a good idea. Short introductions to the four most common social media options: Blogging, Twittering, LinkedIn and Facebook. People who haven't waded in the pool yet can learn what all the talk is about and decide where to get started. As always, my recommendation is pick one and work with it until you have it mastered. Then pick another tool. And another... A small businessperson can't have too many arrows in the quiver, as the saying goes.

This link will take you to the seminar details and registration. There's room for a few more people. Networking and learning something new! Free!     1 Byte at a Time