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March 14, 2016
Marketing  |  3 min read

Email Marketing for Small Business: Getting Customers to Sign Up

By Jamillah Warner

A list of engaged email subscribers can be one of the most valuable assets in your business. And it's more than a list—it represents a chance to build relationships with your customers.

But to have a successful email marketing campaign, of course, you need to actually have people on the list. So how do you get your website visitors and clients to sign up for your emails?

Ask them

To start, simply try asking your customers if they'd like to receive emails from you. Your home page, your social media pages, the bottom of every blog post and the front desk of your office are a few places to ask.

Send out emails to current and past clients, and be sure to include a link to the form on your website where they can sign up for your newsletter. You might be surprised at how many will join the list because of a clear call-to-action.

Your request can be a simple, direct phrase — "join now!" — or it can demonstrate how many are already a part of your community. CopyBlogger's messaging says, “Join over 93,000 smart people today, enter your email address.” A caveat, though: If there are only two people on your list so far, then this wouldn’t work for your company. In a face-to-face environment — at the register or front desk of your company, for example — you want the request to feel natural. You don’t want the client to miss the opportunity to sign up, but you don’t want them to feel bullied, either. Ask your customer to join the list right before or after they check out, and have a sign-up sheet handy (along with a pen). Give your team the words to use and have them practice asking each other: “Would you like to sign up for our email list before you go? That way we’ll remind you when there’s a sale or the new spring line comes out.” You’ve just told your client that there’s more to come and you’ve given them the room to say, “No thank you,” without feeling guilty.

Location, location, location

When it comes to a brick-and-mortar business, it boils down to location. McDonald’s, for example, is less about the hamburger and more about those prime pieces of real estate that the restaurants occupy from city to city. The right location makes them easy to find. Likewise, your website's email sign-up form and clear call to action have to be easy for your visitors to discover. In a newspaper, it would be called "above the fold." But in this digital world, you want your clients to see your request without having to scroll. Place your main sign-up form and call to action at the top of your website. Even if you give your visitors a chance to sign up in multiple locations, make sure the first place is straightforward.


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