Before we talk about how to build an email list, let’s consider why you would want to do so. When someone comes to your web site, there are several possible actions they can take. Bottom line, though, there are two: they can buy something or not.
If they buy something, you have their name and contact information so you could reach them again. However, you do not have their explicit permission to do so.Worse, the people who came to your site and didn’t buy are gone. Perhaps forever. Oh, they may come back some day, but it is more likely that they will forget all about you.
Now imagine that they have at least a third option. In addition to buying or not buying, they can sign up for your mailing list. Perhaps they are interested, but not interested enough to buy today. Now they will continue to hear from you, learn from you and remember you. Ultimately, they may buy from you. Even if they don’t, they may forward something they receive from you to a friend who may buy from you, or sign up for your mailing list, or…
Having a list is a way to develop relationships with possible customers. It creates trust and showcases what you can do for them.
So, how do you build a list? One easy way is with a form on your web site. When you use a service like Aweber (the list service I use), you can easily create a subscription box (like the one at IdeaLady.com) or boxes that slide onto the page, etc. Visitors simply enter their email addresses to subscribe, just as you did.
Put subscription boxes at multiple locations on your site. Much of your search engine traffic does not come in via the front page.
Offer a bonus to subscribers, such as a free course or ebook.
When you speak or present a workshop, ask attendees to subscribe by checking a box on the roster, or entering an email address on a form.
Make subscribing to your newsletter a call to action in your email signature, in the resource box of your articles, and elsewhere. Keep in touch with prospects to turn them into fans and customers.