One of the most difficult parts of online promotion is convincing people to hand over their email addresses. Who could blame them? Too many marketers use this information to spam their inboxes, consuming their time and resources and causing them to worry about potential malware. So, how do you win their trust? Here’s how to get people to gladly hand over this information, and make them happy they decided to do so.
1. Promise (and deliver) content, not spam
People do not want sales pitch. However, they do want useful information about products, companies, industries, and hobbies they’re interested in. When approaching people online, offer them something they’d actually enjoy.
Promise them high quality, reliable information and assure them with statements like, “We hate spam as much as you do!” or “We never share your email with third parties.” Then, deliver on your promises. Never send out emails with blatant sales pitches. Only email your subscribers with interesting, informative, well written content they can use and enjoy.
2. Host contests and giveaways
Winning free stuff is always worth coughing up an email address. Who can resist a free trip to Jamaica or a brand new Corvette? Of course, your giveaways have to be prizes you can actually deliver, but once you’ve got the email addresses of those who signed up for your giveaway you can contact them with other goodies.
However, remember the principles of #1. Don’t betray their trust after they’ve handed over their email address by spamming their inboxes. Only send out emails with contests they might be interested in or useful information about your company, products, or services.
3. Offer valuable newsletters
Newsletters are effective only so much as they are informative, enjoyable, and relative to their interests. Also, newsletters must be well written. Nothing hinders the reputation of your business like poor grammar, misspelled words, and other signs of unprofessionalism. Craft a newsletter to interest people in your industry, thereby your company, not just your products.
If you’re selling toaster ovens, it’s safe to say the people looking for your products are interested in kitchen ware. They might be avid cooks, or simply someone who needs to make a quick breakfast in the mornings. These people will welcome a weekly newsletter with quick, inexpensive recipes or useful tips on caring for appliances.
4. Offer free ebooks
eBook offers work like a combination of giveaways and newsletters. People are getting something for free, and they’re hoping to learn more about a particular topic. eBooks are a valuable email marketing tool because you know as soon as they sign up for it, they’re interested in reading about your subject.
5. Interest them through social media
With social media, you don’t have to beat the streets for email addresses, because people send others to you. Create an interesting, informative, visually appealing Facebook page and start a Twitter account where you can post news and updates interesting to your target customer. Always link to a website where people can give their email address in exchange for a giveaway, free eBook, newsletter or other valuable offering.
People are usually willing to hand over their email address so long as they trust you not to spam them or threaten them with malware. Keep your email solicitations top quality and infrequent so as not to betray that trust.