I-Media Connection has a valuable article on what an organization can do to build an email list from scratch. You don’t have to be a web-marketing guru to execute on these ideas. If you have a website, you should be doing this already.
You can pretty much summarize it into 3 basic steps:
- It’s best to focus on organic growth
- Don’t require so much info that it keeps people from filling out the form
- If you must, choose a reputable list-rental service
This is rather simple and very basic, but so many organizations don’t take the time to execute on these baby steps.
The good news is that there are several ways to grow your lists organically that will enable you to amass a loyal following of happy customers. The first thing you want to do is put a sign-up link on every page of your website — and don’t hide it with small text or bury it at the bottom of your page. Put it in a prominent position that won’t get ignored. As you drive people to your website through various marketing and advertising programs, there should be an obvious path that leads respondents to a simple form for opting into your list. Making it easy to sign up is key, and that involves careful consideration about the number of steps that you require and the amount of information you request.