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May 19, 2000
How To

Growing Your Own Opt-In List: Part II of Our Special Report on Making Email Marketing Work

SUMMARY: No summary available.
One of the best ways to grow an opt-in list is to offer a site newsletter containing articles, tips or major news of real interest to your visitors. Then you can market your site within the newsletter. Here are 4 ways to get your audience to sign up:

1. Add opt-in sign-up forms all over your site.

Sounds like a no-brainer, right? You'd be surprised how many people don't do this. Or they just put a sign-up form on one page (perhaps their home page or their shopping cart check-out form) and no place else.

Take a minute to study your traffic logs. Chances are they'll tell you that lots of people enter your site on pages that aren't your home page. Perhaps they have bookmarked another page as a favorite, or they are clicking on a link to a special section. If you haven't added your sign-up form to the pages most people enter your site on, then you are missing out on a major opportunity to enlarge your opt-in list.

Remember, to make this most effective be sure to add an easy-to-see link to your privacy policy. It makes people feel secure when they sign up -- so they’re more
likely to!

2. Use Viral Marketing

Yes, if people love your newsletter or your site, they will refer their friends and colleagues. But people are busy and forgetful these days, so why not help them along with a little push? Always ask for a referral at the start of every issue of your newsletter (just like does.) Always include an easy-to-find way for people to email news from your site, or the contents of a page, to their friends. For example, check out the referral box at!

Referrals aren’t for news only. ecommerce stores should allow shoppers to send their friends notes about each product or service. Member organizations should ask visitors to nominate friends as new members, etc.

3. Run ads in emailed newsletters.

More than 10,000 niche email newsletters are available in which you can spread the word about your opt-in offer!

Your ad should offer a good reason why someone should visit your site or special bounce page and join your opt-in list. Special free report offers and sweepstakes are often compelling. Quizzes and surveys can work if they are compelling enough (“Are you making enough money? Click here to take our survey and we’ll email you the results!”) Don't be afraid to test a newsletter offer yourself. After all these are proven newsletter readers to whom you’re talking!

4. Add your opt-in offer to the emailed signatures of all employees

Here at, we tend to harp on this point because it’s so easy and powerful - yet so often forgotten by online companies. Every person in your organization should be adding an automated electronic signature to all of his or her outbound email. That signature can include their title, contact information and a link to sign up for your opt-in email program. You would be astounded to learn how many outbound emails your organization sends every day to customers and prospects. Don't waste this free opportunity to grow your opt-in list.
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