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3 Ways To Collect Email Addresses From Your Visitors

By Joe Reinbold
Posted Wednesday, December 29, 2004

One of the most important keys to success in online marketing is building your own opt-in list of potential and prior customers. For those that are just starting out online, this process should start even before you start planning to publish your own ezine/newsletter.

As you launch your business you can begin to build your opt-in list in order to followup with these prospects and customers. It doesn't have to be a formal ezine initially, it can just be a once a month update on new products and services. When your list starts to increase to a good size then you can consider a formal ezine.

We started with 300+ email addresses of associates and customers who we did business with offline. Today our list has 15,000+ subscribers and is growing steadily.

So how do you capture the addresses. Here are a few of the standard ways that we capture them:

1. A Web Site Sign Up Form

Place a sign up form on every page of your website. Or at a minimum have a "subscribe" link on every page that goes to a separate subscription page. Make sure that you just don't put "subscribe to our ezine". That means nothing to me when I see it. Why should I sign up? Just a short description will greatly increase your subscription rate. For instance. using "Weekly Marketing Tips and Techniques emailed to you! Subscribe Today" would be better than "Subscribe to Our Ezine".

2. Free Information Giveaways

Give something away free like a free report with information that is geared to your site's content. Ensure that they have to request the information so you capture their email address.

Use an autoresponder to deliver the information automatically. There are lots of free autoresponder services out there. That way the information is available around the clock. With most good services you will receive a information copy as soon as someone requests the information and it will have their email address in it.

But, and this is important, just don't send them the free information. Make sure that at the end of your autoresponder text that you send them, there is a short blurb about your website services/products and your ezine if you have one. But don't over do it. I like to just keep it to one or two little ads.

Another important item is that you SHOULD NOT just add the person's email address to your opt-in list or ezine. This would make it easy for them to file a SPAM complaint since they didn't ask to be on your list. Offer them the ability to get future mailings from you as indicated above in the mailing itself. You want to create a true opt-in list.

An exception to this would be if you are offering them a free gift for subscribing to your list. Then they should be added to your list.

Many will ask - Is it alright to email someone that has requested some free information report from you? My position is yes if you do it the right way. I followup many times with those that request free reports from us.

In using an autoresponder, you likely will be able to send a number of followups automatically when someone requests the initial information. Set your messages up a couple of days apart but insure that you always make a reference in them about their prior request. For instance, if they requested your free report on free we site resources, start the followup messages with something like:

"Hi, several days ago you requested our free report on 'Free Web Site Resources'. I hope you found the information useful. I have enclosed some additional information...."

You can customize it for whatever you are sending and you should change each subsequent message lead-in appropriately so it makes sense. This way you are reminding them that they had initially requested the info and that you are not sending the subsequent message out of the blue.

3. Use Pop-ups

Many marketers feel that the use of pop-ups irritates visitors to their site. Well I agree somewhat with that and I have immediately clicked away from sites and never looked at the information I was initially interested in. I have been to some sites where I had to click and close four or five pop-ups and/or pages before I was even able to get to the main page that I clicked to. And on top of that when I closed the site I was hit with three or four exit popups.

So I would never go to that extent at my own site and wouldn't suggest that you do it that way or to that extent.

I have a single small pop-up on many of my pages that offers a free e-book in exchange for a subscription to my ezine. However, this pop-up coding uses a cookie which only allows it to pop-up once in 24 hours for that visitor. So they will see it only once on their visit. When I installed that particular pop-up our subscriptions had a noticeable increase.

Those are three of the most common and probably simplest ways to capture email addresses from your visitors.

About the Author
Joe Reinbold is owner of The Entrepreneur's Home Business Link at ( and at ( which offers free and paid autoresponder services. He also publishes Home Income Quarterly E-dition. You can subscribe at: (


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