I’m in awe whenever I come across an online business that doesn’t send marketing emails to current and potential customers. Even worse? When an established business launches its first email marketing program with zero subscribers. These businesses are not alone in the decision not to collect email addresses until they are ready to connect. But it’s a wrong way of thinking.
I wish I could recall all the interviews I’ve read where professionals have answered the all-too-common question, “What do you regret not doing sooner?” with something like, “I wish I’d started building my email list from day one.”
Once you start promoting your online business, even if it’s just a placeholder webpage, you should start collecting email addresses so you can notify potential customers near and on the launch date. This can be a simple form like this:
Of course, you want to give visitors an idea of what you offer and why it benefits them to subscribe. Use a brief paragraph and bullet points:
You can also increase signups by offering something of value – like a special discount, a download, or access to special content:
And all this doesn’t stop with the website. You’ll want to invite people to signup via social media, in-store signage, on business cards and via other promotional outlets.
There are many tools you can use to prompt people to subscribe. I especially like SumoMe (you can read my review about its basic features here) and OptinMonster. The basic forms via SumoMe are free, but OptinMonster offers a great deal more and starts at just $9 a month (or $49 annually).
I cannot stress enough how important it is to test signup forms and their placement to determine the best method for getting the most subscribes. Successful campaigns are those that have the best placements, even if offers aren’t over the top. Use conversion tools, including Google Analytics, to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.