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Building an E-mail Address Database

E-mail ... works, there's no denying it. Its key ... other Internet ... methods is that it enables you ... the customer instead of forcing the customer to ... This

E-mail marketing works, there's no denying it. Its key advantage
over other Internet marketing methods is that it enables you to
contact the customer instead of forcing the customer to contact
you. This ability is especially useful when something that your
customers need to know as soon as possible has happened. Whether
you've just released a new product or decided to cut your prices
by 10%, the fastest way to spread the word is via E-mail.

However, unless you want to give your company a bad name, you
can't simply start sending E-mails to people that haven't agreed
to receive them. The only ethical and reasonable way to
advertise via E-mail is to first obtain a permission, or an
opt-in request, from the receiver. The trouble is that this can't
be done via E-mail, as it would be similar to asking someone
whether you can ask them a question. What's the point in doing
that, when you've already done what you wanted them to allow you
to do?

Getting people to opt-in

Due to the above reasons, creating your own opt-in E-mail
database is not an easy task. In addition, because of privacy
concerns and the fear of spam, many people are reluctant to give
out their E-mail address without a good reason to do so. These
fears can be soothed by creating a strict privacy policy and
sticking to it, but it's harder to convince your visitors that it
would be in their best interest to reveal their E-mail address to
you. Fortunately, there are some time-tested solutions available
for that problem as well:

1. Arrange a sweepstakes with an attractive grand prize, for
example one of the more expensive products sold on your site.
Require everyone who wants to enter the drawing to give out his
E-mail address and agree to receive occasional E-mails from you.

To get the best possible results, it is advisable to declare that
the winner will be contacted via E-mail and needs to claim the
prize within 7 days in order to receive it. By doing so, you'll
eliminate the problem of people giving out bogus E-mail addresses
in order to avoid receiving advertisements.

2. Open a discussion forum on your site. By only allowing
registered users to post, you can collect E-mail addresses and
deter pranksters from writing abusive messages at the same time.
However, if you decide to use this method to build your list, be
very careful. Sending advertisements too frequently to the
regulars of your forum may cause them to move elsewhere and thus
reduce the traffic to your site.

3. Start publishing a newsletter. Although it requires quite a
bit of work, an interesting newsletter quickly gathers
subscribers and increases the size of your E-mail database. An
additional advantage of having a newsletter versus a simple
E-mail announcement service is that you'll be able to submit to
the multiple newsletter directories on the Internet.

4. Continue to allow everyone to access most of the content on
your site, but also add a "Members only" area that contains
articles or other information that is valuable to your visitors.
Give out free memberships, but require members to register,
reveal their E-mail addresses and allow you to send them an
E-mail advertisement every now and then.

This idea is especially suitable if you're eventually planning to
charge for some of the content you provide. The step from
requiring your visitors to register to requiring them to pay is
smaller than moving from giving everything for free to fee-based

5. Whenever you ask your visitors to give out their E-mail
address, remember to offer them the possibility to join your
opt-in mailing list at the same time. Do you have a form on your
site that allows the visitors to contact the webmaster or the
sales department? Perhaps you have a Tell-A-Friend script that
asks for the sender's E-mail address and name? Both are excellent
opportunities to suggest subscribing to your E-mail announcement
list or newsletter to your visitors.

If you want to gather a sizeable list of E-mail addresses from
your visitorsBusiness Management Articles, you shouldn't be afraid of trying hard to get
them. Just keep in mind that there is a fine line between being
persuasive and being annoying. Don't cross it.

Article Tags: E-mail Address, E-mail Addresses

Source: Free Articles from


Lauri Harpf runs the A Promotion Guide website, where he
offers free tips on how you can use E-mail, search engines
and other methods to promote your site. His site can be found at

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