21 Day Challenge – Day 8: Enhance your reach

Having likes on your fan page, followers on Twitter, and connections on LinkedIn is certainly important. But [tweetable]one of the most valuable and direct pieces of information you can have on someone is an email address.[/tweetable] Especially if that person opted in to your mailing list at their own will. So, today’s challenge focuses on building up your email list.

I challenge you to enhance your reach.

I will assume that you’re not buying targeted email lists as a small business owner. Therefore, it’s your duty to collect them yourself. Why are they so important to have? Because it’s one of the easiest and most direct ways to turn interested audience members into hot leads. It’s all about conversion.

If you haven’t caught on from our other posts, we’re all about creating a process and a system. The same goes with collecting email addresses. [tweetable]Here’s some tips to build your email list[/tweetable]:

  • Remember how we talked about making it easy to connect? Same goes with making it easy for people to opt in. You should have an email collection widget displayed very obviously on your website. Not just in one place, but multiple places around your website. Above the fold would be best. The three places I suggest adding an email collection form is on your home page, your contact page and your blog.
  • Use a constant contact or a mailchimp widget that will automate the process for you. No need to manually enter email addresses from your website into the system. Streamline it with the tools that are already available.
  • Tweet regularly to your audience to join your email list. For example, tweet something along the lines of, “Want free personal branding tips? Sign up to get them directly in your inbox! (Link to mailing list form)”.
  • Trade shows and speaking engagements: Never participate in a trade show without some sort of process for collecting email addresses for everyone who stops at your booth. Same goes with speaking engagements. Offer a giveaway and pass around a clipboard for people to add their email addresses to. Simply passing along your contact information is not enough because you lose control of your reach. Take action to collect their information instead and you are in the drivers seat for converting them to sales.
  • Throw a prompt in the signature of your email. A link that captures people’s attention and once clicked, goes to your mailing list sign-up form.
  • Giving something away for free is always an effective route for collecting emails. Think e-books, white papers, or tip sheets.
Never add people to your list without their permission or formal opt-in. The surest way to ruin brand trust is to take all those business cards you collected at a networking event and upload all of their email addresses into your mailing list without their permission. That, my friend, is spam. Don’t risk it. And besides, you want to stay focused on the interested folks only; the ones who have a high potential of converting.

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21 Day Challenge: Enhance Your Reach