Apologies in advance for my rather verbose response but this is not a simple answer.
Every website owner faces the same struggle. I wish I could give you a quick answer with a painless solution but unfortunately, there is no quick and easy way. My strategy focuses on creating good content, good SEO and creating a buzz around a company’s products or services on social media. I also design my websites with a sales funnel and a clear Call-To-Action (CTA).
The various components are:
The website itself
The website should be the hub of any online marketing strategy. It is where the magic happens, i.e. The conversion of a lead or prospect to customer so all the other components should direct visitors to it. Great SEO will ensure that your site is found when Internet users search for your products or services but the design of a website has a massive impact on the conversion rate. Unless your site’s design incorporates a sales funnel and a clear CTA, visitor will simply look at your site and bounce off the site without converting. In your case, your CTA would be for visitors to give you their email address. Users are hugely reluctant to do this because of the amount of spam out there. So you need to provide them with an incentive to do so. What will you give them in exchange for their email address? Some ideas are: a free consultation, a PDF with a solution to a typical problem, or even a discount on any future purchases. If you provide enough “perceived value” to the visitor in return for their email address, they’ll share it with you and once they do that, you can start a drip email marketing campaign.
SEO | Company blog | Facebook business page | Twitter Profile | LinkedIn Page | Email signatures | Forum Signatures etc
All the other components of your strategy, whether it be a blog, or social media profile should focus on driving traffic to the website landing page ( NOT a typical page of your website) optimised for obtaining email addresses. This page should have no other focus except for convincing visitors to provide their email address. It is important that you explain to them:
- Exactly what you will be sending them if they give their email.
- How often you will be emailing them
- Assure them that you will never sell or share their email with anyone else.
- That they will be able to easily opt out at any point in the future if they decide to.
With these pointers and a double opt-in approach such as Mailchimp offers, you will never find yourself on the wrong side of spam regulations.
Building a good quality email list requires a lot of time and effort but, done correctly, is hugely rewarding as the people who sign up have already shown an interest in what you are selling. That means that list bounces, unsubscribes and abuse reports will be at a minimum and your list will be rated as a high quality list by Mailchimp and other email campaign providers.
I have condensed a pretty complex topic into a few paragraphs but it should give you a good foundation in starting to build your own list.
Good luck with the process!