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When I consult with small and home based business owners, more times than not one of the greatest concerns they have is how to increase reach to a targeted market while keeping costs down. Hands down, effectively using the power of the Internet is the cornerstone to achieving this outcome. More times than not, companies are not using their Internet presence as effectively as they can.


I often see a company that has a website that looks great from a design perspective, yet from a marketing and sales perspective the site is not working. Many people are under the mistaken belief that if a potential customer or client visits their site they will be so impressed they will automatically return time and again. Fact is, this is not what happens in the real world of the Internet. Chances are within minutes most visitors have forgotten sites they looked at unless there was something that encouraged them to remember.


People remember based on the value you create and a problem being solved. They also remember by you keeping your name and company fresh in their mind.


One way to do this is to offer visitors the opportunity to opt in to your mailing list. If people have taken the time to visit your site, you need to encourage them to leave their contact information. You do this by offering them something that is incredibly valuable that they sign up for.


It’s incredible how many companies, large and small, miss the opportunity to encourage visitors to sign up for something. It is in the signing up you will build a mailing list that is worth more than its weight in gold.


Most people are so overloaded with information that if you don’t immediately solve a problem for them they are not going to be interested in signing up for anything. Additionally, once they sign up if your information does not continue to solve their problem they will want off your list.


In today’s world of Internet marketing, your job is to look for ways to continually offer value while increasing your distribution list.


Specific Strategies to Increase Your Distribution List

Ø       If you are in the retail industry, every time someone comes to your store, simply ask them if you can add them to your distribution list to keep them updated on specials, events, and unique offers. In most cases if they are attracted to your store, they will gladly give you their information. Make sure to get their e mail address.


Ø       If you have a current mailing list of clients, conduct a survey and offer an incentive for people to respond. Direct them to your site where they fill out a survey and perhaps receive a free report or eBook.


Ø       If you do any type of presentations as a part of your job, collect contact information from the attendees. Send a follow-up message within 48 hours inviting them to sign up for your Ezine.


Ø       Use your e mail signature file to encourage people to sign up for an incentive on your website. Put the web link right in your signature.


Ø       Put a sign-up box on every page of your site. Many websites have a sign-up on the main page but have not put one up on other pages of their site. Fact is, a web search for a specific product or service can take people anywhere on your site, not just the main page. Make it easy for them to sign-up for something from every page.


Ø       Write and distribute articles online with a strong byline at the end of the article. A byline is simply an information piece that is usually a few sentences in length. In the byline direct readers back to your website for something of value.


Ø       Offer a free report from your site. Make sure it is compelling enough for people to want to sign up.


Ø       Offer free eBooks to encourage people to leave their contact information in order to download the file.


Opt-in lists are one of the most powerful marketing tools you have in your online and offline marketing. Complemented by a good Ezine, website, consistent focus on driving traffic to your site and gaining visibility, the potential for growing your business is unlimited.



This Business article was written by Kathleen Gage on 4/20/2005

Kathleen Gage is a keynote speaker, author and business advisor specializing in marketing and promotions. Access Gage’s’s FREE eBook Street Smarts Marketing On the Internet at