Using An Opt-In Email List For Effective Local Business Advertising

An opt-in email list is not only a very inexpensive way of advertising for local businesses, but it's also a great tool for bringing in valuable repeat business. Here are some tips for building and using an email list.

1. When customers visit your store and make purchases, ask them for their email address. If they ask why, tell them you'd like to contact them with future offers. By giving you that email address they are consenting to receive your emails.

2. Use an email list server such as Mailchimp or Constant Content to deliver your emails. These companies will remove bad email addresses from the list or handle opt-out requests automatically. You write only one email and they send it to everyone on your list. The service at Mailchimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers. After that you pay only one or two cents per email recipient.

3. For the average email list, only about 15 to 25 percent of those on the list actually open and read the emails. Use an enticing headline to increase this percentage. The headline should make the recipient curious or perhaps promise something he will want to learn more about. Studies have also shown that very short headlines get more opens than longer headlines.

Pick the right time to send your emails. Studies have shown that most people who receive these emails on a desktop computer tend to read them early in the morning after starting work. Those reading from a mobile device tend to read them more in the evening when they are not distracted by work. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the best days to send emails in order to get the most opens.

Content is important. If readers learn that your emails are nothing but advertising they won't bother opening them. If you offer something more and stress that in your headline, you'll get better results. A good idea is to include something in your email that will entice readers to visit your store, such as a coupon, or an announcement of a special sale. Once they are in your store they may find other items of interest.

Public speakers know that starting off a presentation with some humor works. The same thing is true for email campaigns. I recommend putting a cartoon at the top of your page, one which is funny and which relates to your audience. Cartoons not only attract attention, but they tend to put readers in a friendly, receptive mood. This leads them to read the rest of your content. Notice how the cartoon at the top of this page increased your interest in the rest of my message.

Cartoons don't have to be expensive. You can license one from me for as little as $10.00 and I have hundreds to choose from. If you would be interested in seeing some of these cartoons, email me and I'll send some to you. There's no obligation to buy and no need to pay anything up front. You can pay after you've used the cartoon.

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