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7 awesome ways to build your customer email database

Let’s face it: For many business owners, collecting email addresses from current or potential customers can be a drag.

You don’t want to feel like you’re spamming the very people who are keeping your business alive, but you also need their contact details to ensure that your business continues to grow and stay profitable. You have to target new promotions and offers to someone, and who better to target than your current fans and those who have already expressed some kind of interest in your product? It’s a dilemma that many business owners face.

The good news is that there are simple ways to address this problem and collect a high volume of email addresses from people who actually want to hear from you.

Read on for seven of the best ways to build your customer email database.

1. Leverage your website.

First and foremost, your landing page should offer an opt-in for email communications. Also consider running analytics to determine the most visited pages of your website and include an opt-in email CTA there.

Another suggestion is to add a "members" section to your website that requires an email address to access. It could be a place where customers receive coupons, make an appointment, whatever – the point is that the “members” section should contain content that people are willing to provide their email address to access.

2. Offer an incentive.

Consider promoting a giveaway, contest, loyalty program or birthday gift at the customer's point of sale. At brick-and-mortar locations, have customers provide their email address on tablets using a reliable lead capture tool. Or ask customers if they want to sign up to receive an offer by email during checkout and follow up with a discount code or coupon for their next purchase.

3. Tweak your social media accounts.

It’s easy to leverage your social media accounts to collect email addresses. Here are just a few ways:

• Add a CTA signup button on your Facebook page.
• Edit your Twitter page to include a link to your email signup form.
• Promote offers that require email signup on your Facebook timeline.
• Create a blog post on LinkedIn that links to your email signup page and then sponsor that blog post.

4. Create targeted content.

Create a blog with targeted content and get customers to sign up to receive that content in an email newsletter. Your content should include tips, advice and resources beyond simply touting your brand, and it should be related to your customers’ specific interests.

At the bottom of your newsletter, include a "Subscribe" CTA so that those receiving the forwarded emails can easily opt-in to the list. If a newsletter isn’t your thing, consider creating an ebook or white paper that showcases your company as a thought leader in a particular industry. Publish a link to the e-book or white paper on your website and prompt customers to submit their email address to download it.

5. Attend a trade show or event.

Participating in a trade show or event is great way to collect the email addresses of potential customers. But do yourself a favor and stop collecting email addresses through paper forms and business cards. Use tablets displayed on kiosks to get people to enter their email address and consider luring attendees to your booth with a contest or giveaway. The digital lead capture tool you choose should easily organize your contacts and allow for automatic follow up.

6. Offer email receipts.

Ask customers to leave their email address on your company tablet so they can receive an email copy of their receipt, warranty or contract.

7. Host or co-host an event.

Hosting or co-hosting an event, conference, educational panel or webinar gives you the opportunity to ask for email addresses in order to register participants. Co-hosting with a partner business provides the added bonus of collecting the email addresses of your partner’s customers, too! 

Shereen Dindar is the content manager for QuickTapSurvey, a lead capture tool for small and medium sized businesses. She is responsible for leading the company’s content marketing efforts as customers look to QuickTapSurvey for tips and suggestions. Read her insights on the QuickInsights blog.