When I started working on book covers on my spare time, I got to talk to a lot of authors and learn about their marketing campaigns. One thing I often hear about is the importance of mailing lists. As mailing lists consist of individuals who voluntarily signed up to receive your newsletter because they are genuinely interested in your products and services, authors consider it a non-negotiable factor in their marketing plan. As long as you inform your readers efficiently and in a timely manner about new products or services, there’s every chance that they’ll heed your call to action and snap up what you’re offering.

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Now, the question is – how do you get them to sign up?

Have great products and services to offer.

People won’t sign up if they don’t have proof that they’ll like what you’re offering. Your sales or landing page must not include only information about your current offerings. You should also drop hints about your upcoming offers and use it as bait to get them to opt in to your mailing list.

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Give them the disclaimer they need.

Most people’s aversion to mailing lists is due to the fact that they end up having their inboxes deluged by spam. There are also less scrupulous companies who share or even sell their mailing lists to third parties without obtaining permission first.

When inviting people to opt in, you should always include a disclaimer or a clause in your terms and conditions about keeping their information completely confidential. Do promise not to spam them either – and you should mean it, too. Better yet, list down the exact reasons why you are likely to send them a new mail and the maximum number of times you are likely to contact them in a month. If you want to play it safe, do not send your readers a newsletter more than once a week.

Offer more incentives.

Incentives don’t need to cost you money. With the authors I’ve talked to, they entice readers to join their mailing lists by promising chances to win ARCs or advance reader copies of their latest books as well as exclusive sneak peeks of their works in progress.

Whatever type of business you have online, I think just about the same thing will work. You do not need to give freebies to every member of your mailing list. For most people, having a chance to win something is good enough.

Secondly, focus on giving prizes that may cost you time and effort to come up but won’t force you to spend a fortune. As I’ve mentioned earlier, the authors I talked to often give away free eBook copies to lucky winners from their mailing lists. Sometimes, they mail out bookmarks and postcards. You can do the same thing, too. Write – or have someone write for you – a how-to guide that your readers will appreciate. As long as the eBook has worthwhile information to share, then your readers will want it. You can also offer discount coupons or codes that they can use during sales and other promotional periods. Anything goes – but only for as long as you can be sure that you’re offering something your readers would find useful.

Now, if this seems like a tall order then that’s what you have an Internet marketing agency for.

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