I'm trying to start a new business. It's local but I'd like to run it online. I need to find a way of gathering email addresses from my local community. Does anyone have any iedeas of how to accomplish ... on a small budget? Thank you!
Gathering email addresses... is a touchy practice, especially, if you grab email addresses from people without their OK.
From your posts it sounds like you are thinking of emailing a bunch of local people.
Most people would consider that spam... and so they may not bother or even want to use your websitebusiness.
Another approach is to launch your website and promote it locally... and have a "subscription" link on your site... so people can voluntarily "sign up".
I agree with the comment that you'll want to invite people from your community to join your email list. Companies such as Aweber and Vertical Response, among others, make this easy by letting you put a sign-up form on your website. They take care of keeping track of who signs up, who unsubscribes, etc.
You might offer an incentive so more people join your email list, such as 10% off their first service with you.
Hope that helps.
It is not OK to harvest emails from all over the Internet and even if you simply buy or rent an email list, the response rates will be very low.
I would recommend you to place a web form provided my email marketing services such as MailChimp (personally recommends but not affiliated) on your website. There are a few things that you can do to entice a visitor to offer your their email address and even details about themselves so that you can know them better.
One of the common ways is to offer a downloadable PDF report that is relevant to your business. Also, you can provide discounts in the way of coupons for visitors that provided their email address.
Hope you find my reply helpful.
Create flyers/leaflet for local delivery with enticing info about your service. Make sure to give a compelling reason for them to go to your web site for more info, special discount coupon redeemable only on your website, free gift/report/audio etc.
(hand delivery shouldn't cost more than a few bucks)
On your website landing page, give free whatever in return for name and email address.
Thank you all for the suggestions! I wouldn't want to spam anyone. But I do need 20-30,000 of these email addresses to even get started. I had two thoughts. First is to send out an advertisement and raffle off a Kindle or some thing along those lines. Just need to register head of household's primary email address to enter. The other thought was to "partner" with other local businesses and ask them to distribute the flyers directly to their clients and get them that way. Any thoughts?
Join your local Chamber of Commerce. Attend their meetings. Network within their groups. Present at one of their meetings. Establish a strategic partnership with other local businesses who value you as an asset to their Community, not as competition. Be a helper and others will help you.
Please do not use rented or compiled list - in my experience, they rarely, if ever, get the results you want through email marketing. I think you will waste your money buying directory lists. It is much better to invest time in cultivating your own opt-in list.
Here is what I recommend to the entrepreneurs I coach - and what I myself use:
A full plan with messaging will help you organize your activities. If you don't have a lot of money, invest time - even a little every day - to build up your marketing activities.
I launched my first company working 1 hour every morning, without fail, before heading off to my day job, and then putting in six hours every Saturday. It can be done. I did my own marketing and invested only a little in my early marketing efforts.
Other consultants advise other methods. This is what I used to succesfully launch and market both my consulting business and my online art business (winner of the 2008 Startup Nation Contest, honorable mention).
Feel free to contact me with any questions.