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Building an opt-in database of potential and existing customers is an important part of your marketing and business growth strategy. The ability to communicate offers, changes, relevant information, and sales in a cost-effective manner can increase sales, result in a higher rate of conversion than other online marketing activities, and widen the awareness of your brand and business.

The Australian Spam Act 2003 covers all electronic communications – email, SMS, faxes – and outlines that businesses must ensure that any messages are:

  • Sent with the consent of the recipient – i.e. they have “opted-in” to receive your communications either by direct consent or inferred consent
  • Include accurate sender identification details so the sender can be contacted by a recipient
  • Include a working unsubscribe link that removes recipients from mailing lists within 5 business days.

Many businesses rely on social media to send out offers, promotions, and information; however, the truth is that one of the huge advantages of email marketing is that most businesses achieve about a 20% open rate on email and a .3% opt-out rate. Compare that to social media where your news is likely to be lost in the constant information being delivered – or worse, never actually appears in your followers feeds. Email marketing is almost more important than social media, but admittedly not as shiny and new.

To build an opt-in database you should ask for email addresses at every touchpoint possible – in person, on the phone, when making a sale, or simply making an enquiry. Use every opportunity on your website to build your opt-in database. Offer a free regular email update which includes promotions, news, information, etc. Create whitepapers and interesting reports that people need to give you their email address in order to access.

Make it a regular business practice to always ask for email addresses and if they would like to receive offers, news, and promotions while also collecting the contact information.