As a new business owner one of the hardest things to do is build up a prospects list. Most small business people quickly exhaust their personal, professional and local networks, and are left wondering “where to next?” Often, they will then spend a lot of time and energy attempting to attract new clientele using complex and time-consuming methods. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are 12 simple ways to ensure your prospects list continues to grow without much effort or outlay.
A subscribe form on your website is highly recommended. Rather than asking for a lot of detail – sell the benefits and keep the form short.
Digital incentives are a very effective and low-cost strategy to encourage sign-ups. A digital incentive can be any number of things such as free programs, weekly tips or anything else your audience will find interesting.
Subscribe links should always be included in your email signature and in your email marketing activities such as newsletters so that if your email is forwarded on by a subscriber the recipients are able to subscribe immediately.
Social media is a fantastic means of engaging your audience and encouraging them to join your database. One simple thing you can do is embed a subscribe form on your Facebook page.
Point of sale is a great place to collect subscribers. Your strategy can be as simple as asking each client, “Would you like to join our mailing list?” or adding “I would like to receive more information” check boxes on existing forms or marketing materials.
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Business card bowls are an easy way of inviting people to provide contact details with minimal effort, as long as you ensure people know what you will use their information for. Give an incentive for your customer to share their card, such as a ‘lucky door’ style prize.
Tailored campaigns in which the user must forward your email in order to receive a benefit or prize encourage existing subscribers to send your email to their friends and associates. Ensure the “send to a friend” link is clearly visible.
Holding an event (particularly educational or networking event) is a great strategy to attract new leads. Even if you don’t have a huge budget, online technology such as GoToWebinar allows you to run live, interactive, online events for little or no cost.
Turn event attendees into leads. Event participation and/or sponsorship of events can provide a great opportunity to collect contacts. Seek out speaking opportunities if you are a good presenter, or consider purchasing sponsorship packages or offering in-kind support to gain some promotion to a new audience.
Competitions are a great way to give your contact database an instant boost. However, this is a very popular medium so you will need to use all of your creativity to find a prize that promotes your brand, is relevant to your audience and stands out from the crowd.
Sampling – offering free samples – is a very effective incentive to encourage people to sign up to your e-newsletter.
Mobile technology and apps such as email clipboard can help you to add people to your database whenever and wherever you like using your smart phone or other mobile device.
What other methods have you used to build up your prospects list?