Congratulations! Your New Year’s resolution is to get serious about marketing your small business. You know that email marketing is a fun, effective and inexpensive way to do it, so now you’re tasked with building your email list. Where do you start? Here are 5 tips to get you started.

1. Put a Guest Book in your store, office and/or on your website and ask people to sign it. Put a space for their email address with the message, “Would you like to receive offers and special members-only discounts from us? Join our mailing list!”

2. When you are networking and people hand you their business card ASK if they want to be included in your newsletter and/or special offers email list. Don’t put everyone who hands you a business card on your email list – believe it or not, that’s illegal.

3. Give something away for free. Either in your store, office or on your site; offer a free report, a free gift, a free session, for example. It can be a raffle or something you give to everyone who signs up (if you do this, make it easy and inexpensive, a white paper is perfect). It doesn’t have to be much, something educational, like a report or a free consultation – or anything a client or potential client will consider valuable and useful. Make it clear that when they agree to enter the drawing they will also be agreeing to receive emails from you.

4. Put an opt-in form on your website and Facebook page to sign up for a newsletter or special “members only” events and offers and drive traffic to it in your email signature, business card, signs in your office or store and in your social media accounts like Twitter.

5. Go through your Outlook list or Rolodex and contact each person one by one, asking for permission stay in touch via email more often. You can let them know that you publish a newsletter or send out special members only deals and you would hate for them to miss out.

Remember – as a small business, there are laws governing email. No matter how tempting it may be, never add people to your list who did not give you permission. Not only is it unprofessional and impolite it’s illegal.

For more information about growing your small business visit

ducttapemarketingbadge Carolyn Higgins is the President and founder of Fortune Marketing Company. Her personal mission is to help small businesses stop wasting money on advertising and promotions that don’t deliver and help you implement an effective marketing system that will bring you more customers – consistently.

For more information about Carolyn Higgins and Fortune Marketing Company please visit

Email or call us at 707.631.6340.

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