Build a Responsive E-mail Housefile
For example, Pulte Home Corp., a national home builder, offers an e-mailed "Buyer's New Home Companion" in its print ads (in selected markets). Interested parties get a Web site link within the ad that will direct them to a sign-up page. Within each HTML-based e-mailed guide is information about the builder, as well as a means to find out about local communities. So it's both informative and subtly promotional. Again, it ties into the strengths and core brand values of the company, and Pulte has those e-mail addresses for future opt-in promotional attempts.
If you use broadcast as a marketing medium, the message you use in a radio or TV spot, for instance, can have the same impact and present the same benefits to the potential lead or customer. A Washington, D.C.-based seminar leader, ProfitableProperty.com, used local business radio stations to promote its free workshop and dinner (which it used as a lead-generation tool to sell attendees on paid events). Those who were interested were given the sign-up page's Web address on the air. This is a good example of an off-line medium driving an online registration that ultimately drives back to an off-line event. These cross-channel marketing efforts can be effective in both building an e-mail housefile and enhancing the conversion process.
Lest we not forget, there's also direct mail. Whether you communicate with prospects and customers with newsletters, magalogs, #10 component packages or 9˝ x 12˝ envelopes, be sure you have the data-entry capabilities to ask for and accurately record e-mail addresses garnered from those packages. If you have a subscription model, for example, offer your existing subscribers an additional x number of weeks or months for providing their e-mail addresses on the renewal forms. The key is to devise unique ways to package your brand into a compelling offer and means of collection. Tie the offer to your target audience's particular categories of interest, and make it easy for them to provide you with that data.