A regular, valuable email to your database is usually a core element to any eMarketing strategy. But how do your build your database and how to do you grow it? Following are a couple of ideas that might get you started.

Networking Meetings

From your local chamber of commerce, to specialized industry groups, the meetings of many organizations are great opportunities to make contact with new people. You are exchanging business cards with people, so make sure that keep in touch with these people. Send them a personal email the day after the meeting, recapping your conversation with them, and letting them know that you will be adding them to your monthly email list.

Trade Shows

Whether you have a booth, are one of the presenters, or are simply attending a trade show, you have an excellent potential opportunity similar to networking events, but at a much greater scale. Organizing the follow-ups to people you actually spoke to yourself, and then adding the person to your database is a given.


Organizing informational seminars is a great way to build a healthy relationship with prospects and potential referrers. One effective technique is to have advance registration, and to ask permission to send regular emails at that time. (You can use www.stickytickets.com.au/a183 for this). You can also offer to send the material to people who can’t make it, so that even if the person is not able to attend the seminar, you still have an opportunity to stay in touch with them.

Retail Locations

Storefront and retail locations provide many great ways to build your email lists. Adding fishbowls or point of purchase displays are easy ways to take advantage of real-world traffic. (BTW – I always leave my business card in bowls at restaurants and places like that. Partly because I like to be kept informed on special nights they are having, but also because I have a special business card that is a mini advertisement of how my business can help them. Occasionally, as they are adding my card into their database, it catches their eye and they give me a call).


Concerts, parties, art openings, or any other occasion that gathers people together can provides an opportunity to build your email address lists. Having a registration or check in location, or associates with clipboards working the room are just two ways to make contact. In the case of events, it is a good idea to offer some kind of incentive to boost signups. However, make sure that the person can only receive the incentive via email. This way, you will improve the quality and accuracy of the lists you are collecting.

Post Cards/Direct Mail

When a company has an existing database of postal addresses, direct mail may be the best way to get the email addresses for your existing customers and prospects. Again, offering an incentive always helps stimulate a greater response, and is particularly effective when there is a pre-existing relationship. Publish a specific, but simple, web site address on your mailing to direct people to a landing page with the list signup on your site (www.yoursite.com/special), so you can repeat the offer from the direct mail piece. This can help increase the number of people who actually signup.

Phone Calls

Using the telephone to get email addresses can be a time-consuming process, but isn’t it time you gave your customers and prospects a call anyhow. In this case the call will both continue to kindle the relationship, as well as helping you establish an email based communication point.

Run and online competition or promotion

If you offer an incentive, people have a reason to give you their email address. A popular way to do this is to run an online competition where a person can enter by submitting their name and email address and possibly their interests. You can multiply the competition response by giving them the opportunity to have additional entries in the draw by sharing the competition with other people. Please note that you may have to register your competition with various state regulatory bodies. (If you need help with this, Redback Solutions, has a competition website that you can use and can also help with legal side of things)

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