An opt-in box is important for your website because you can build an email list database of your clients and other interested people. If people are just landing on your website and leaving, you have no way to contact them to lure them back. If you can collect their email addresses, you can send updates and e-zines/newsletters full of valuable information and tips. It’s a great way to keep in touch and let others know what is happening with your business! The more you put yourself in front of your clients and potential clients, the greater the chance they will remember you and your services.
Opt-in boxes are created through email management programs such as 1Shopping Cart (and private labels), AWeber, iContact, Constant Contact, Mail Chimp and InfusionSoft, just to name a few. Which one you choose really depends on what level your business is at now and your potential needs. The systems vary in price and services.
- Mail Chimp is free and has a lot of great features, but it is very restrictive in that it does not allow you to market affiliate products and services. According to the terms of service, doing so can cause your account to be seized and you may lose your entire email list database.
- AWeber, iContact and Constant Contact are some that are used for general email marketing and newsletters. AWeber and Constant Contact are paid services, and iContact is free.
- InfusionSoft offers every feature you can imagine and is crazy expensive, but it is just not necessary for the average business. Until you are making money coming out of your butt, you shouldn’t even be email list database considering InfusionSoft. 1ShoppingCart will do what you need at a much more affordable price. 1ShoppingCart offers not only email marketing, but also your full shopping cart service and affiliate marketing.
The last thing you really want to do is to start a list with one system and then have to move it because it’s not serving you well. Sometimes it is necessary to do that because your business grows or changes in a way that you couldn’t have anticipated earlier on. The biggest problem is that you could lose a percentage of your subscribers in the process due to mandatory double opt-ins of some of the systems.
If you do choose to move your large list via single opt-in, do check with the company you are transferring to. Make sure you meet their requirements and that your account won’t be flagged as suspicious. Otherwise, you risk losing your list. Because of the actions and abuse by some users, it sometimes causes problems for innocent users as well.
You never want to do your email marketing through your regular email service. Not only is this inefficient, but it can get you into trouble with the CANSPAM regulations. The email marketing systems have measures in place to prevent both them and you from getting into trouble. These measures often consist of double opt-in, a spam test, displaying your company name and mailing address, privacy statement, disclaimers, and the option to unsubscribe.
If you’re not sure what type of system you need for your business, you should do some in-depth research into the features of each one, or consult with a knowledgeable Virtual Assistant and have them automate the process for you.