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Marketing your counselling practice pt6 – Building an email list

Once you start having visitors coming to your website, it’s a great idea to obtain their email addresses so you can contact them again and turn them into clients. If people are visiting your site they are interested in what you do and a simple sign up form can be enough to start building your list. These visitors actually want to hear more about what you do!

Reasons for people to sign up

Sometimes you might need to persuade people into signing up by giving them a free ebook, guide or other downloadable item that offers value to them. That can be set up by using an email ‘Autoresponder’ that will send a link to the downloadable info after they subscribe.

Some will unsubscribe after receiving the information, but you will still collect email addresses and build a list of people interested in what you do. Those that unsubscribe still have your downloadable item too, so may come back to your business in the future.

Good ideas for potential counselling clients could be a PDF guide on reducing anxiety or a list self care tips.

Email list management systems

Trying to handle an email list by hand will be time consuming and it’s easy to get things wrong. An automated email list management system like Mailchimp, Aweber or MailerLite comes with code examples you can add to your website that collect people’s details then adds them to your list automatically. You can even have options on the form that sorts people into a sub-list depending on their area of interest.

Prices vary for these email list management systems, but Mailchimp and MailerLite offer a free account to see how it all works.

Follow the rules

There area some legal aspects to follow when email marketing. Buying lists of email addresses is a bad idea and you can banned from the above systems if you spam people. A clear privacy policy is required on your website and will reassure people you won’t spam them or sell their email address to unsavoury characters. You should also have unsubscribe links in any emails that you send out to allow people to stop receiving those emails.

The new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules that come into effect in May 2018 will affect your email marketing strategy and will need to be followed carefully. Read more about GDPR on the ICO site.