By Mark Brodsky

You may be connected to thousands of people on social media channels, but those channels own that connection and your content. When you have someone’s email address (and the permission to contact them), you own it, giving you the power to send out a message and know that it’s been received.

Online tools can be a very effective way to grow your list of email addresses. The bonus? Most require just a one-time setup. In addition, these tools provide express consent as defined by the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation. Once the tool is set up, you can enjoy collecting email addresses from prospects wherever they found you online (even while you sleep).



For each of these tools, you’ll need a link that someone can click. That means having an account with a service such as MailChimp or Constant Contact. Otherwise you’ll be receiving emails from different sites and must spend time cutting and pasting. These services are free or inexpensive and will automate the process.

Here are five suggestions:

  1. Include a signup link in your email signature. You probably already have something there now – add the link and every time you send an email to someone new you have an opportunity to grow your list.
  2. Have a link on your website. If you’ve already done the hard work to get somebody to your site, you want the opportunity to stay in touch with them because they are clearly interested in what you’re doing. Make sure the signup link is prominent or even better, have a pop-up. While they might be annoying to a small minority, they are effective.
  3. When you send out an e-mail campaign or monthly newsletter, make sure there’s a button allowing people to forward your email to a friend – a gentle nudge or suggestion is sometimes all it takes.
  4. Use the Facebook “call to action” button on your business page. It’s at the bottom right hand corner of your cover photo. You can direct someone to your website or latest listing, ask them to give you call, or give them an opportunity to sign up for your mailing list.
  5. Include signup links on any social media platforms that you use, in your Instagram bio, your LinkedIn profile and your Twitter bio.

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