Facebook Fan Page Opt-In BoxAny local business owner can use the Internet to get more customers, clients, or patients immediately.  If you haven’t already done so go to your website and Facebook Fan Page, (hopefully you have both), and get what’s called an opt-in form or opt-in box.  When someone comes to your website or fan page there should be an opt-in box on the right side of the screen, since people read left to right and top to bottom.  They’ll start by reading across your headline then as they read top to bottom, that’s where your opt-in box will be.

In exchange for each visitor’s information you’ll have to give something of value away such as a free offer, report, or discount.  Make sure you use the word “free” when explaining your gift and tell visitors how it will change their business, life, or both for the better.  They want to know in as few words as possible, “what’s in it for me?  Why should I care?  How will this help me?”  It may sound silly because you assume everyone would know what to do when they see two boxes labeled name and email but they don’t.  Tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do next.  Tell them to enter their name and email in the boxes provided to get instant access to your awesome gift.

I recommend capturing at least the name and email address of your visitors.  These two fields are the key to building your marketing list with new names and email addresses.  If you use text message marketing, meaning you can send someone an instant message as a follow up text, you’ll want to get their phone number as well.  We do this with our company.  Visit my business partner’s website and read all of his articles, especially Local Online Marketing – How Any Local Business Can Get More Customers Now.”  Make sure to watch his video too.  You’ll quickly see Eric is loaded with a wealth of information and he does a phenomenal job of quickly explaining the benefits of an opt-in box.

Opt-In BoxI also encourage you to include a short privacy statement at the bottom of your opt-in.  That shows visitors you respect them, their inbox, and their privacy.  Make them feel safe and secure with you by promising them you hate spam just as much as they do and you will not share their information with anyone else.

If you’re not collecting the information of the visitors who are going to your website or fan page you’re likely losing out on a ton of money and you’re not building your database.  Maximize your efforts to build your list of followers so you can keep them up to date on your successes, sales, promotions, and events with a newsletter and automated emails.  Focus on keeping them on your list with great content and value.  When you’ve established trust, you can always ask for additional opt-in information and in return give more free gifts.  Any small, medium, or large local business can do this and any local business owner should start collecting this valuable information.  If you need more help understanding the significance of an opt-in box please let Eric or myself know.  I look forward to hearing about your online success stories.

Editor’s Note:  Angel Soria is an Internet Marketing Consultant, entrepreneur, and currently obtaining her Executive MBA at Fresno State.  To get your free report visit www.fresnolocalinternetmarketing.com or www.askyourlocalinternetmarketingquestions.comFollow her @talk2angelsoria.