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An online businesses is like any other business, you have to have satisfied customers

that trust you. When you have there trust you will be able to sell to them.
If they are happy with your products and service they will keep buying from you and
even recommend friend (I have had customers forward on my email to friends and
family, increasing my database with no effort on my part)
It stands to reason the more traffic you have to your site the more sales you will
generate. Although in theory this is correct but you need the correct type of traffic
coming to your site. As you drive traffic to your site you will entice visitors to your
site to opt in to your e-mail alerts, you will keep them updated on newsletters new and
relevant products.
Now for all intents and purposes e-mail can be free although you will need some sort
of auto responder to get your opt in list started. (You can get free trial software to start
with but they are limited to 100 emails a day and most do not come with web opt in
forms on the free trial) With auto responders opt in list you are pretty much
guaranteed that your e-mails will be received and opened. You will be wasting your
time if they end up in the spam bin or deleted before they are opened.
I will also point out that people will unsubscribe when they feel they are not getting
value or what they thought they subscribed to.
So the trick to keeping your subscribers eager to stay on your list and wanting to open
your e-mails is a difficult one.
You need to keep your emails interesting and fun. Use a little creative flair mixed in
with some humour. "oh what has he been up to now" will keep them opening your
emails.
Research the latest trends and find offers that revolve around that trend. This will
keep you one step ahead of your competitors and give your list the latest products.
Write articles on products that are informative yet light reading. If the readers like
your article they will look to you for more information and guidance.
Don't worry if you do not like writing there are many professional writers out there
that will do the job for you at minimal cost, they know what you are trying to achieve
and all the sign ups and potential profits that you will receive will off set any cost that
you will incur.
Create and send e-books on a topic that is relevant to your site of business.
Use your knowledge and expertise in this field to help people with similar interests.
Offer this e-book for free on your site and other sites, if you have your name and site
link in the document then you will get visitors from other sites and generate more
profit from this book.
If your followers can see benefit from receiving your newsletters, they will be eager
to receive them, do not just flood them with offer after offer after offer this is the
easiest way to get them to un-subscribe.