You’ve convinced me that I want to sign up for your
newsletter. Now that I’m ready, what do I do? I go to the
signup box on the current web page and complete the form.
But wait. . . what are you asking for? If you’re asking for
more than my name and email address, I will hesitate.
After all, if you’re going to send me an email newsletter,
why do you even need my name, much less my street address,
city, state, zip, telephone number, number of people in my
household, etc. My email address should be enough. Now I’ll
give you my name, because I understand that you’ll want to
personalize my email messages. But unless you show me very
good reasons, I’ll forget about signing up and go on to
another site that doesn’t want a lot of information in
exchange for their complimentary report or newsletter.
It’s like dating. When you first meet you get only the
necessary information - name and phone number. As you agree
to date, you’ll get the address. Later, as you get to know
one another better, you’ll start to add more details.
Moving a visitor from lead to customer involves a courting
process. You want them to get to know you. They need to
learn to trust you. You need to establish a relationship.
That’s the purpose of your newsletter. You offer them good
information and in return they give you the right to market
to them. As they become more interested and more loyal,
they’ll move from just a lead to a steady prospect.
Eventually you’ll “marry" some of your prospects and they’ll
So what’s your courting pattern? How do you get to know your
prospects? When do you ask for more information - more
For more information on the online sales process sign up for
the complimentary mini course at
Dr. Jeanette Cates is The Technology Tamer and Internet
strategist for small business. She is the author of Online
Success Tactics: 101 ways to build your small business at