Online dating sites are quickly becoming the common use method for meeting a new mate. What was once an exclusive and somewhat taboo form of dating has now evolved into something as common as, let’s say, a blind date.

Maybe you’ve been in this situation: sitting and listening in disbelief as a happy couple recounts the night that they first met and fell in love on a blind date. Recently, it seems more common to sit and listen with the same astonishment about how the introduction was facilitated by an online dating site.

Similarly, the reputation of online marketing for small businesses has seamlessly made the transition from what was once a despised intruder into your inbox to something that has seduced customers and helped bring new prospects online.

Having customized content that attracts your ideal client to your email list should be at the top of your small business’s online marketing goals.

Your email signup form should tease some of the content people can expect by signing up for your email newsletter, much in the same way you would approach sales face to face. The key is to know how to use certain types of content to entice certain types of people.

Try these 5 different types of content to see which work best on your ideal market base.

1) Tips Sheets

Tips sheets are a good way to acknowledge some of the Frequently Asked Questions your customers may have had. If you find that many of your customers are having trouble with the same problem, it probably means that there are many more out there that just haven’t raised their voices.

Take a proactive step towards addressing the dilemma and enlighten your customers on sales or new products.

2) How-to Videos

People like seeing the face behind the business. How-to videos are a great way to personalize the relationship you have with customers without having to go door to door the old fashioned way.

Keep the videos simple and brief. Remember this is more of a way to drop in and say “hello” than it is to provide instruction.

3) Top Product Lists

Let your customers in on a little insider information and tell them about what’s selling the most. Whether it’s new product or the tried and true or if your business provides services, let your customers know what’s been working for everybody else.

This can help your customers make up their mind if they have had a hard time choosing between two products, but it also gives them the reassurance that regular customers like themselves have already taken the leap of faith, so to speak.

4) Blog Summaries

Give new subscribers a chance to catch up without having to go through pages and pages of your old blog entries. Occasionally, write up a blog summary or an accumulation of the highlights from previous entries.

5) Polls and Surveys

Polls and surveys provide the opportunity to participate and add a level of interactivity to your blog or newsletter. More importantly, they are a great way to get a feel for what your subscribers are in to. Give your readers incentives like discounts or coupons to participate in your secret research project.

Remember to encourage sharing and make it easy for your readers to invite others to participate by adding social sharing buttons to various social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

As businesses, socializing and interests migrate online, these relationships become as intimate as the real live relationships they have with the shopkeepers in their communities. When seeking out new email subscribers, keep this in mind. Your responsiveness and engagement with your customers will produce new and fruitful relationship for both parties.