For any small business, obtaining customer contact information and email addresses can be tough to do. Email is a great way to keep in touch with former customers and form relationships with potential leads, but it can be hard to build up a solid list. For many companies, relying on a subscription box on your website will do little to help grow your email list. Buying email lists of unqualified leads who will never turn into customers is a waste of money. So what can you do?
The best way to grow your email list is to collect email addresses from customers while they’re already interacting with your business, namely while they’re in your store! Here are 6 foolproof ways to get customers to give you their email addresses in store.
1. Ask For It!
The easiest way to get customers to provide their email addresses is to simply request it. You don’t ask for anything that you don’t get in life, so ask for those email addresses!
Provide opportunities around your store to collect email addresses and be proactive about it. Set up a fishbowl at the entrance for customers to throw their business cards in, or keep a list at the register for customers to see as they pay. If you strike up a conversation with a customer, mention that you send out emails with promotions and events and ask if they’d like to sign up. Establishing a rapport with customers before asking for their email is less invasive and more personal. This will make them more comfortable and eager to help you out.
Starting a customer loyalty program is not only a great way to show customer appreciation, it’s also a foolproof way to collect customer’s email addresses! Offering customers a spot in a loyalty program can make them feel special. Make sure to communicate the benefits of the loyalty program, so that customers are more likely to sign up. Once they want in, tell them that in order to sign up for the program, you just need their email address.
Make it easy for people to sign up by setting up an iPad or tablet at checkout, just like a signup sheet or box. Create a Google Form so they can readily access the program sign up from the tablet. Google Forms will organize the email addresses into a spreadsheet to make it easy for you to upload into your email program.
3) Comment Cards and Response Cards
Comment cards or response cards aren’t just valuable for obtaining customer feedback and insight, it’s also the perfect opportunity to collect their email address. At the end of a meal, or at the end of their service, provide a comment card along with their bill, encouraging customers to include their email addresses for a coupon or to follow up on feedback.
If the customers feel strongly enough about their experience, they will be willing to jot down their thoughts and email address. Make sure to follow up with them later on to thank them for their input as well as patronage to your business. If they had an incredibly good experience, offer an incentive for them to come back. If they felt negatively, shoot them an email apologizing and offer something to make up for it. Either way shows the customers through a personal and caring approach that you appreciate their feedback as well as their support, and encourages them to return.
4) Offer Resources or Extra Information
Another way to collect customer email addresses is to offer to send them something through email. After a customer finishes their service or purchase, offer to send over some extra information such as an article with tips relating to the service or a brochure insider information. You can let them know you would like to check in to see their progress after their experience, and write them a personal inquiry.
Similar to a signup sheet, provide a box or bowl for customers to put their business cards in, offering an incentive to do so. This example of an in store promotion works well if you have customers who frequent your physical location, like for yoga or fitness studios.
Host a weekly contest and draw someone’s name to win a prize at the end of the week. This works great at an event or trade show too! Simply do a drawing once every hour or half hour and email or text contacts to announce the winenrs. If you can’t or don’t feel comfortable giving customers away something for free, offer anyone who gives their email address a discount or promotional incentive.
6) Email Receipts
Offering to send customers’ receipts via email not only enables you to collect email addresses, but it is also eco-friendly because it saves paper. Customers will appreciate the option to get receipts emailed to them instead of wasting paper and you’ll collect email addresses in the process—it’s a win-win!
Once you have email addresses, make sure to follow up with a welcome email or special promotion. Read this blog post for more information on how to create great email subject lines for more guidance. Have you had success getting email addresses in store? Let us know how in the comments below!