For small business owners in any industry, eBlasts and newsletters are a great way to keep your product or service at the forefront of current and potential customers’ minds. Of course, in order for your emails to be successful, you must start with a quality list of email addresses. The first golden rule of email blasts is to have a great list, not a big list!
Fortunately, there are many ways to collect email addresses for a quality list through your website, at events, in your store, and from current customers.
How to Collect Email Addresses on a Website
When someone is on your website, they are already expressing an interest in your company. Use these ideas to maximize on that interest and request their email address while they click around.
Offer insider access to upcoming events, special promotions, or useful tips through a monthly email newsletter. There are endless possibilities for valuable information you can share with newsletter recipients to ensure they will be happy they shared their email address with you.
Access to Online Community
Invite website visitors to join an exclusive forum on your website or through a private Facebook group. They will appreciate the opportunity to join a community of like-minded people, and you can request their email addresses to invite them. You also get the added bonus of increased online engagement from your customers!
Free Content Downloads
Provide website visitors with a free eBook download or other valuable content. Capitalize on the human desire for instant gratification by offering an immediate download once they enter their email address.
Facebook Ad Offers
Make a special offer that can only be claimed through your Facebook ad. This is a great way to request an email address while encouraging online engagement, increasing the visibility of your social media accounts.
Instagram recently added the option for business accounts to post clickable ads on Instagram. Take advantage of this new feature to easily direct website visitors to a free download or other valuable content on your website in exchange for their email address.
Webinars and Video Tutorials
Not interested in writing an eBook? Provide value-enhancing content to website visitors through a webinar or video tutorial instead. This is a great way to strengthen viewers’ trust and interest in you while also requesting their email address.
Use a plugin to prompt website visitors to enter their email address before leaving your website. This is one last chance to gather that valuable contact information before they leave your site, so consider combining the popup with a special offer to increase the likelihood they respond.
How to Collect Email Addresses at Events
Events provide a great opportunity to engage with potential customers face to face. Use that opportunity to request their email address and continue your relationship once they are back home and catching up on their emails.
Provide t-shirts, cell phone chargers, umbrellas, or some other free product in exchange for their email address. This is a chance to maximize on their desire for instant gratification, as they will immediately receive something tangible in exchange for their email address. Plus, they will provide free advertising for you whenever they use their new swag!
Sign Ups for Free Consultations
Whether you are offering a product or a service, try creating a sign-up list for free consultations. You will walk away with their email address and an open invitation to connect in the future and further discuss what you have to offer.
Gather business cards (or provide slips requesting name and email) to raffle off a special prize. Whether you give away a product that day or email the winner a special offer for a service at a later date, offer something of value that will peak interest and prompt people to provide their email.
Establish a Personal Connection
Events are a chance to engage with potential customers on a personal level. Get to know them and their interests as you introduce them to your business. Before they leave, ask for a business card in order to stay in touch.
Event Specific Discounts
Offer a discount exclusively to event attendees, accessible by email. Don’t forget to follow through on your promise to email the discount!
Visitors to your store have the combined benefits of both scenarios above: they are already expressing interest in your business and are available for a personal connection. These are highly valuable leads, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to gather their email addresses.
Email List at Register
Whether you use a sign up list on a clipboard or a high-tech version on a tablet, provide a place for customers to provide their email address while checking out.
Advertise Email Promotions
Place information about email promotions in a visible place by the register. This will quickly show customers the benefit of joining your email list.
Fishbowl Raffle at Entrance
Offer a monthly raffle for those who drop their business card in your fishbowl. Placing the raffle at your entrance gives you the opportunity to gather emails from visitors who don’t need to stop by the register before they leave.
Have employees spark friendly conversation and ask for customers to sign up before they go to maximize on a personal connection.
How to Collect Email Addresses from Customers
Set up a loyalty program for customers and clearly communicate the benefits of joining. Make it easy for customers to join and request their email address in the process.
When customers purchase your product or service online, include a check box to indicate that customers agree to receive future promotional materials via email. Allow customers the opportunity to deselect the box, but have it checked by default.
Gain valuable feedback while gathering email addresses. Personally follow up to thank the customer for their business and feedback.
Allow customers the option to receive receipts via email. They will appreciate the convenience and won’t have to worry about losing a paper copy, and you’ll have another customer’s email address for your list.
Once you’ve gathered a quality list of email addresses, you’re ready to send out eBlasts and newsletters to boost business and drive sales! Before you get started, take the time to educate yourself on email marketing laws for small business owners. Finally, make sure to implement subject lines that will prompt people to open your emails and see what’s inside.