How to Gather Email Addresses in the Real World

Marketing experts talk a lot about how to integrate social media with your email marketing efforts.  Most will also talk to you about the availability of your sign-up form online. These are all incredibly important aspects of email marketing. That’s got the Internet pretty well covered, but what about the real world?  By “real” I mean the physical world, the one with brick and mortar stores and handshakes and eye contact.  How can you build your email marketing list there?

Step One:  Gather Contacts
There are plenty of ways to gather email addresses without being pushy or clumsy (Hint:  do not rove around with sign-up clipboards.  That’s just awkward for everybody).  Have the sign-up available in your place of business.  The usual place for this sort of activity is by the register, although if you use tablets as a sales aid it would be easy enough to let folks sign-up online right from your store. You can also have your sign-up available at events you’ve sponsored, or at networking and educational events. Teaching at educational events is a great way to gain interest in what you have to offer.

Step Two:  Confirm Opt-in
Ah, the double opt-in.  Send out an email confirming the subscription before you start sending them email newsletters .  It might help to create a custom email if you gathered email addresses in a surrounding that might lend to people forgetting about your encounter.  A quick “Hi, you signed up for this at the art festival!” is a great way to jog their memory.

Step Three:  The Welcome Letter
We’ve talked about welcome newsletters before, so I’ll simply refer you to some past work on why intro newsletters are a great idea and what type of content you might include.  This serves as a secondary reminder of why people signed up for your newsletter and gives an example of the kind of content they can expect to receive from you in the future.