You’ve mentioned to customers that you have an email newsletter. You’ve worked hard to get employees to remind people that it exists. You’ve even set up a form for people to sign up on your website.
But still, there’s no more than a trickle of new contacts coming in. What gives?
It’s simple: beyond your core audience, you’ll need a compelling reason “why” to convince people to sign up for your email list. Here are five ways you can make your emails a little more intriguing for potential subscribers:
1. An in-store raffle
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, a raffle is a great way to get new email addresses. All you have to do is set up a jar for names and email addresses and select a winner.
Just make sure to tell people they’ll be signing up for your email list, too!
David Fischer, a marketing consultant for Gail Patrick’s Café, knows how effective this can be. The restaurant started with zero contacts. By offering a raffle for a free lunch, the restaurant grew that number to over eight hundred email addresses in a year.
“The important part for businesses to realize is that getting an email address and keeping that subscriber engaged is worth a lot more than a free lunch,” he says.
2. A description of the newsletter
You don’t always have to offer something for free to get people to sign up. If you have a passionate customer base, just telling them what they’ll find in the email can go a long way.
For example, the craft beer store The Four Firkins has a simple sheet that sits on the counter that reads: “Would you like to receive emails every week about new, hard to find beer and free beer tasting events?”
Founder Jason Alvey says that the store fills about two sheets a week, which amounts to about twenty or thirty contacts.
Getting Facebook fans to sign up for your email list can be tough, because you need to show them why there are additional benefits to signing up for your email newsletter.
To get Facebook fans to sign up for her email list, Peggy Sweeney, the founder of The Sweeney Alliance, posts a few teasers before the email goes out.
“A lot of people on Facebook aren’t signed up for my newsletter, so I usually wait a week, then I take individual articles from the newsletter and post them one at a time on Facebook,” Peggy says. “I’ll also post older articles on Facebook and say, ‘Hey, I’m sending out a newsletter on Tuesday, so you better sign up today if you want to receive the newest things!’”
Another way to get email addresses is to run a Facebook sweepstakes.
4. Via smartphone
Constant Contact has a free scan-to-join app that lets you create a QR code that can link people to the sign-up form for your email newsletter.
When restaurant Cool-De-Sac ran a SaveLocal deal, the business printed out QR codes and placed them on table tents to make sure that as many people as possible could sign up to redeem it.
The initiative worked: more than 350 people signed up for Cool-De-Sac’s email list because of the offer.
5. Networking events
At Constant Contact, we get a lot of leads at tradeshows. Most of the time, it’s just a matter of asking for business cards.
If you have a raffle of some kind, you can often get a lot of cards for your email list that way. Even if you have nothing to give away, just describing your newsletter can go a long way in getting people interested in signing up for it.
Our free text-to-join app can be a convenient way for people to sign up for your email list on the spot, too.
Changing your thinking to grow your list
Building your list means changing the way you think, according to Sandi Abbot from Xpresso Marketing.
“You’ve got to start thinking differently about each contact you make,” she explains. “Every point of contact, whether it’s a customer service call or a sales meeting or a networking event, is an opportunity to grow your email list.”
Once you’ve changed the way you think, coming up with new ways to build your contact list is easy!
Want to start building a list? Check out Our Recipe for Growing a Top-Notch Contact List.