how to ask for email address ft image

“I can’t wait to get more email today!”

Said no one ever.

So why would you ask, “Would you like to join our email list?”

This isn’t to say people don’t want to be on your email list

It just means that more email isn’t exactly a reason for someone to let you into their inbox.

But what if you had a script that allowed you to ask for email addresses with more confidence?

When you know exactly what to say to emphasize the value your audience can expect to receive, you’ll have more people joining your email list. Which means more people to do more business with you in the future.

Before you get started with your script…

Download this worksheet to follow along.

You should also know the answer to the following question.

Why do people sign up to email lists?

We asked consumers, and these are the top three reasons they join email lists:

  1. To receive promotions and discounts
  2. To receive exclusive content
  3. To show continued support for an organization

These reasons highlight the need to stay focused on providing value to your potential email subscriber.

Consumers want something in exchange for giving you their email address.

Keep this in mind as you answer the following questions. Once you have your script, modify it for the different places you can ask for email addresses.

Answer these four questions to create a script focused on the potential email subscriber.

  1. What would be enticing to a potential email subscriber?
  2. Are there any objections they might have?
  3. How can they sign up easily?
  4. What should they expect next?

Let’s answer these questions with a retail store in mind.

1. What would be enticing to the potential email subscriber?

Now that you know why consumers sign up, you can use that information as a starting point to decide what to offer in exchange for an email address.

Promotions or discounts. Consumers like to save money. If your business offers discounts or promotions, this is an excellent way to entice someone to join your email list.

Exclusive content. If you don’t offer discounts, think of your email list as a VIP club. What could you offer in terms of exclusive content that only email subscribers receive?

Support. Perhaps you partner with local businesses and hold events or activities that would be attractive to the potential email subscriber.

There’s also nothing wrong with offering all of these benefits to your email subscribers.

2. Are there any objections they might have?

There’s a bit of a risk for the person giving up an email address. They may worry you’re going to send them information they’re not interested in. You’ll send them too many emails. Or maybe they think you’ll share their emails with someone else.

By identifying these objections, you can address them head on to remove the risk. This means letting people know what they can expect in terms of frequency, that they can unsubscribe easily at any time, and that you’ll never share their contact information.

3. How can they sign up easily?

Where you’re asking — online, at an event, or in-store — determines what the customer needs to do to join your list.

For example, if you have Text-to-Join signage hanging around your store, they’ll need to use their mobile phone to sign up. If you have an online sign-up form on your website, they’ll need to type in their contact information.

4. What should they expect next?

Should they check their inbox for a coupon? Will they receive a welcome email with more details? Letting them know what to expect increases the chance that they’ll engage with your emails.

Let’s pull together a script you can modify for your business.

We’ll start with the idea that you or someone on your staff is face-to-face with the customer. Your answers from the questions above should help you write your script.

Scenario: Face-to-face with customer in-store.

The customer has had a great experience at your shop. This is the perfect time to ask for an email address, so you have a way to contact them again and get them to do more business with you.

Your script could go something like this:

Thanks for shopping with us today. Would you like to receive [enter details of your offer: % off your next purchase?; exclusive information for our VIPs?; details about events and offers from other local businesses?] I’ll just need an email address first.

In the future, we’ll send you a few emails a month with promotions, special events, and VIP exclusives. You’ll be able to unsubscribe at any time and we never share your information.

[Customer says yes.]

Great! Enter your email address on the [sign-up sheet; tablet].

[Customer does so.]

OK, you’re all set. Check your inbox for an email with more details [be specific about the details if you can, for example: you’ll receive a welcome email with your coupon].

Now you have a script to modify.

Use the script above as is or modify it to fit the personality of your business. If you’re satisfying the questions above, you’ll find more people willing to give you their email addresses.

You can also modify the script based on the scenario. If you’re asking with an online sign-up form, for example, it would look like the image below.

Constant Contact sign up form