Many of you may already be growing your email lists through sign up forms on your website, or printed sign up sheets near your register. You may even ask folks if they want to be added to your email list when you meet them at a trade show or event. So far, so good. But, you might also want to try a few out-of-the-ordinary techniques to entice even more sign ups.
Unique ways to collect email addresses:
Sign up page – Including your email forms on multiple pages of your website is a must, but having a nicely designed landing page specifically for sign ups is also a nice touch! Don’t know how to create one? Melanie Duncan, owner of Entrepreneuress Academy highly recommends using Leadpages to create opt-in or landing pages to gain sign ups, as it doesn’t require design or coding experience. VerticalResponse also has web hosted sign up forms available. On your landing page, make sure you include a number of reasons as to why someone should sign up for your email list and include some archived emails to give them an understanding of what to expect.
Receipts – Have you noticed that some stores offer you the option to have your receipt emailed to you? It’s one less thing for customers to keep track of, and as a business owner, you also have the opportunity to capture an email sign up by including a link to your sign up form on the receipt. Big box retailers like Macy’s offer this service, but some local restaurants have also started offering it as well. Here are a few services that provide this technology: Transaction Tree and yReceipts. As an easy solution, you can simply include a link (if it’s too long, use a URL shortener like Bit.ly) to your sign up form on all of your printed receipts.
Videos – Videos are a great way to show off your products, service or company, give advice, and attract new visitors in various ways. At the end of every video you create, include a slide at the beginning and/or end that contains a URL to your sign up form. On every YouTube video you upload, include a note, box, speech bubble, etc. that includes a link – This can done under “Annotations.” By default, YouTube gives you the option to link to another video, playlist, YouTube channel, or Google+ profile. If you’d like to link to your sign up form or website outside of YouTube, follow these steps. In your video, ask people to subscribe to your channel and include a link to your sign up form on your YouTube page. Also, create a specific video about why your mailing list should be the list someone signs up for.
Email signature – Think about how many emails you send on a daily basis, and how many different people you interact with in those emails. Including a link to your sign up form in your personal email signature is an easy way to get the word out there to each and every one of those people, and on a consistent basis.
Pinterest – With 70 million+ users, Pinterest can help you attract new subscribers faster than you can bake a batch of brownies from a recipe found on the popular social network. Due to the visual nature of Pinterest, it’s a great place to attract potential subscribers with an enticing Pin, which then leads to your sign up form. We crafted an entire post all about how you can grow your email list using Pinterest.
Social media profile – Your social media pages may include links to your sign up form, but do you also have it in your profile? All social accounts have a profile or “about” section, so make sure you include a sign up link to your email list along with what value people will get for joining it. And for an added boost, include a link in your personal social accounts and spread the word about your business. Just make it clear the sign up is for your business, so you don’t cause any confusion.
Transactional emails – If you send transactional emails like order information, receipts or shipping updates, include a link to your email sign up.
Use a smart phone/tablet at events – While a sign up form is great, what happens when you’re out in the real world? This is where smart phones or tablets come in! If you attend networking events, trade shows or conferences, use a smart phone or tablet to collect email addresses, with permission of course. This way, you can easily walk around and mingle with people, yet still collect email sign ups. Instead of collecting a business card, get an email sign up right then and there.
Unique ways to promote your email sign up form:
Alert social followers to special email deals – Before you hit send on your email, share something about the email and entice social followers (as seen in the Punk Domestics example below). Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are good places to start with this kind of teaser. Let people know what they’re missing out on by not receiving your email. A couple of days before Punk Domestics send out their email, they post a link for people to sign up.
Share after the email is sent – After you’ve sent your email, let your social followers know and write a “Did you miss our email?” post. Similar to the previous suggestion, share something that only subscribers can get by signing up for the email list.
Make it easy to sign up! – Using a sign up form is the best way to grow your email list, but make sure it’s easy to find and use. Don’t ask for too much information, or you’ll actually discourage sign ups. Instead, ask for an email address and maybe a first name. You can always ask for more info later if you need it. Make your sign up form easy to find by placing it prominently on each page of your website.
Send great content – One of the easiest ways to quickly grow your email list is by creating and sending helpful content. People who already read your email are more likely to share with others if your content is on the mark. Make sure it’s relevant to your readers by segmenting your email lists to accommodate different interests your customers may have.
Survey readers – Survey your current email subscribers about what they like best about your emails, or what made them sign up in the first place. Use that data to create more effective email content and up front value propositions to join your list.