How to Get Email Addresses for Email Marketing

Email is an incredible marketing tool. With its widespread reach and viral potential, it allows your business to connect with prospects in ways that no other marketing medium can.

But without a list of subscribers with valid email addresses to send messages to, it’s hard to justify using email as a means of marketing your business.

Fortunately, there are lots of easy ways to collect email addresses so that you reap the benefits of an email marketing campaign. Here are some of the basics.

Simply Ask!

When existing and prospective customers buy something at your store, have staff members verbally ask if they’d like to sign up for your newsletter as part of the check out process. Keep a sign up sheet close to the register, so that browsers can sign up even if they don’t purchase anything.

When you speak with clients on the phone, tell them that your newsletter is full of great information. Sell your content; it’s the one thing that you are most knowledgeable about and it will show when you’re talking it up.

It only takes a few seconds to jot down an email address. If you make “the big ask” five times a day for one work week, that’s 25 email addresses you didn’t have before you started, and 100 email addresses in just one month!

Put a Form On Your Website

If you’re in a situation where you can’t take email addresses verbally, always direct people to your website. It’s imperative that you have a form on every page so that anyone who happens to land there is able to sign up quickly and painlessly for your emails.

The sign up process should be blatantly obvious and provide all of the necessary background information about your email campaign.

Web form templates give your form a professional, polished look that compliments your website design.

You should also seriously consider using a popup form to collect addresses. While they’re not for everyone, popups and popovers have really come a long way from what they once were.

You now have a lot of control over their frequency and appearance, and you can even split test different types of popups to see what works best for you.

Send Postcards Via Snail Mail

Michelle Kemp, a fan of AWeber on Facebook, swears by sending postcards to prospects by mail:

Michelle Kemp Get your offline clients email addresses by mailing them a postcard with a free offer. Give them a website to go to and when they opt-in, give them your free content/giveaway that you promised. This works like a charm!
April 13 at 12:45pm

If you have their postal address, sending a client a personalized, handwritten note or postcard with a return address shows that you market transparently. It also puts a human touch on the otherwise technical task of collecting email addresses online.

Offer Freebies

Nothing is more attractive to a potential customer than a free product or a glance at a service that they don’t have yet.

No matter what your newsletter is about, you are an expert in your field. Write up a quick guide to your industry, offer a free sample of hot sauce or hair product or send an exclusive MP3 download of your latest song that is only available to your email list.

As long as your free gift is relevant to the content of your newsletter, it’s the perfect incentive for prospects who might be on the fence about signing up.

Link to a Form in Your Signature

How many people do you contact personally via email every day? These contacts might not be on your business email list yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t suggest that they sign up to receive your email newsletter.

Simply include a link to your hosted web form in your email signature, and your prospects can sign up to receive your emails without even closing your personal message.

Advertise On Everything You Print

Traditional print media can be costly. With the state of today’s economy, you should think twice before investing company dollars in print advertisement.

In a 2009 study, researchers from IBM and MIT found that the average email contact was “worth” $948 in revenue. With such minimal costs in comparison to print, and such high return on investment, email is the logical and result driven choice for modern marketing.

That being said, take advantage of the fact that essential printed materials make their way out of your office or store and back to the homes of potential subscribers.

Whether it’s your business card, a brown paper bag or a receipt, a physical reminder of your website could be the push someone needs to visit your site and fill our your web form.

Utilize Social Media

Your personal network is just as important as your work Rolodex when you’re growing your email list.

Put a form on your Facebook fan page so that anyone visiting your page on the social networking site can easily subscribe to receive email updates.

Ask Twitter followers to sign up for your newsletter by tweeting a link to your hosted web form.

If you automatically tweet your broadcast messages, we add an email signup form to the sidebar of your archive, so that if someone stumbles upon your email they can easily sign up to receive more.

What Are Your List Building Tactics?

Does one particular method help you attract new subscribers? Is there something that doesn’t work very well for your industry?

We can all learn from the experiences of others – please share yours below!