Collecting New Names for Your Web Marketing Newsletter - dummies

Collecting New Names for Your Web Marketing Newsletter

By Jan Zimmerman

You can collect new web marketing e-mail addresses offline at networking events and trade shows and whenever you have live customer contact. Verbally ask permission to send a newsletter, noting the date, event, and response.

Or post a sign above the business card collection bowl or headline the electronic sign-in on your tablet computer, saying something like, “Get the latest product news and special offers! We’ll add your e-mail address to our newsletter list.” Sweeten the pot by also drawing from those names to receive a prize. When speaking at an event, provide a newsletter sign-up mechanism.

Of course, another important place to request e-mail addresses is at your bricks-and-mortar store, especially at checkout. If you aren’t equipped to add an e-mail address at the register, offer a collection bowl for cards or a guest book. And, consider offering customers a free item in exchange for signing up.

Take advantage of other opportunities on your website and social media pages to collect e-mail addresses:

  • Request an e-mail address when offering visitors a free case study or white paper to download; offer newsletter sign-up as a check box.

  • Place a newsletter opt-in check box on the same form that customers fill out when purchasing online.

  • Put a newsletter opt-in check box on any submission form: Name it Contact Us, Tech Support, Demo, Sales Call, or Request for Quote.

Ask your developer to collect these e-mail addresses automatically in a database that you can access easily. They probably can be added to your list only if the developer has integrated the list server. If you’re using a third-party solution or if the onscreen forms are e-mailed to you from the website, you must upload these addresses manually to your newsletter list.

Of course, there’s an art to the newsletter sign-up form. Try to get more than an e-mail address, but make most fields optional. If you have a B2B company, the user’s job title and company name are valuable, as well as the urgency of the need. For a B2C company, specific areas of product interest are helpful to know.

Growing a list of qualified addresses is an essential objective for any site that intends to use e-mail marketing. Make it easy for site visitors to sign up from any page by placing the call to action in the navigation.

You might choose to display a simple e-mail text box or a link to a second page that has room to display options, ask for additional information, provide a reminder of your privacy policy, and summarize the benefits of signing up. Try to phrase the sign-up navigation link to convey benefits — for example, Sign Up for Savings or Get Product News.