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10 Tips and Tactics for Growing Your Email Subscriber List Offline

We can all agree that email marketing increases business, but the real question is how to snag up those valuable emails.  These valuable practices for offline email acquisition can help you acquire new contacts, help your company to obtain more information from the subscriber, and retain the contacts you do receive.  

1. Be Consistent
Is all your collateral pointing the individual toward an opportunity to opt into your emails?  An important feature to keep in mind is to include all email opt in and social “follow” opportunities on all event collateral.  

2. Kickin’ It Old School
In paper sign up forms it is essential to work within a framework to be sure you are leveraging your opportunities.  

3. Retain Affirmative Consent
This means that the recipient expressly consented to receive the message, either in response to a clear and conspicuous request for such consent or at the recipient’s own initiative.

  • Translation: You must have clear permission from someone to send them commercial email messages.  This can be accomplished by simply adding copy to the forms such as:
    • “By completing this form you can expect to receive special offers and news from _____  via email.  You can request to be removed at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in any email.”
4. Can You Read It?
If someone fills out the form, it is vital that it is legible.  We think we can all agree sometime individuals need help in that area.  In effort to set your subscriber up for success:
  • Use a clipboard or paper sign up forms in booth displays
  • Use individual boxes for people to enter each letter and symbol in their email address
    • You can expect to lose about 10 – 20% of addresses due to illegible handwriting and/or data entry errors
5. What Did I Sign Up For?
People are careful to sign up for email subscriptions.  Therefore, if you confront their concerns, people are more inclined to sign up.  Be sure to address:
  • Fears about abuse of information upfront
    • By including a summary of your Privacy Policy, this reinforcement will encourage prospects to give you their information
  • Subscriber benefits
    • Highlight a couple benefits to further persuade people to join the email list (such as receiving special offers, product launches, and news)  
6. Always Welcome Them
Be quick, record, import and then welcome.  After each event, the data entry of the information collected should have a quick turnaround.  It is important to let them know you’ve received their info and you are excited to have them on your list! The most efficient way to handle post-acquisition is:
  • After each event, enter the data of the information collected with a quick turnaround and enter into an spreadsheet and save as a .csv for importing
  • Import this information into your email service provider platform, note the date collected and source (name of event)
  • Customize a Welcome email to be sent as soon as the new subscribers are added to the system
  • Include a reference to the event where opt in occurred
  • Personalize content based on the type of event and what you know about the subscriber

7. Digital Opt-In
Digital opt-in opportunities in trade show booths will streamline the acquisition process.  In addition to simplifying the process, it will also keep that from the problem of illegible handwriting. It also can be set up to automate the system.  In the digital opt-in process be sure to:
  • Integrate form with your ESP for immediate acquisition
  • Trigger a customized Welcome email
    • Include a reference to the event where opt in occurred
    • Personalized content based on the type of event and what you know about the subscriber  
8. Text In
SMS is another effective way to aquire new subscribers. Consumers can quickly opt-in to your email list via text message.  In SMS email acquisition, it is important to:
  • Include short code on collateral, in presentations, packaging
  • Integrate form with your ESP for immediate acquisition
  • Deploy immediate mobile friendly Welcome email
  • Since only email has been collected, include link for subscribers to update their profile
 
9. Mobile Page
To expand digital email acquisition, a short url can also be used to direct them to the mobile form.  This simple and easy url can allow eager subscribers to find the form effortlessly.  When using this short url, follow these simple guidelines:
  • Include url on collateral, in presentations, packaging
  • Integrate form with your ESP for immediate acquisition
  • Deploy immediate mobile friendly Welcome email
    • Include link for subscribers to update their profile
 
10. Social Platforms
During events, social enthusiasts are likely to look up and follow the social media properties of brands they interact with.  Be sure your email sign up form is visible and easily accessible on all social outlets:
  • Facebook: 
    • Add a widget/email sign up tab to your Facebook page
  • Twitter:
    • Use the event’s #hashtag to tweet a link to an email sign up form
It is important to put email acquisition on high on the list of ways to engage with your customers.  Even though it can be a long process, it is a valuable asset to marketing your company.  By using these acquisition tactics in the acquisition process, we think hope it brings freshness to your process enabling more subscribers to engage.  

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