How to Collect Email Addresses for Your Newsletter Campaign?
Okay, you have signed up for your Constant Contact Email Marketing software, and you are eager to go and send out your first newsletter. Now you are realizing: Hey, how do I get my customers and prospects to sign up for my mailing list?
How to build a permissions-based email list?
Your newsletter email list should only contain those contacts that have given you permission to send out your email newsletter to them. If you use Email Marketing software such as Constant Contact, you will be provided with a system where users can safely unsubscribe from your list at any time. This is not just good practice but also one of the requirements for your Email Newsletter to fulfill the legal requirements:
At your place of business:
- Put a sign-up sheet on your counter and ask people to add their name and email address.
- If you run a Point-of-Sale-System, ask your clients to provide their email address.
- Your comment cards should should contain a field for the customers to add their email addresses.
- Put a bowl on your counter and ask people to enter a draw for a weekly or monthly price.
Important: Let everyone know on your printed materials that their email addresses will be added to your email list and that by giving you their email address, they grant you the permission to send them your email newsletter.
On your website and on your Social Media sites:
- Add a Constant Contact sign-up form to your website and to your Facebook page for people to join your mailing list.
- Ask your followers on your social media networks to join your mailing list by supplying a link to your sign-up form.
- Announce your next newsletter on your website and on social media to let your audience know what they will be missing if they don’t sign up for your newsletter.
- Post your newsletters on your website and on Facebook to let everyone see the great content that you send out regularly.
Important: Only professional newsletter software like Constant Contact offers double-opt-in sign-ups. This means that the when an email address is added to the mailing list via a web form, the subscriber will receive a confirmation email with a link that has to be clicked. We recommend to never gather your own list in Outlook or Gmail or similar services and send messages to your entire list at once. Doing so can get you shut down and blocked by your ISP very quickly.
At events and tradeshows:
- If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, get Constant Contact’s QuickView app so you can collect new contact emails directly at networking events, tradeshows, seminars etc.
- Bring a sign-up sheet to every event and put it and invite everyone to sign up.
- Constant Contact’s Scan-to-Join feature allows you to generate a QR code that when scanned by a smart phone, allows the user to sign up to the mailing list.
- Constant Contact’s Text-to-Join feature will promt your customers to send a text message with their email address to automatically join your mailing list.
Before you start: Be aware of the legal pitfalls!Let’s face it: Email marketing does not come without a certain risk to upset those that you cherish the most, the customers of your business. Unwanted, unsolicited email, commonly known as spam, is one of the great annoyances of today’s busy online world. And I am sure you don’t want to end up as one who is being accused of sending out spam.
Aside from the negative impact this might have on your customer relations, often it is outright illegal to send unsolicited email to consumers. Canada is cracking down harder than ever on spam with its new law that is going to be effective July 1, 2014. It is referred to as Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation. We highly recommend you to brush up on the rules and know to whom you can and cannot send your email newsletter.
Henning Geiler is the owner of Pinpoint Media Design, an Online Marketing firm located in Wasaga Beach, ON, Canada. Pinpoint Media Design is a Constant Contact email marketing partner.