Email Marketing – Collecting Email Addresses Legally and Ethically

Welcome to the new week. The weekend was very relaxing, so relaxing that I did not tweet or blog. However, it’s time to get back to work.

Today I want to tackle the issue of getting hold of valuable and legally obtained email addresses. The first thing to consider is buying a list. Is it a good idea? My opinion is, no. Why not? Two reasons…you don’t know if the emails were legitimately obtained and secondly, you don’t know if they are really possible clients/customers. Of course, if you have money to spend and want to try working with a reputable email marketing company, you should do it. I am thinking here of the small business that has little money or time to do this but definitely needs the benefits that an email campaign can bring to their business.

Who is most likely to buy from you? The answer is easy, someone who has bought from you before. So, that makes getting their email address fairly easy. They are already your clients.

How do you get clients to give you their email addresses? Here are a few standard options, some of which you are probably already using:

  1. In store – a small printed form with giveaway that asks for email address. Create a small check box that asks their permission to email them with special offers. Be sure to include some language about how you will not sell or share their email address with anyone.
  2. In store – ask for email address when they pay for their purchase
  3. Online – offer something to download and ask for the email address. Again, have a check box that request their permission to share offers or information with them via email. What have you got that you could offer them? I’ll discuss that further tomorrow.
  4. Online – directly ask if they would like to receive more information or special offers. Give them the option to chose this.
  5. Online – some websites have a closing window that makes one last attempt to capture someone’s interest as they are leaving the site. Here you could have a statement something like, “Not ready today? Sign up for our email special offers so you can find what you want when you’re ready.”
  6. Be sure to print your website address on all your receipts. You could encourage people to go to the site to get some special benefit.

A recent survey showed that people were much more likely to give you their email address than their social media information. The flip side of that is that social media warms people to your brand or business and they will more likely accept email from you with special offers or information.

If you have some successful ideas for gathering email addresses, let us know via the “No comments/Comments” link below.

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