The following suggestions range in degree of difficulty and affordability.
Some will benefit brick and mortars more than e-businesses and vice versa, but we guarantee you’ll come away with some new, realistic E-Mail collection strategies.
1. Friendly Forwards!
Simply include this or a similar request in each of your E-Mails: “If you found this E-Mail useful, please forward it on to a friend! They can subscribe by clicking here.”
2. Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads can be very highly targeted by interest/geography etc. A targeted campaign to promote E-Mail signups can be an excellent way to collect E-Mail addresses.
3. Past the Front Page
Promote your newsletter signup prominently throughout your website and on a number of internal pages.
4. Snail Mailer
5. Pop! Goes the Signups
Use popups. As long as you make the ‘close’ or ‘X’ button as clear as possible, it won’t be too annoying, and the fact is that they work. They work really well.
Signs may not be high tech, but they are still valid marketing tools. Announce your ‘Text to Join” info (you’ll need that too.) on anything from a window sign to a sandwich board or easel sign.
Take out a Radio Ad offering a great deal, a great resource, or a big announcement so long as they “Text ___ to ___ to join your mailing list.”
8. Great, Gated Content
Gated content is content on your site that the readers can’t access until they’ve surrendered their E-Mail. It should be worthy of the request! It could be anything from a valuable tool or resource, to your best tips and advice.
9. Content Upgrades
Do you have a great blog post AND a great whitepaper or EBook on the same subject? Show the post for free and offer the longer version in exchange for E-Mail.
Offer a Webinar on your product or service in exchange for signing up.
11. Exclusive Group Membership
Offer your subscribers access to an exclusive, closed Facebook group where they can interact with you and people similar to themselves on a regular basis.
12. Hey.. Could you?
Ask for it! Whether on the phone or in person, if you’re talking to someone who could benefit from your newsletter, just ask them if you can add them to the list.
13. And the Winner Is…
There are a million and one ideas for online contests that you can get your customers and prospects engaged in. Just make sure you’re collecting that E-Mail address in the process!
14. Handy Dandy… Clipboard!
Attend a trade show or networking event and bring a newsletter E-Mail sign up clipboard. Actively ask for sign ups.
15. Facebook Button
You can add a “sign up” button to your Facebook Business Page.
16. Yours Truly,
Use your custom E-Mail Signature for your day-to-day E-Mail interactions as an opportunity to include a link to your newsletter signup form.
17. Host an Event
Offer a great event: promotional, charitable, fun… whatever works! Have them sign up for updates and details on the event, and see number 14 on this list.
18. Use Pinterest to Grow Your List
Add a sign up link to your YouTube Videos and descriptions. You may want to consider tacking on an intro/outro with a call to action.
20. LinkedIn Ads
Especially good for the B2B Marketing Community, advertising on LinkedIn can help you reach your target audience and get new E-Mail contacts.
21. Be a Twit
Include a link to the E-Mail sign up form in your Twitter Business Profile description. Here’s how to edit your Twitter profile.
22. Frame it In
Add a link or sign up form in the footer, header and/or side bar of your website. These areas of your website are consistent on every page (for the most part) and make it easier for people to sign up at any time.
23. Twitter Lead Generation Cards
Create a Twitter lead generation card to advertise and gain sign ups for your E-Mail newsletter.
24. Go Fish
Put a fishbowl on your counter, ask for business cards and permission to sign up for your newsletter, then do a weekly prize giveaway of your product and announce it in your next edition.
Post an image of a giveaway offer on Instagram. Include a link in your Instagram bio asking people to sign up to participate in the giveaway.
26. on posters
27. on letterhead
28. on menus
29. on company business cards
30. on brochures
31. on invoices
32. on receipts
33. on fliers
34. on custom envelopes
Social Rewards –
Ask for their E-Mail address so you can send them information on how to retrieve their reward. Let them know they are being added to your mailing list.
35. Reward Check-ins from Facebook and Foursquare.
36. Reward Twitter users who retweet the most of your content.
37. Reward Pinterest Users who repin the most of your content.
38. Reward Facebook followers who share the most of your content.
39. Reward Employees
Reward Employees who get the most new sign ups every month
40. Receipts as Sign-up forms
Customize your credit card receipt with a field for E-Mail addresses. They can fill it out while they’re signing. Or, simply ask them to write their E-Mail address on the back of the receipt. At the end of the day, enter the addresses into your database and send out a welcoming E-Mail .
41. Mobile App
Offer a free mobile app in exchange for an E-Mail address.
42. Digital Invoice Opt-ins
Offer an incentive such as a discount or free shipping on the next order as a reward for providing E-Mail addresses.
43. Speaking Engagements
Mention your list and offer an incentive, such as one on one Q&A
Use a Scrollbox. Similar to a pop-up, the scrollbox appears on your page only after someone has scrolled down to a certain spot on your page
45. Testimonials – Social Proof
Add testimonials about the quality of your newsletter to your opt-in form so people know there is something substantive on the other end.
46. Guest Blogging
Find blogs that are speaking to your target audience and offer to do guest blogging (where you can shout out your E-Mail list of course.
Why not? Especially if you have a brick and mortar, shouting out your newsletter on a tee could definitely drum up interest.
48. Mass Text
What are friends and family for if you can’t harass them via mass text once in a while? Always start with the people you know best. Ask everyone to support your efforts by joining the list.
Forums may seem so internet 1.0, but they are still around and thriving. Pitch your newsletter to relevant, topical forums.
50. Quora Answers
Quora.com – Answer questions on Quora about the topic of your newsletter and drop a link to the newsletter sign up page as a source for more information on your answer.
51. Pin a Tweet
Pin a Tweet to your Twitter profile page with your E-Mail signup form.
52. Facebook Group
Create a Facebook group for your topic or niche and include your E-Mail signup form in the pinned post.
53. Don’t Scare People
Reduce the amount of fields in your signup form. In fact – all you really need is the E-Mail address. Stop asking for their home address and how many freckles they have. Keep it SHORT.
54. Button Style
Change your subscribe button text. “subscribe” and “sign up” can be so boring. Get creative! “Send me my passport to the land of success” “Get the coolest newsletter ever” You will obviously want to be less cheesy and more creative, but you get the idea.
55. Bring Back the Bounce Backs
Don’t give up on bounce backs. If a message posts as undeliverable, and you have a physical mailing address for your E-Mail list, (which you should have if you are Reverse Appending to all of your E-Mail Signups) try sending those people a postcard asking them for an updated E-Mail address. Perhaps you can offer them some kind of incentive to come back or request feedback on why they left in the first place.
56. Buddy Up With Someone Else’s List
Find a complimentary newsletter to yours that can offer you a shout out and cross promotion in their E-Mail . Offer to do the same for them.
57. Offer a Birthday Club
Ask for their E-Mail address and birthday so you can send them a special gift on their birthday, such as a 50% off birthday coupon.
58. Write a Spectacular Blog
If you have fantastic content, people are naturally going to sign up to read more.
59. Ask Social Media Commenters
As people comment on your social media, (especially positive or inquisitive comments) respond with an invitation to join the newsletter.
This especially makes sense for businesses that already use sales calls, but if you are on the phone with your customers or prospects, ask them for their E-Mail address.
61. Add a Form to Your Author Bio
Most blogs have a featured section highlighting details about the blog post author. Add A Form to this section for your E-Mail signups.
62. Add a “HelloBar”
Add a HelloBar to your Website or use mailmunch for a top of the screen CTA for signing up to your list. These can be amazingly effective.
Create a cool quiz for your website with an E-Mail signup form at the end.
A/B Test your Sign up Form Colors and Button Colors. Some combinations work amazingly better than others.. but no one can adequately explain which colors and why. Test your options to see which works best.
65. Affiliate Advertising
Pay another site per newsletter signup from ads on their site.
66. Podcast Promo
Either find a relevant Podcast for your niche or start one yourself and promote your newsletter.
67. Be Mobile Friendly
It’s unfortunate that this still has to be said, with so much traffic being mobile in nature these days, but if you want to reach a wider audience, your site and your E-Mail campaign need to be mobile friendly.
68. Redirect Comments
Depending on your blogging platform, you may be able to redirect comments to a thank you landing page. This is an excellent opportunity to direct people to your E-Mail signup form. If you use WordPress, try Yoast’s comment hacks.
69. Newspaper Ad
This is a great idea for people with a local audience. Take out a good old fashioned newspaper ad to promote your newsletter and don’t forget the QR code.
70. Sidewalk Chalk
Are you in a high foot-traffic area? Leave a sign in sidewalk chalk promoting your text to join information.
71. Window Art
If you have a brick and mortar location, use window crayons to promote your E-Mail signup.
72. Utilize That Ebook
Add a link to your sign up form to the beginning, footer, and end of your ebook so they can sign up for more great content at any time.
73. Utilize that Whitepaper
Add a link to your sign up form to the beginning, footer, and end of your whitepaper so they can sign up for more great content at any time.
74. Voicemail Shout-Out
Tell people how to sign up for your newsletter in your voicemail message.
75. “Out of Office”
Leave a link in your “on vacation” auto-respond E-Mails.
Do you have an auto response for your website’s contact page? Along with that “thank you for reaching out to us – someone will be back to you shortly.” add a link to your E-Mail signup.
77. YouTube Ad
YouTube is another place where you can target a relevant audience. Especially if you place ads on videos that are educating people about your topic.
Create a Refer a Friend Promo
79. Ask Your Vendors
Ask your vendors and suppliers to sign up
80. Press Release
Create a Press Release and include a link to your Sign-up form.
81. Sponsor a Local Event
Everything from kid’s sports teams to local plays and musicals offer books with business card sized ads or areas for signs. Take advantage of the opportunity to grow your list.
82. Google+ Mentions
Use Google+ Mentions to get attention from influencers you’ve mentioned in your newsletter.
83. Exclusive Discounts
Outside of your regular sales, you want to be sure you’re offering exclusive discounts or special coupons to E-Mail subscribers.
84. Exit Pop-Up
This is a slightly less annoying version of a pop-up. An Exit Pop-up can capture people who are on their way out.
Offer to E-Mail receipts to customers who sign up for the newsletter.
86. Social Shout Out
Post to social media every time you’re about to send a discount to your E-Mail subscribers. Let your non-subscribers know what they’re missing out on!
87. Employee Drive By Shout Outs
Place ads on company vehicles directing people to your super-cool, super informative newsletter.
88. Subscriber Drive By Shout Outs
Send out Bumper Stickers to your subscribers that say ” I read the ___ blog/newsletter.” Include your QR code! If you need mailing addresses for your E-Mail list, you can Reverse Append Contact Data to E-Mail Addresses.
89. Social Replies
Respond to social media private/direct messages with a link to your sign-up page.
90. LinkedIn Groups
Start or Join a LinkedIn Group that is relevant to your niche and mention your newsletter frequently, but not so frequently that all you’re doing is spamming the group. Try responding to people in the group often and telling them”I wrote about this in my newsletter…. link”
91. Give a Peek
Post a copy of your newsletter to your blog occasionally. “Hey! Have you signed up for our newsletter yet? Here is some of the great content you’ve been missing out on…”
92. Employee Social Proof
Ask your employees to share the sign up link on their personal social media pages.
93. Stay In-Form-ed
Get it? Add an opt-in radio button/checkbox to every form on your website. IN-FORMED. (What? My mother laughed.)
94. Go Hard
Print out hard copies of your newsletter and hand them out at your brick and mortar locations or events with a QR code for easy signup.
95. Shareable Infographics
Create relevant share-worthy infographics with your E-Mail sign up info at the bottom.
Add Sign-up information to your Google+ About Section and use topical, relevant hash-tagged updates to promote E-Mail signups.
What better way to establish yourself as an expert with fantastic, useful content to offer than to offer a class at your local community college, library or similar? Bring that handy dandy E-Mail sign up clipboard.
98. Cool Stuff
Hand out a nifty promotional product with your text to sign up info or a QR Code. Promo items that coincide with your niche work the best. Ice-packs for physical therapists and chiropractors. Stress balls for yogis. Or go with the traditional sticky note pad and pen.
99. Review Replies
Reply to positive reviews where ever possible with an invitation to join the newsletter.
100. Join a Face to Face Networking Group
There are meetups and business networking groups all over the country. Forming solid relationships within a BNI, a Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, Book Club, Live Action Role Playing Group or Knitting Circle can help you expand your social influence significantly, and provide you with advocates who will help you achieve your goals!
Give something away like samples, a tour, a consultation, a free how-to guide, infographic, how-to video, etc. Have people sign up for your newsletter to qualify.
102. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’s interests.
Ask YOUR friends to invite THEIR friends to your newsletter. Tell them what your newsletter is about and ask them if they know anyone who would like the topic of your newsletter. Everyone knows someone who’s interested in something!
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