ContentIcons_CoverIf you want to build a solid permission based email list, sometimes you need to go old school and promote it offline. Why? Because people live in the real world. So join your customers and prospects where they hang. Offer opportunities for them to sign up for your newsletter everywhere they interact with your brand. Be visible in the real world and you will be able to gather the information you need to connect with them back on line.

Here are just 8 simple ways you can use old fashioned marketing tactics to build your list:

  1. Use a paper sign-up sheet. Yes, I do mean a simple piece of paper with an ink pen. As people come into your shop, showroom, office or booth at a trade show, ask them to sign in with their name and email address. If you want to class it up a little, you can always get a guest book.
  2. Put a fishbowl on the counter. I know, sometimes people write quickly and the result is a scrawl you can’t actually read. Just place a fish bowl prominently on your counter, near your register to collect business cards. Always have a note card for people to fill out if they forget to bring their cards. And to increase the chances someone will sign up, consider giving something away in exchange for the email address. It doesn’t matter if it is a chance to win a free service or a gift card for a Starbucks down the street, people love the chance to win free stuff.
  3. Take advantage of a captive audience. Do people routinely wait in your place of business? Menus, table tents and forms which visitors fill out are ideal places to mention your newsletter, and maybe even have a QR code or text to join offer listed clearly on the top of the page.
  4. Signs are everywhere. From signs by the register, in fitting rooms or on the sidewalk outside your place of business, let people know you have an “insider’s club” and they can join by giving their email address when they checkout.
  5. Update your company records. Pick up the phone and call all your former clients to update their records and add their email address. This is a great way to reconnect and possibly make a new sale along the way. And while you are calling be sure to include family, friends and strategic partners – these people know and love you. If you keep them informed, they can help you by sharing your newsletter with others.
  6. Shipping boxes. This is a giant blank canvas many business owners leave blank. Either preprint the information on the box or add a colorful label. This is especially valuable if the people receiving your product are not the same people who place the order.
  7. Create a survey. Collect email addresses by using a customer satisfaction survey after a transaction. Not only will you get names for your email list, you will also get great feedback from customers about your products, services and processes.
  8. Offer an incentive to your employees. Want to grow your list? Get everyone involved. Run a contest or offer a bonus for each name added to your list.

There are lots of other ways to grow your email list. I am sure you have a few suggestions. Just leave them in the comment section below. And if you are looking for more new ideas, check out our list of 50 ways to grow your email list.