20 Ways of Capturing Email Addresses

Mon, Mar 9, 2009

Email Marketing

For your e-marketing website to be successful it must compel people to take action, even if they’ve only interacted it once. Why would you want anyone to visit your website without having that visit result in a response–such as paying for your product or service, or joining your mailing list/e-newsletter?

Unfortunately having the fanciest whiz-bang interface online isn’t going to be enough to generate a response from your prospects reliably. Even getting bookmarked isn’t going to cut it. Contemporary studies have shown that people’s bookmark lists  have become sprawling, disorganised collections of sites that are rarely returned to.

The fact is, if you’re selling something on your site it’s unlikely that more than 5 per cent of your website visitors will ever buy it. The question is, what happens to the 95% of visitors who come, see, and leave? For most online businesses, nothing. They’re gone forever. And that’s why it’s absolutely essential for your website to have an email opt-in mechanism.

People rarely buy anything from anyone the first time they encounter them. No trust has been established, and people often want to consider their purchases carefully whilst not under the direct scrutiny of vendors. Rather than having someone walk away and leave you with nothing, ask them for something. Something easy. Ask them to give your their email address. It’s a straightforward, non-threatening way to begin a commercial relationship.

Now there are a lot of ways to request an email address, and not all of them have to involve  a website directly. I’m going to list 20 of them here, with brief elaboration on each one. Feel free to pick and choose from amongst the ones that might apply to your business, as they’re unlikely all to.

Ask visitors to subscribe to your e-zine.
Tempt them with a freebie. This might be a free software tool, a white paper, a consultation, a free ebook, or perhaps a coupon for a discount on some product or service. Put a sign-up button or banner on every page of your site, not just on your home page. Consider making it possible for people to sign up right on the page instead of forcing them to click a banner or button. The easier it is, the more opt-ins you’ll get.

Offer your visitors a free membership to your web site
One that will provide additional benefit/functionality to them. Require their email address in order to provide them with a user name and password.

Hold a free contest or sweepstakes at your web site.
Ask visitors to give you their contact information in order to enter.

Offer your visitors a free consultation via e-mail.
Have them fill out a web form to e-mail you with their questions.

Hold an interactive poll on your web site.
Ask your visitors to e-mail you their vote or opinion.

Have visitors fill out a survey on your web site.
Give them a free gift as an incentive to complete the form.

Allow visitors to submit a free classified ad on your web site.
Require them to give a valid e-mail address (send an email to confirm it) in order to post an ad.

Give people who visit your web site a free course (send it via autoresponder).
Just ask them to fill out their contact information to receive the free course.

Offer your visitors free software to download.
Have them sign-up to get an access code to unlock the software.

Viral marketing.
A popular method is promoting the “forward to a friend” feature. Another effective viral technique is offering an incentive or reward for each new email address generated by an existing customer. Examples might include making a donation to charity; offering additional sweepstakes entries; and providing free email service from your domain name.

Ask your visitors to sign-up for a chance to get a web site award.
Have them e-mail you their contact and web site information.

Offer a free online service from your web site.
Have visitors fill out their contact information to sign-up to the free service.

Ask visitors to sign your guest book and require their email address for this.
It may help here to also offer a freebie in return.

Establish an affiliate program for your visitors.
They will have to sign-up in order to receive marketing materials and commissions.

Ask for email addresses during customer service calls and phone orders.
Be sure to explain to customers/subscribers how their email address will be used once collected, to avoid any privacy issues.

Trial an email request field on your order form.
Obviously if this depresses your sales, it’s better not to do it, but it can certainly be worth trialling.

Request email addresses on invoices and statements.
It’s usually better to put such a request directly on the invoice or statement, rather than including an insert. Inserts can increase postage and are easy for your customers to discard without viewing.

Use a pop-up or pop-under box to request email addresses.
They are annoying, but they do work. You can use cookies to control how often/when visitors to your site see the box and also to rotate any messages it might display.

Sponsor an online forum or a webcast.
Require people to give your their email address to register for participation or attendance.

Consider partnering with similar sites.
Create an opt-in offer that results in a shared list. The key here is to make sure your sites have similar traffic levels, so that one partner doesn’t feel disadvantaged by the other.

I hope this article has given you some great ideas about how you can capture your prospect’s email addresses, feel free to add any I’ve missed in your comments. Next week: Introducing Google Website Optimizer. Stay tuned!

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10 Responses to “20 Ways of Capturing Email Addresses”

  1. James Says:

    Thanks, Just what I was looking for, how to capture emails without being a douche about it!

    Reply

  2. Lifestyle Magazine Says:

    thanks to come my page……really thoughts……
    http://www.getallabout.com

    Reply

  3. Iris Says:

    Now I know. Lol. I shouldn’t be just put emails on some sort of forms. Gotta ba a ot of spammers out there.

    Reply

  4. Boston Wonders Says:

    just want to show some appretiation, i visit every now and again to stay with the current news.

    Reply

  5. Jordan Says:

    An excellent and rather simple way to start a business or add income flow to your existing business is to start an affiliate business. An affiliate business offers an individual the opportunity to become an affiliate, or business sales partner. An affiliate is paid a certain amount of money for either a click through from the partnering web site; a fixed amount for a lead generated by an ad on the affiliate’s web site; or a percentage of a purchase made by a visitor as a result of a click through created by the affiliate.

    Reply

  6. Fast Credit Repair Blog Says:

    I really dig your info! Thanks!

    Reply

  7. Luigi Fulk Says:

    Hi, I have been heavy into SEO lately particularly link building and every little bit on info that can help me get top rankings and traffi chelps.

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  8. Kate Lee Says:

    I found your blog on Google. I’ve bookmarked it and will watch out for your next blog post.

    Reply

  9. Leonardo Gevorkian Says:

    Many thanks for discussing such an insightful article with all of us. I’ve bookmarked your blog will come back for a re-read again. Keep up the great work. We have a Dan Kennedy Copywriting seminar that we offer to our customers you can check it out here Copywriting Course Visit This

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  10. NanoGreens Says:

    That’s nice, but where do we get the code from that captures the email addresses on your website? Is there a place to get code from without hiring a web designer?
    .-= NanoGreens´s last blog ..Colostrum and NanoPro =-.

    Reply

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