HomeNewPandaGeneral QuestionsHow do I ask people for their Email address?

11.9. How do I ask people for their Email address?

Posted 08.24.10

NewPanda isn't just for eMarketing, but that's a main feature of our product.  So how do you get people to give you their email addresses?  Here are several ideas and some great tips for enhancing your Email list with accurate information and keeping your unsubscribes low.

First, The logic:  If providing my email address to you means I'll get a benefit, I'm in.  Yes, I want to know about sales events.  Yes, I want discount offers.  Yes, I want to know the status of my concert ticket purchase or plane reservation or merchandise order.  But if the offer sounds like it will benefit YOU, I probably won't bite. 

"Can I have" benefits YOU.    "I would love to give you" benefits ME.

1. Offer people an opportunity to receive valuable information from you via email.  Tell them what
    you'll be sending them, how the information will benefit them, and approximately how often they'll
    hear from you.  Then do exactly what you say.  No more, no less. 

    Compare that to this:  

        You:  "Say, can I get your email address?"  

        Contact's thinking bubble:  Why?  Why do you want my email address?  How many emails I
        don't care about are you going to send me?  How many other people are you going to give or
        sell my email address to?  I'll probably never be able to make those messages stop coming
        and there'll probably be like six a day and they'll multiply when I'm not looking and I'm so busy
        and I get so many messages I don't want already and...

        Contact's talking bubble: "NO!!!  No, you cannot have my email address!  EVER!!!"

2. Provide a quick and simple way for eRecipients to opt out if they change their mind, and tell them
    about it as you ask for their email address.  (There's a handy Unsubscribe link on every eMessage
    you send through your NewPanda tools.)  If you're sending other eCommunications through other
    platforms, make sure there's an Unsubscribe link or a way for your recipients to request to be
    removed from future eMessages.

3. Don't send your recipients eMessages they did not ask for or are not expecting.  Segment your
    recipients if you have different groups that should receive eCommunications about different
    subjects.  Don't blanket everyone regardless.  Your contacts want to hear from you when you
    have important and appropriate information, but if you send them too much too often that's not
    applicable, they're going to Unsubscribe.

4. Periodically send all your contacts a list of the eCommunications that may be appropriate for them
    along with their frequency rates, and have them respond to tell you which ones they'd like to
    receive from you.  That's called Permission-Based emailing, folks!  (An added benefit: it keeps
    you up-to-date on each contact's current needs and interests.  Use that information to stay on
    target with your contacts as their needs change!)

Now the ideas.  Keep the suggestions above in mind for each of your opt-in vehicles.

1. Offer an opt-in feature on your web site. 

2. Have a manual sign-up form at your place of business, or bring one with you when making "public

3. In one-on-one conversations (in person or via telephone), ask the individual if there is an email
    address at which they would like to receive important updates (about their purchase, the item of
    interest you've been discussing, eCoupons, you get the picture) or other information.

"Hey!  What about offering a free lunch or something to people if they provide their email address?" Ummmm, not so much really.  How many times have you personally said, "There's no free lunch!"  Most people weigh the tradeoff of an offer like that, like this:  "Let's see... I could possibly receive ONE free lunch for giving you my precious email address, but I will definitely receive who knows how many  eMessages from you and whoever else you decide to share my email address with, for who knows how long, and I probably won't be able to unsubscribe even if I want to.  BOY I hope I win that free lunch!!"  So, yeah, not much incentive. 

On the other hand, if you explain that they may receive email from you once per (name your frequency) about (name your topic) from you and only you and never anyone else, and they can opt out whenever they want, it may just work.  Depending on your unique circumstances, a chance for a free lunch may be a great source of email addresses, or a complete bust. 

We really like the approach of offering people an opportunity to receive appropriate emails from you on a not-overly-frequent basis, from which they can easily unsubscribe whenever they want, no gimmicks or tricks - and then doing what you promised.  Because that's how we roll.

Have more ideas we could share?  Send them in.



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