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89 Ways to Get Email Addresses for Newsletters & Marketing Campaigns

publication date: Jul 12, 2016
author/source: Mark Gottlieb

Mark The Marketer


Interested in increasing your ROI while further building your customer base and brand?  One of the best ways to accomplish this is by building an email list and emailing informative content (plus special promotions) regularly. This strengthens your relationship with customers and adds new ones. Implement several of the tips below and watch your customer base grow and grow.

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89 Ways to Get Email Addresses for Newsletters & Marketing Campaigns


  1. Keep it simple: Make it quick and easy to sign up by asking only for a first name and email address – not all the name, address and demographic details.
  2. Share With Your Network (SWYN): Include a SWYN or Share-to-Social functionality in your email, allowing subscribers to share your emails with their social networks. SWYN extends the reach of your message, helps to identify your influencers (who shares your emails the most), and allows you to grow your email list. Don’t forget to include an opt-in form for the recipients to sign up for future emails.
  3. Facebook email signup form: Include an opt-in form on your Facebook fan page. By offering unique content through each marketing channel, you’ll encourage your audience to want to connect with you in multiple places. Your Facebook fans may not be aware of your existing email program, so give them the option to sign up on your fan page. This article gives a great tutorial on the process of adding the signup form.
  4. Facebook updates and wall posts: Include links to your email subscription center in Facebook updates and wall posts. Do you have a Facebook page and an email subscription center? You should.  Alert your Facebook fans of upcoming campaigns, and direct them to your subscription center to sign up for more information.
  5. LinkedIn updates and email list URL on your LinkedIn profile page: Include links to your email subscription center and email newsletters in your LinkedIn updates. LinkedIn also allows you to include three web addresses at the top of your profile. Make one of them a link to your email subscription center/newsletter signup page.
  6. LinkedIn Groups: Offer a sign-up option to your contacts when participating and sharing information on LinkedIn Groups. You can join existing relevant groups or create your own to promote discussions about your company or industry. LinkedIn is especially helpful for enriching your email list with B2B contacts.
  7. YouTube: Add a link to your landing page and signup form under the video clip. The video should match the theme and motivate signing up for a company’s news.
  8. One-click signup with Facebook Connect: Use data-providing systems like Facebook Connect and very clear privacy instructions to allow people to sign up for mailing lists with one click. Make it simple to subscribe.
  9. Tweet: Tactfully and tastefully tweet about upcoming marketing initiatives and describe the benefits of signing up for future emails. Include shortened links to your subscription page. Mention email-only promotions and link registration-required content, such as manuals, webinars, and other useful information. A re-tweet contest is a great way to attract people to subscribe to newsletters. All participants need to do is re-tweet a message with a link to your landing page where they can subscribe for newsletters. Reward the most active ones with convenient prizes that fit the audience and your company image. You can even tweet articles of interest to your target market.
  10. For all social media sites: Link to your landing page with sign-up form should be added to your profile information in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others. Do it for both – company and private/professional profiles. And invite your colleagues to do the same. Make sure, there is a strong call to action in the landing page, so that people are really interested in signing up for your company’s email newsletters.
  11. PR: Invite editors on your PR media list to sign up for your newsletter email list. This can lead to a lot more free press including requests to write articles. Also tell editors about any content in your email newsletter that might be relevant to their readership, which might include items on their upcoming editorial calendars. You might want to reformat this relevant content to press release format (search engine optimized) and also email it to all other appropriate editors on your PR media list.
  12. Identify the websites and online publications that serve your geographical area, like your local newspaper’s website. Submit letters to the editor, post your comments on stories, and post on discussion forums. Promote your business and use a tagline, but keep the content relevant and not spam like.
  13. When interviewed by the press: Whenever you’re interviewed by the press, mention your free email newsletter.
  14. Reach out to key bloggers reaching your target market: Tell them about your email newsletter and provide links to your email subscription center.  Reach out to them about topics that might be of interest in each email newsletter issue. Positive comments from these bloggers can result in huge increase increases in your number of email newsletter subscribers fast since these are influencers.
  15. Post articles on article submission sites like EzineArticles.com: 400K+ authors share their articles here. Make sure you optimize the article for local search by working in references to your city, state, zip, phone number with area code and website. Include links to your email subscription center.
  16. Show examples of email campaigns on social networks: Give Twitter followers and Facebook fans a taste of the content you’ll provide in your email campaigns (share your emails with them via SWYN or link to past issues). This will entice them to sign up for more.
  17.  Host a professional group, chat, or local association: On sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, there are multiple opportunities to host live chats, discussion groups, and industry-specific conversations. Step to the plate, take charge, and see inquiries come to you as a recognized expert in your field.
  18.  Encourage email subscription on your blog: Include an email subscription center on your blog, and make sure it’s a prominent call to action that’s available in the content of your posts as well as in site navigation, so that everyone still see it.
  19. Republish email content on your blog and website: Do you have a great newsletter? Don’t hide it – publish newsletter articles and other information, and be sure to include a link to sign up for future emails. You might even want to allow other bloggers to post your content on their blogs. If they provide a link to your email newsletter, the reader should see links to your email subscription center.
  20. Include links to your email subscription center at the end of any comments you post on other blogs.  Make relevant comments and avoid posting blatant self-promotion or outright spam.
  21. Post insightful comments (not blatantly self-promotional postings) on blogs that your customers are likely to read: Always include a subtle mention of your newsletter (“As we shared last week in our newsletter on 89 Ways to Get Email Addresses for Newsletters & Marketing Campaigns…)”
  22. Include links to your email subscription center in any bios you post online – for example, if you’re an examiner.com topic expert. Guest blogging is another place where your bio information is important.
  23. Guest author for other blogs and publications: Share your expertise with your community, writing for other publications. Be sure to include links to your email subscription center as part of your bio and in all articles.
  24. Leverage all social networks: There are hundreds of social networks, from SlideShare to YouTube to specialized discussion forums. Find where your customers are, participate in the networks they participate in, and use those networks to grow your presence. Here’s a simple tip to try: ask your 50 best customers which social networks and groups they participate in, then go join those networks and groups. Like attracts like, so there’s a good chance more great future customers are on those networks.  On LinkedIn, you can see LinkedIn groups your best customers are a member of, assuming they have a LinkedIn account and are a member of their groups, on the bottom of their LinkedIn profile page.  You can find the most common groups they are a member of and join them. 
  25. Encourage employees to be active on social networks: The more people are talking about your brand, your products, and your industry, the more likely someone will reach out to you and find their way to your company. If appropriate for your corporate culture, set some internal policies and guidelines, and then encourage your employees to actively participate in social media, tactfully and tastefully evangelizing your business to their networks.
  26. Promote your subscription form: Include opt-in subscription forms on the top 15 pages of your website (including the home page) as determined by your web analytics. Make it stand out and provide a clear call to action. Place a subscription form at the end of every article to catch readers when they’re ready to take another action.
  27. Ask for a subscription during online checkout: For online transactions, ask customers at checkout if they want to receive future emails from you.
  28. Ask customers to subscribe as you ring up their orders: Provide a small registration blank next to the cash register or a bowl where they can leave a business card to subscribe (and enter a drawing)
  29. Add an email newsletter opt-in line on your credit card receipts. Customers   notice it as they file their receipts or prepare their expense reports.
  30. Provide obvious incentive: The easiest way to build a subscriber list is to tell people what’s in it for them. Give them clear, unmistakable value up front and people will sign up. In these days of information overload, you’ll have to explain the benefits of subscribing in a compelling way. Offer a white paper, free e-books, entry in a contest to win an iPhone, discount coupons, free targeted mobile phone application, the promise of Internet-only specials — something that your subscribers value. Continue to provide valuable content and they’ll stay with you after the incentive ends. Content is king!  For example, an email service provider might want to offer a relevant and useful gift in exchange for signing up such as 89 Ways to Get Email Addresses for Newsletters & Marketing Campaigns.
  31. Include content that is fresh and fun or interesting; this increases the likelihood that people will want to forward your email newsletter.
  32. Check the clickthroughs reported by your email service providers to tell which content is most interesting to your readers. Focus on future content that draws the greatest interest.
  33. Ask during webinar/online event signup: Host a webinar or live online event (concert, chat, panel, etc.) and include email list subscription as part of the sign-up process.
  34. Mention your free email newsletter at seminars and talks: Put the signup link on the last slide of your presentation. Pass around an email list sign-up sheet at all events where you’re speaking.
  35. Consider entrance or exit pop-ups: As soon as someone arrives or before someone leaves your site, consider having an in-page pop-up appear prompting them to subscribe to your list. Explain that you want to stay in touch and continue providing value to them.
  36. Include a subscription center: Make sure you have a subscription center on your website that allows subscribers to change their address, pause their subscription, and opt-down (rather than unsubscribe, just choose to hear from you less often). This makes your newsletter more professional as with the major publishers.
  37. Include testimonials on your email subscription page: Ask existing, engaged subscribers to write a short testimonial or film a video talking about how valuable your emails are. If prospects know that others find your emails valuable, they are more likely to sign up to receive your emails. What’s in it for them?
  38. Promote sign-ups via contests: Consider using a special contest for a highly desired prize to build your email list. Be aware that subscribers may not be as engaged or interested once the contest ends, so act quickly to provide obvious value to encourage subscribers to stick around.
  39. Make every form a subscription form: Make sure that every form on your website has email list subscription built into it. Capture and catch at every opportunity, not just on sales forms.
  40. Consider your domain name: If your domain name is especially hard to remember or is unclear when spoken, it will be that much harder for people to spread via word of mouth. At the very least, consider buying and redirecting a custom domain name for your email subscription center if your regular corporate domain name isn’t in your control.
  41. Make it easy to share: Include a Forward to a Friend (FTAF) and Share With Your Network (SWYN) link in all of your emails, not just marketing promotions.
  42. Ask people to share: Be direct. Be explicit. Ask people to forward and share your email. Give them obvious permission to do so – you’d be surprised how many people question whether it’s okay to forward, print, post, or repost an email.
  43. Make unsubscribing easy: It’s far better to lose a few subscribers than to be blacklisted for spam or not have your emails delivered, which can happen if people can’t find an unsubscribe link easily. Make unsubscribing easy and people won’t push the Mark as Spam button on you.
  44. Make the most of your unsubscribe: When someone is unsubscribing, take the time to get feedback from them about why. Ask a few short questions about the reasons they’re no longer interested in your emails and what would make them come back some day. Give them the option to keep in touch, and offer them the ability to “opt-down”, or subscribe to a less frequently-mailed list.
  45. Leverage transactions: When sending purchase confirmations or other transactional emails, make sure to invite customers to subscribe to your email list. Provide reasons and value for doing so, along with incentives. (Subscribe and receive x % off your next order). This can also be done in brick and mortar stores where at the end of the purchase receipt you provide a link to sign up for an email list and you receive X % off your next order for doing so. 
  46. If you are a retailer, have large signs in prominent places to promote your free email newsletter and distribute a flyer or postcard promoting your free email newsletter list in each customer’s bag or shipping box. 
  47. Display your domain on all printed materials with the benefits of your newsletter –  on sales collateral, fliers, bags, business cards, advertising, etc.
  48. Run a special for anyone who brings in a printout of your email newsletter to your brick and mortar locations or spots a “picture of a tick tack toe board” in your store – some hidden message, image or other feature in your newsletter.
  49. Collect email addresses at your place of business: Don’t overlook the in-store sign- up. Put a sign-up sheet on your checkout counters, front desk, customer service, product shelves, etc. – along with a clear, posted privacy policy. Offer coupons and discounts as incentives to encourage people to sign up.
  50. Periodically make hard copy newsletter samples available at your front desk and elsewhere in your brick & mortar location. Keep the samples updated with new materials.
  51. Ask for subscription after webinars: When following up with webinar registrants by email, be sure to send along more than just the slides and session materials. Ask registrants to subscribe to your email list, especially if your emails may cover future events.
  52. Sign it: Encourage or require (depending on your company culture and rules) employees to include a link to your subscription center in their email signature.
  53. Advertise in other email campaigns or swap this type of opportunity: Purchase advertising space in other newsletters. Purchase a guest issue with clear calls to action to subscribe in other newsletters. Note that this is not the same as list rental/list purchase.
  54. Reciprocal plugs  in complementary newsletters: Find newsletters you enjoy and ask the editors to plug your newsletter to their lists in exchange for you  plugging their newsletters to your list. This works best when your  list isn’t too much smaller than theirs.
  55. Send re-engagement email with incentives: When re-engaging a list you haven’t used in a while, lead with an incentive to maximize the impact on readers.
  56. Ask while on the phone: When speaking with a customer or prospect on the phone, ask them if they’d like to receive your emails. Provide telephone guidelines for employees to explain how to ask for an email list subscription during each call.
  57. Retailers get more catches per day with fishbowl campaigns: Retailers can do fishbowl campaigns offering those who agree to receive their store newsletter a chance to win a prize or store gift certificate.
  58. Business cards and company letterhead, envelopes, and forms: Include a link to your email subscription center on your company’s business cards, on return envelopes, invoices and other paperwork you provide to customers and vendors.
  59. T-shirts: Include a link to your email subscription center on t-shirts you and your staff wear and give t-shirts with this type of information as an incentive for signing up for your email newsletter which should lead to more email list subscribers as your customers and prospects become free walking billboards for you.  The t-shirts can also be given away as a tradeshow booth premium.
  60. Ask at events, mixers, conferences, and tradeshows: When talking with someone at your tradeshow booth (or while passing in the hall of a conference), ask them if they’d like to receive more information from you. Include a fishbowl or signup sheet with a published privacy policy and opt-in notice.
  61. Sponsor/host an event that requires registration: The event could range from the simple (Tweetup) to the more complex (3-day conference). Display and set privacy expectations, then collect registration information.
  62. Talk about your email subscription center while speaking at events: If your employees or executives speak at industry events, they should mention your email campaigns and direct audience members to your website and/or email subscription center. You can even include a unique URL at the end of your presentation deck. Ideally use an easy to remember, easy to repeat URL.
  63. InPerson (LinkedIn) and Poken: While at events, consider using services like In Person from LinkedIn or Poken as a way of connecting with others quickly. Ask for their email address and if you can add them to your list.
  64. Advertise your email subscriptions in dead zones: Dead zones are places where people have time to spare and can’t go anywhere. Southwest Airlines does a great job advertising their email list on their monitors while you’re waiting to board the plane. Where else are people captive audiences? You might even want to mention your free email newsletter in the “on hold” recording that plays while callers are waiting. Make sure you tell them how to sign up.
  65. Promote your email marketing communications with direct mail: If you send snail mail (postal mail), alert recipients of your email program. Whether you send a brochure, catalog, billing information, or any other type of communication, direct recipients to your website to sign up for your emails. Tell them why they should want to receive emails from you and entice them to sign up. You might even want to send a postcard mailing specifically to promote your email list.
  66. Offer mobile subscription via text message: If you’ve got a strong mobile program, you may already have a short code available. Let prospective customers subscribe to your lists via short code (e.g. text your email address to 21411) and capture them on the spot. This is especially effective when people are standing around for a bit.
  67. Investigate 2D barcodes and QR: Mobile phones with cameras are just beginning to adopt Quick Response codes or 2D barcodes. Generate a QR code and include it any place people are likely to be using mobile phones with cameras and QR applications, even the back of your business cards. To learn about 103 Ways to Use QR Codes to Drive Sales and More, see this blog of mine at http://tinyurl.com/7kdpp62
  68. Use a mobile application to collect email addresses: At a tradeshow or conference? Use an iPhone app (or other platform application) to take new subscribers on the spot, rather than waiting to do data import later. Be sure, of course, that a privacy notice is displayed prominently and clearly. Read more about this tip in action.
  69. Optimize for mobile: Ensure that all of your email marketing efforts have mobile versions and are well-optimized for the mobile reader. Include phone numbers in standard formats in your messages so that when forwarded, others can call you. Make links for Forward to a Friend and Share With Your Network obvious and near the top of your message so mobile readers don’t have to scroll far to use them. 
  70. Targeted, timely, and valuable: Offer valuable, unique content that your email recipients can’t get anywhere else. Be sure that it’s targeted (specific content for them), timely (sent when they are most likely to interact), and valuable (something they want/need).The more valuable your emails are, the more people will sign up to receive them.
  71. Identify, contact, and engage your brand advocates: Do you have people singing your praises to their networks for free? Reward them. Develop some inclusive network they can be a part of. Run contests to reward their advocacy. Buy them lunch and listen to their ideas. Give them t-shirts and free iTunes downloads. Above all, listen to them.
  72. Prioritize retention: If you have to choose between attracting new subscribers and retaining the ones you have, focus your efforts on keeping things fresh and interesting for your existing subscribers. It’s usually much more valuable (and cost-effective) to keep existing customers happy than it is to prospect for new ones.
  73. Capitalize on buzz: Are people talking about you, your brand, company, and/or products? Convert as much of that attention as possible to subscribers while you have the spotlight. Make sure any specialized landing pages on your website highlight an email signup so that interested passersby can be contacted after the spotlight moves on.
  74. Search engine optimize (SEO) your newsletter page: Optimize your email subscription center for keywords related to your area of expertise and email, such as “e-mail marketing newsletter” or “entrepreneur newsletter”. Let the search engines do the work for you and drive new potential subscribers to the page where they can sign up to be on your email list.
  75. Post a free classified ad about your email newsletter on CraigsList in the cities you wish to target.  Be careful with the spammers that Craigslist can attact.
  76. Treat your free email newsletter just like any other product or service: Develop a marketing calendar with specific activities that runs throughout the year.
  77. Whet thy appetite before you get: Show potential subscribers a sample of your email newsletter so they can see it’s informative and not a sales pitch.
  78. Approach local employers and offer to let them send your email newsletter to their employees: Important: it needs to be informative, not blatantly self-promotional.
  79. When your customers place an order, train your staff to confirm their current email address and double-check that they’re on your email list. Also ask for their name and email address if they are simply placed an inquiry.
  80. Use your email as your “default” customer communication tool: For example, if you’re running a contest to count the number of shirts in a display, make sure everyone knows that “Next Monday, check out the winners in our free weekly email newsletter. If you’re not getting it, sign up at…”
  81. Put pictures and names (“Bob R.”) of your customers and employees in the newsletter so that featured people are likelier to forward it. People like to see themselves in print and let their network know about it.
  82. Buy a 30 – 60 second radio ad that sends people to a sign-up page for your newsletter. Include business name, address, telephone number and your key message – and mention your web address at least twice. Offer a relevant and useful freebie in exchange for the signup.
  83. Promote your email newsletter with ads in weekly shoppers, local magazine ads, coupon packs, and door hangers.  These are inexpensive ways to target a local market.
  84. Consider billboard advertising if you can make your newsletter pitch in about 7 words and include the domain name. Rates are usually cheaper at the end of the month – or you can use a pay-by-the-day billboard.
  85. Produce banner ads that drive email newsletter subscriptions and choose their placements carefully for maximum benefit. Good graphics and wording will attract eyeballs and clicks!
  86. Co-registration: Using  RegReady, advertising clients syndicate their opt-in offer(s) across their choice of websites within RegReady’s online publisher network while publishing partners create a new revenue stream from this process. This  “win-win” process is called co-registration.  If done correctly, co-registration has      proven to be the most efficient method of growing a true opt-in email list. Be careful, however, since co-registration subscribers often don’t  realize what they’ve really signed up for, may not be well targeted, and  may unsubscribe or go dormant quickly. Monitor these subscribers carefully.
  87. Have foreign language versions of your email newsletter: If you are targeting global markets where English is not the primary language for a fairly large % of your audience, have the newsletter translated into their native language.
  88. Rent some lists: Use an expert list broker who can help you navigate through the 60K+ lists out there and find you the best suited ones to sell some of your offerings and build your email list.  This is how I found a group of email lists that generated a $700K profit on a $200K investment in a single campaign. This increased an email list by 20K in size in a highly targeted group of professionals with tremendous lifetime value (LTV).To read more about how I did this and my experience in doing so, please see the following blog entries of mine: http://tinyurl.com/7s252yl and http://tinyurl.com/7v4poy6. I was amazed when I recently saw an email list at a firm run by some of the smartest people in the direct marketing business with 35 million email records. See http://tinyurl.com/7azoqgt.
  89. Honor your privacy and trust commitments: Set clear privacy and delivery expectations up front, then live up to your promises with your audience. Do so and they’ll remain yours for as long as you honor their trust. Break your promises and you’ll lose your audience and reputation with lightning speed. As email marketing evolves, trust and reputation will be the cornerstones of deliverability, so put earning and keeping trust at the top of your strategic priorities.Can you think of other good ways to build your email list?

About Mark Gottlieb

Accomplished, out-of-the-box thinking marketing professional with broad digital, B2B, B2C, and global marketing experience, who has been known to increase campaign profits by as much as 800% during the worst economic times since the 1930s, negotiate 80% cost reductions on key lists and other costs, and develop creative tests that beat profitable controls by 50%.

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