Don’t underestimate the rewards of continuous offline email collection! If properly done, in conjunction with your website signup form, your email list will grow much faster and become a valuable asset to your business. It will in return boost your email marketing efforts.
However, be careful and be clear about what you will be sending. Make sure that the email addresses you collect are from people that actually want to be on your mailing list. It is very important that you set up clear expectations of what you will be sending, what content, promotions or communications your subscriber’s can expect to receive from you and how often. They’ll be less inclined to unsubscribe or report you as SPAM, if they know who you are and expect to hear from you in their inbox.
For example, the business cards collected at a trade show or event are great for networking, but it might not be such a good idea to add these to your email list, unless they specifically gave you the permission to add them. But a “Join our mailing list” signup sheet or comment cards that clearly let customers know they will be added to your email list will work great and show the best results.
There are various other great ways to collect email addresses offline like a “Signup to your email list” at the cash register, or as part of a cashier’s request to jot down a customer email address, or even as part of a receipt or bill. … whichever method you use, remember to always ask the simple question of was it CLEAR TO THAT PERSON THAT THEIR EMAIL ADDRESS WILL BE ADDED TO YOUR EMAIL LIST?
You can be as creative as you’d like, but always make sure that you are getting their permission to email them 🙂