Email is one of the best methods for getting in touch with your customers again – in fact over 70% of consumers preferred to hear from brands via email. Email marketing still offers small and local business a cost-effective way to create sustainable, high-value relationships with consumers. In order to build an effective email marketing program, you have to start collecting your customer’s email.
But the art of asking for someone’s contact information is complex and sometimes tricky. There are plenty of opportunities and ways to ask for a customer’s email and keep in touch – the question is which ones are the best for you and where to start?
Do’s and Don’ts of Asking for a Customer’s Email
Do: offer an incentive.
As you can imagine, people are willing to give you information if they believe it will benefit them down the road. Offering simple incentives like special offers and promotions, early access to your services, and birthday and anniversary gifts is a particularly motivating way to get people to sign up.
Don’t: ask for an email address by promising things you can’t deliver.
No matter your offer, it’s incredibly important to keep to your promises. If you say you will send special discounts and offers but only use your email list to send product updates and newsletters, your customers will be frustrated and have a bad association with your brand. Even if they do enjoy the content, the fact that you’re delivering something other than what was promised and expected creates a poor user experience.
Do: take it offline.
Keep physical sign up forms near the check-in and check-out points. For most businesses, this can look like a clipboard at the front desk or maybe a fishbowl to collect business cards. Think about where your customers are most likely to have the time to sign up (waiting for paperwork, waiting for a table, etc) and keep your sign up forms near by.
Don’t: be too aggressive.
It’s great to be upfront and ask several times over (after all, it is said that people need to see something 7 times before they recognize it and become familiar with it). Don’t be shy about having a sign up form when they check in and when they leave. But there is a fine line between getting your message in front of your customer and being too aggressive.
In my opinion, a business is too aggressive with asking for my email when it is required to do basic transactions such as paying for a good or service in store (online purchases are okay and even required as most receipts and confirmations need to be sent to the customer) or visiting your website.
Building a positive relationship with your customer is a holistic experience that is often measured by the smallest of interactions. Even something as simple as making the transaction of sharing an email can be the difference between a customer choosing you over your competitor.