Save a Tree - Please Don’t Print Me.
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Ask for Permission
Prospects visit your website or walk through the
door of your business on a daily basis. How many
of them become a customer at that moment?
We’d guess most of them don’t. So how can you
make it more likely they’ll return and become
a customer down the line? Easy answer – ask
for their contact information, and give them a
good reason to provide it. Getting permission to
contact a potential customer puts the ball in your
We don’t mean to suggest that you ask for
the full postal address with work and home phone numbers. Their ﬁrst name and email
address is all you need to start building the relationship, but other bits of fun information
can help create great marketing offers as well.
If you have a website, create an opt-in form to capture contact details online. If you have
a storefront, you can use a guestbook or ﬁsh bowl to collect business cards. If you talk
to prospective customers on the phone, you can simply ask them. Just remember that
the barrier to entry should be as low as possible, so the less contact info you request the
easier it will be to build your list. Asking for unnecessary information like phone numbers
(unless you need this info for a real reason) will lead people to wonder why you’re asking
for so much and make them less likely to sign-up or join the list. You can always ask for
more information once they know you better or after they become a customer.
Remember to be up front with how you plan to use the information you collect. If you’re
going to send out a newsletter, then let customers know when they can expect to hear
from you. If you’re going to send special offers, be explicit wherever you ask for information
so they can see the beneﬁt of signing up. Your email content provides added value
to potential subscribers in exchange for their willingness to share their details. When
For permission-based email
marketing to work, it must be: