How can I collect email addresses for my business?

April 19th, 2022

Collecting email addresses, whether of your existing customers or potential customers, is sign of good, forward-thinking marketing - like the client who sent us the email below.

You can do a lot of high-quality marketing with an email list, but how do you go about gathering those email addresses from targeted individuals?

Let's start with your existing customers. Maybe you want to gather the email addresses of your current customers in order to keep them updated on your latest product or service offerings, or upsell them on new or improved features.

It's likely that you have some sort of method of collecting these email addresses given how much email is already integrated in our day-to-day lives. But if you don't already have them, you could send communication via mail, phone or on location about making all of your future communication or bill payment electronic. I'm sure you've received something like this before:

sign up for bill payment online example

If the City of Downey (in the example) didn't have your email address before, they captured it as soon as you signed up for the online bill payment!

In most cases, your existing customers won't hesitate to give you their email address as long as you're promising to provide value in return. In this case, online bill payment is really convenient, so the customer benefits and so does the City of Downey.

What can you offer you existing customers that would make it a no-brainer to give you their email addresses?

What about your business prospects or potential customers?

This is quite a bit more difficult since you haven't yet established that relationship or connection with them yet. However, the general rule is still the same - you need to offer something of value that, to the individual, is worth the price of giving up their email address.

Here are a few examples that have been successful in the past:

  • Content in the form of a free ebook or guide to something that is relevant to your business. For example, if you're in the gardening industry, could you put together some sort of mini-book that includes high-quality information about being a better gardener? You can promote that book on your website or social media channels where each individual who sends you their email address will receive an email with a link to the ebook download page.
  • Promote the value that your newsletter (or whatever it is that you decide to do with your email list) offers to its subscribers, and see if users will simply sign up for it.
  • Offer some sort of promotion, such as by signing up users will have access to a certain level of discount or deal on your products or services.
  • Conduct some sort of event (in-person, online) that requires registration.

There are a lot of creative ways that you could provide value to your potential customers in order to retrieve their email address.

However, it's important that you don't trick your audience into giving up their email address, or purchase a list. It's illegal to send emails to users who didn't sign up to receive emails from you. And, even if you never get in trouble for it, the quality of the email addresses will be extremely low.

Think about what value you can provide, and if you find something then your audience will gladly give you their email address.

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