Eight Ways to Take Names

Viable email addresses are a valuable commodity; each name represents a potential sale to the e-business owners who implement e-marketing campaigns. With inboxes becoming more crowded and Internet users becoming more possessive of their personal information, it is becoming increasingly difficult to collect names in a permission-based manner.

Here are some creative methods for getting your visitors to opt-in to your list:

  1. A sign-up box. One on every page of the site can inspire subscriptions.
  2. A pop-up window. Visitors might be more likely to subscribe through a window that pops up when they exit, rather than when they enter, since they’ve already spent some time at the site and determined whether they would be potential customers.
  3. Contests/sweepstakes. Entrants are apt to give a primary email address so they can receive notification of winning.
  4. Giveaways/free offers/loyalty programs. The possibility of getting something for nothing can entice visitors to part with their information.
  5. “Insider” unadvertised specials. Invite your visitors to join this exclusive list.
  6. Required with sale. Request an email addresses along with all the other billing information. Make sure to include a box that lets the customer check “yes” to receiving additional mail from your site.
  7. Customer service inquiries. Contacts with your staff, either through email or Web-based forms, should include email subscribe information.
  8. Recommend-a-friend. Offer some incentive for your subscribers to suggest the email addresses of anyone they think will enjoy your messages. Rather than automatically subscribing those who were recommended, send them an invitation that uses the friend’s email address.

Don’t attempt to trick visitors into giving up their information, and don’t make it difficult for them to unsubscribe. Your professional reputation is not worth adding a few extra names to your list.

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