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Newsletter #743: The “Get Their Email Offline” Issue

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When you have permission to email your fans, you're able to send them regular, relevant content forever. Even with all the fancy tools out there, a great list of email subscribers is unbeatable. Ask offline with these tips:

   1> With the receipt
   2> With the guestbook
   3> With the fishbowl
   4> Check it out: 30 high-speed bullet photos

1> With the receipt

How many times a day do you ask for a signature on a receipt? And, how many times do you ask for an email on that same receipt? Five Star Bar in Chicago offers customers the chance to submit their email on every receipt they hand out — just below the signature line. It's a fantastic, polite way to let someone who just made a purchase from them sign up for future news and insider deals. You could apply this thinking not only to your receipts, but to your invoices, your comment cards, your napkins — everywhere.

The Lesson: If the customer already has a pen in hand, why not give them the opportunity to leave an email address?  

2> With the guestbook

Offer your in-person guests the chance to give you their email with the classic guestbook. Professional photographer Paul Shatz uses this simple technique in his booths at various art festivals he attends. The book is a simple way for Paul to keep in touch with folks that like his work, and it's fun for festival attendees to thumb through to see where others that signed the book might be from. If your business has a lot of foot traffic, try putting a guestbook out where everyone can see it and fans of your stuff can volunteer their email addresses.  

The Lesson: A guestbook is a fantastic way to show some passive word of mouth (by showing all the other fans that have signed up) as well as a subtle way to invite folks to join your mailing list.  

3> With the fishbowl  

Make it easy for customers to leave their business cards (along with their email addresses) with a simple fishbowl near the register. Chipotle puts one right out front for people to drop in their cards for a chance to win free lunch for the office. Put your fishbowl up near the register (where everyone is already opening their wallets and purses) with a simple sign saying what you'll do with the information on the cards and why everyone should throw theirs in.  

The Lesson: Asking for business cards is still one of the best ways to get permission to email your customers.

4> Check it out: 30 high-speed bullet photos

Check out an amazing mix of art and physics in the form of high-speed photography: Bullets going through stuff. In some fantastic photos taken at the instant of destruction, you'll see stuff like beer cans, crayons, fruit, and Christmas ornaments in mid-explosion.

Check it out:

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  1. Rick Falls September 2, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    Ah yes, it’s the simple things that tend to work so well in life and in business.
    People who are in the process of paying you are usually happy and satisfied and there won’t be many better opportunities to ask for permission to expand your relationship with them.
    Great post, thanks for keeping it simple and doable for everyone.

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