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There’s a wide variety of ways in which you capture readers, and how you get their data, their details.
For example, I’m a reader of a website called, The Next Web, they talk about new technology, and digital marketing, and social media and the other day I was on Twitter and I saw a tweet from them and it had a Twitter Card. Now, a Twitter Card looks pretty much like any other regular tweet, except it has a call to action built into it, or something special that makes it stand out from a regular tweet. And this particular one, from The Next Web, had a little link that I could click on saying, “Do you approve to send your email address?” And it didn’t say this on the Twitter Card. It just said, “Click to subscribe.” But when you click to subscribe, it basically sends your email address that is on your Twitter account directly to The Next Web, to populate and subscribe you to this particular newsletter that they wanted you to subscribe to. It’s a great way to build an email list as a marketer, as an advertiser.
Now, what are some of the attributes of a good signup form, things that you want to think about in terms of making it easy for your audience?
Make it simple, make it easy and make it non-intrusive for your reader when it comes to your data capturing methods.
Customer touchpoints are places where customers will interact with you. Think of them as entry places, the places where they’ll come in and interact with your company and maybe buy something, or meet people, or read your content.
From e-commerce to an actual physical store, the Sales Department is historically the place where your customers interacted with you first and foremost. And it could be in a physical location, or it could be in a digital location. But again, these are those common touchpoints for your customers.
These are the people who will be getting the word out about your company, your services, your products, and so on. And it’s their job to make sure that your content, your name, your branding, your imagery, and your ads are getting out there. A lot of times, customers might come through sort of the front door of data capturing, via marketing. And that’s fine and it happens a lot. You want people to be able to come in whichever way works for them.
There are a lot of conferences and there are a lot of events, and at events you’ve got people coming up to your table, coming up to your booth. Maybe there’s email lists for a conference and you can ask people, “Hey, do you want to opt in to this other email list associated with our company?” Conferences are a great way, because you have an audience of readers who match up with your content. If people come to a conference, they already have a natural affinity or an interest in a particular area. And you can then align those people with your email list. It’s so much better because it gives you a richer email list than just a sort of broad net that you might have cast it.
There are also various meeting points with customers. There is a wide array of ways in which you connect with customers. It actually doesn’t really matter how you connect. What matters is the funnel in which you capture their data. You capture their details, and then you align that with their particular affinity or interest with whatever it is that you’re trying to generate and do from a strategic level with your email list.
This is all about incentivizing opt-ins, and getting people to opt in with the goal at the end of the day of getting more and more email addresses.
So how do you do this? You can offer something of value as an exchange. This is an effective way of collecting someone’s email address. You’ve got to give them something in return for something. And the something that you want is their email.
Common products and services offered in exchange for an email address include the following:
A lot of times that’s the thing that motivates people kind of beyond the fact that you may have great content, you may have great information, you may have the best newsletter, or your email might be a thing that everybody wants to read. But if they don’t know about it, if they don’t know why they should be reading it, you might have to incentivize them a little bit at the beginning to opt in and these are some things to think about.
You can use email collection software. These are companies that you can use to collect emails, that will help you in this process. They’re certain software solutions and they can basically set up a specific page for a pop-up. You may have seen this when you’re browsing the web, where an email, a little box pops up and it says here we’re going to collect some details.
Some of the companies that are involved in this activity are:
This is just a snapshot of some of the ones that are available, but you can just Google this, too. There’s a lot of companies that come up that do this.
Remember, it’s not necessarily how you collect that’s important. It’s about why you’re collecting, what you’re trying to accomplish, and then who’s going to help you achieve your goals.Back to Top
Eric Stoller is a Higher Education Strategic Communications Consultant and Blogger at Inside Higher Ed. With a background in student affairs, academic advising, wellness, technology, and communications, Eric educates clients and audiences on digital identity development. As a blogger, he generates conversations, answers questions, and provides insight about a variety of tech topics, including Social Media Strategies and Email Marketing.
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