Get Subscribers Offline

How about offline strategies to get subscribers on your list?

Apparently, nearly half of marketers are already doing so, according to Marketing Sherpa, a research firm.

The benefit is that these off-the-screen techniques are free, and they don’t require any technical knowledge either. They simply require a few human skills.

It all comes down to this: you’re talking to someone, often a stranger, who is interested in what you do, and you ask them if they would like to be on your awesome mailing list.

More often than not, they’ll happily join.

Offline occasions are plenty:

  1. At the cashier
  2. Conferences
  3. Local meet ups
  4. Over the phone
  5. In your email’s signature (not offline, but a conversation nonetheless!)

Now that you convinced the stranger to be on your list, they need to give you their name and email address.

Let’s jump straight to the ideas of formats, will you?

The note pad, the real one

Email list on note pad

This is the classic I love to see when I’m about to pay at the cashier. I’ve seen them in hairdressers, coffee shops, theaters, and even bakeries.

Business owners who have put this in place know the power of a good mailing list.

The only short fall is that some cashiers forget to ask you about it. A missed opportunity!

Loyalty programs

Loyalty cards

Business owners love returning customers. In return, those customers like to feel privileged. A customer loyalty program links the two.

If you already have one, simply ask your loyal customers if they also want to be on your mailing list. This is what our favorite wine seller does, see the case study.

Or even better, and if you have time, ask them if they want to be included in your special list for loyal customers. Everybody secretly enjoys exclusivity.

Read up on this great post from HelpScout on optimizing your customer loyalty program.

Club’s presence list

Email list sheet made with Excel

I’m a member of my local astronomy club. They are utterly old school in so many ways. Yet, these guys from another generation have a terrific weekly newsletter.

To get on their list, members have to leave their names and emails on a list quite similar to this one.

Easy and efficient. All clubs should have one circulating, at every meetings.

Good old fish bowl

Fish bowl with business cards

A word of caution caution: fish bowls are often associated to draws. Those who throw in their business cards expect to win a prize instead of receiving your newsletter.

Obviously for some, this is old school, and not recommended.

This said, go ahead, try it, as long as you clearly state the intended purpose.

Where to place this fish-less bowl?

  • Near the cashier
  • Somewhere else in your shop
  • Conference registration booth
  • Hotel lobby, if you own a hotel of course

Email signatures

Email signature with sign up form

If you’re having lots of email exchanges at your workplace everyday, then add a link to a page with a subscription in your signature.

On this page, the subscription form should add the subscribers to a dedicated list in MailPoet. You’ll quickly see how much people are joining your list through your signature.

For example, Eric Ward, an SEO expert, has a paid mailing list. All his emails include a link to his signup page.

On your business cards

Some people think business cards are dead. Others disagree, and make a living out of them with apps.

Whatever your stance is, if you distribute cards, you might want to put a link to a landing page.

After all, a contact that’s really interested in your story might not email you or call you regularly to get an update. But he might sign up.

This is particularly true for self-employed professionals, real estate folks, coaches, and consultants that publish regularly.

Engage immediately, stamina required

Once your customer or stranger has agreed to get on your list, don’t hesitate sending them a welcome email immediately.

You can set this up in MailPoet with automatic emails. Here’s how.

Adding a new subscriber in your admin will send the automatic email. Pretty neat.

Moreover, building an email list full of engaged subscribers takes time and patience. Your offline efforts should help your improved online forms in that regard.

Small business owners can set themselves small weekly goals. Twenty new subscribers per week is not far fetched. In a year, that’s 1000 subscribers, which is no small audience.

We’d love to see some examples! Send us pics of your offline tactics, or put them links in the comments below.

Want to learn more about signup forms and capturing emails? Check out our guide on improving signup forms.

Oh, are you signed up to our own mailing list?