4 Characteristics of Effective Email List-Building at Events
I previously outlined a simple 3-pronged approach to building an email list at events using a tablet form, a QR code or short URL, and social media (and your website, with a caveat). Naturally, there’s more to the process than just creating the opportunity and hoping for the best. To make the most of those efforts, your process should have the following characteristics:
- Signing up must be worth their attention. They’re breaking away from whatever they’re doing at the event, even if only for a moment, so make sure you do something to incentivize that action. Enter subscribers into a drawing, promise a free download, or simply promote the added value of being on the email list (news about products or services, interesting articles, time and place of next events, or exciting upcoming announcements that email subscribers will get to hear about before anyone else).
- The sign-up method must be clearly visible. Whichever sign up method you use, make sure it is easy for people to spot it. Post the sign-up opportunity in a high-traffic area, consider putting it up poster-size on a wall, or pass out fliers or business cards with the code/URL printed on it. If you have someone working the crowd with tablet in hand, make sure he/she is getting around the room. If a microphone is in use at the event, have the MC/announcer point out how — and especially why — attendees can sign up. If you’re broadcasting in some way via social media, make sure you’re referring back to the sign-up form frequently enough that it doesn’t get buried in the feed. (And not so frequently that people get sick of seeing it.)
- Signing up must be easy. Make sure the QR code or short URL works properly and quickly. Make sure the tablet with the form is charged up and on a good wi-fi/data connection. Make sure if you’re directing attendees to your website, the sign-up form is among the first things they see. Also, to keep it quick-and-easy, don’t ask for full name, mailing address, phone number, or anything more than just their email address. Once they’re on your list, you can collect more information later on.
- The confirmation process must be immediate. This is one of the reasons it’s better not to rely on the old pen-and-paper sign-up approach. With a digital approach, subscribers get an immediate confirmation email, which means 1) subscribers are less likely to forget they signed up, and 2) you can monitor sign-ups as they happen so you can gauge the effectiveness of your efforts. If you have yet to sign up for an email service provider, you’ll have to do that so that subscribers get an immediate confirmation email and are instantly added to your email list.
What’s interesting about all of the points outlined above is that they apply equally to your website and landing pages.