Every time you check your inbox, there are new messages in there from various businesses – most of whom you are familiar with. Yes, a lot of the time you’ll hit delete, but there are those emails from companies you like that you’ll open, read and even participate in.   It worked on you – so shouldn’t it work FOR you?

You have done a great job selling to customers, but once they leave your doors, do you re-sell them on coming back?

All local businesses should have an email list – it’s a great way to inform your customers about what’s going on.   In fact, it’s one of the top practices in conducting loyalty marketing.  According to HubSpot, 80% of business professionals believe that email marketing increases customer retention. You’d love to have your own email marketing campaigns for your local businesses marketing efforts, but where to start?

Easy:  Start by actually collecting email addresses!

Sounds simple enough, right?  But then you look through your records, receipts, transactions, etc. and you discover you don’t have any you can build from.   This is a problem for many local businesses, and a reason they come to us for their local online marketing.

Here are some easy and inexpensive methods to collect email addresses:

Ask at the Register – When you ring up a customer, ask for their email address or put a signup sheet right on the counter.

The Fishbowl – On your counter, have a fishbowl (or any glass bowl) for people to drop their business cards in.   The drawn card gets a small gift certificate or a free meal.   Meanwhile, you have dozens of new emails willingly given to you sitting right on your counter.

Host an Event – Sure, it might be a little pricier, and require a little more elbow grease.  But besides the awesome engagement and sales you’ll have due to the event, you’ll be able to have a “sign-in” sheet as well for data collection.   This can also be achieved by posting an event on sites like Eventbrite or Facebook for free.

Birthday Club – This is similar to the Fishbowl method, where a customer might be entitled to a little extra on his or her birth date.

Comment Cards & Surveys – People love to tell you what’s on their minds, so they might as well include their email while doing so.  This is a bonus because you also receive beneficial feedback on your business at the same time.

Using one or a combination of these methods will put you on the fast track towards email collection.   Once you have those emails, you can utilize marketing partners, like Vivial – to help you reach and retain more customers than you ever thought imaginable.