Welcome back! We’ve made it to the final post in this three-part list growth series.
In this last post, we’re going to cover events and how you can use them to grow your list.
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List building technique #3: Collect email signups at events
When you’re caught up in the day-today of running your business, it’s easy to stay in your business bubble, isn’t it?
When was the last time you stepped away from your business to connect with your community at a local event? Have you recently attended any conferences or trade shows where you could make new connections and meet potential clients or customers?
Whether you’re attending a small community event or a giant tradeshow, you never know who you’ll meet and what doors they’ll open for your business.
At PicoBrew, we make an effort to attend most major conferences in the beer industry, as well as a few key tech events each year.
In addition to having a lot of fun and giving out tasty beer samples, we also use events as an opportunity to meet prospective customers face to face and encourage them to connect with us by signing up for our email list.
Wondering how events can help you grow your list? Here are some tips to get you started!
1. Find an event
One of the easiest ways to get your feet wet is to attend a local event. You can search local calendar listings, peruse community bulletin boards, or use Facebook to find events near you.
Tip: You can search through Constant Contact’s event listings to find events and seminars in your area.
Try to find something that you think will attract members of your target audience or likeminded business owners you could partner and collaborate with.
Once you get more comfortable, consider attending larger conferences and trade shows. At this level, you’re probably going to need to pay an attendee or sponsorship fee, so spend some time researching the event to make sure it’s a good fit.
If the event is related to your industry, don’t be afraid to apply to speak at an event. Not only will this get you and your business in front of a larger audience, you’ll also save on event costs and likely get some VIP treatment.
2. Take part in pre-event socializing
If you’re attending a larger event, there’s a good chance the event organizers have set up social media groups and hashtags so that attendees can connect before the event.
Use these channels to introduce yourself (and your business), so attendees can get familiar with you and seek you out during the event.
This is also a great time to ask for advice from previous attendees if it’s your first year attending an event.
3. Make a lasting impression
Most events are equally exciting and hectic. So little time, so many people to meet! If you have a booth at the event, you’ll want to decorate it with eye catching signage and handouts.
If you want a good first impression to translate into a lasting impression, you need to collect contact information. Paper sign-up forms or collecting business cards will do the job, but there are also a couple digital options that will make your life much easier.
- The ListBuilder App: ListBuilder is a free app created for Constant Contact customers. Download the Apple or Android version to collect contact information, even without internet access. Customize your form to collect your desired information (even while offline) and the app will automatically sync to your Constant Contact account and upload new contacts the next time you connect to the internet.
- Text-to-join: Another free Constant Contact feature. This one is especially useful if you’re an event speaker. Once you set up Text-to-Join in your account, people can join your list right from their phones by texting a custom code.
No matter which sign-up tool you use, be sure to give people an enticing reason to sign up. Typically when we go to events for PicoBrew we show off our latest homebrewing appliance and encourage people to sign up for our list to save 20 percent off and the chance to win a free machine.
4. Follow up with a personalized email
Events are equally exciting and exhausting. And you’ll likely have a ton of things to catch up on post-event.
But to get the full business benefit of events, a timely and personalized follow-up is essential. Don’t overthink this message. A quick note that thanks them for stopping by your booth, delivers on any offer promise, and links them to your website is all you need.
The real trick is to send this initial email within about three days after the event, while everyone is still buzzing from the event and you are fresh in their minds.
Tip: If you’re using ListBuilder or Text-to-Join, you can create a new segment in your list and set up a personalized thank you email to send automatically.
What will a bigger list mean for your business?
There’s no way around it, continually growing your email list is hard work.
But it’s worth it. These new contacts will be some of your most engaged contacts because they are brand new to you and eager to learn more. Especially with events, these contacts will be some of the easiest to convert because meeting you in person is a more personal experience than visiting a website.
Hopefully you’re inspired to get started and find an event to attend within the next month, as well as try out the strategies in my previous two posts.
The sooner you get started, the faster you’ll grow your list. Log in to your email marketing account to see your total number of contacts and make a goal for where you’d like to be in three months!
New to email marketing? Try a Constant Contact account free for 60 days.