Growing your email list with offline tactics is frequently overlooked by a lot of online marketers and even people with bricks and mortar stores. Everyone gets so excited about building the list using online tactics that they forget offline methods are very effective too. Let’s get right into it. Start putting these tactics to work right away and you’ll see a huge growth spurt for your email list.

1- In-Person Events

There is almost nothing more effective when building your list offline than in-person events. People like to connect on a more personal level than just online. Even if you do webinars, there is something special about getting to shake hands, hug, and look into someone’s eyes. All of these in-person, visual, and physical elements super-charge the trust-building process and shift it into overdrive.           

  • Attend Networking Events – Find out where your audience is going to events. A good way to discover this is to find out where the gurus, movers and shakers, and your competition is speaking, attending, and sponsoring. Go to those events. Go with a plan. Bring sign up forms with you, give people a nice little gift such as a bookmark with a QR code, or a jump drive with a document that leads to your sign up and your gift.
  • Speak at Events – Don’t just go to events, once you make a name for yourself, you can start speaking at events. When you go to events get to know the people who have planned it. You can also reach out in advance and volunteer to help them at the event to get to know them. Then make sure everyone knows that you’re interested in public speaking. Write a book and start handing that out. It can be the basis for your speaking topic too.
  • Host Workshops – A fun and effective way to build your list offline is to host small local workshops (and you can even travel to do it too). Keep them small, no more than 20 at a time. Via event advertising, people can still sign up for your email list, even if the can’t attend. Plus, if you prefer to have an audience of more than 20, you can host a series of events or multiple sessions in the future. Keeping the session seat limits small helps you to give attendees a more personal experience.
  • Trade Show Booth – Create materials that you can present through a trade booth. Set up a touch screen so people can join your list at the booth. Develop some materials that people can take home. Make it easy for them to sign up. If it’s allowed to make sales at the trade booth, make amazing offers on site.

Using these ideas to grow your list can seem nerve-wracking or scary if you’re not used to going to in-person events. But, you’ll have a great time, meet interesting people, and get more loyal list members and followers than you ever thought possible.

2 – Contact Local Businesses Who Need Your Offers

Another way to grow your list using offline methods is to think locally. Often the local market is forgotten in favor of marketing to people all over the world. Attracting a local audience can be easier because you’re part of that community and people will trust you faster due to that. Let’s look at a few ways to attract locals to get on your email list.

  • Cold Calling – Don’t be afraid to get on the phone and call business owners that need your services. If you market to individuals, you’ll need to pay to buy a legal list of those who have expressed interest in offers like yours. Ask them if you can add them to your list. If you have the technology add them to a text list in addition to that of an email list, then you can market to them in multiple ways.
  • Send Flyers and Postcards – Get an address list by purchasing it or collecting addresses for people you know may be interested in your offers. Create a flyer and postcard to send to them that gives enough information to help them choose to get on your email list. Using a QR code is a great way to use less space.
  • Join the Chamber of Commerce – A very effective way to network with and get access to information about your local area businesses is to join the chamber of commerce. You can get a listing in the directory online, and send information for B2B sales via the monthly Chamber Pak. If you’re a B to C business that’s okay. You can market to businesses that serve your customers offering them options to please their customers via your offers
  • Use a Service — In your local community, you may have services already that can help you find your audience. If you currently receive any mailers that are full of coupons for local businesses, you can contact them to give your offers a try.
  • Delivery Service Offers – Pizza deliveries and other food deliveries are common in most areas. You can offer a company to provide to them free a certain number of boxes, bags, or cups with your advertisement on them to get the word out about your product or service.

Growing your list locally is an amazing way to build trust, become a local personality, end up speaking at more events, and build your authority. That will pay off in a big way not just locally either. The fan base you build locally will have friends, family, and others that learn about you through them that aren’t local.

3 – Print Marketing Using QR Codes           

You may have heard that QR codes are dead. But guess what, they’re not. The main problem with QR codes is that people in the USA and Canada don’t use them well. If you think differently, you can also use QR codes creatively and effectively. Let’s look at some good ways to use print marketing with QR codes to build your list offline.             

  • Brochures with QR codes – Instead of making a long brochure create a short one with an overview. Then use a QR code to bring them to your website to find the full and complete information along with an email sign up form to get even more information.
  • Cards with QR Codes – You can put a QR code on a business card by adding it to the back, or you can make it the entire card to peak curiosity about checking the card with their smartphone. Remember, to ensure that your forms and sites look and work fabulously via a smartphone.
  • Premiums with QR Codes – You can design QR codes that are not just black and white. You can make a QR code with colors and put them on T-shirts, mugs, bookmarks, notepads, in the back of a book you wrote.
  • Authorship with QR Codes – If you’ve created a report or a book, add a QR code to the front and back. Get it printed. It doesn’t cost much to ask your local copy shop to bring out your books for you to give out to people you meet in person.

Building your email list with offline-tactics doesn’t mean you don’t want to use technology. It just means that you must bring the technology off the laptop or PC and into the physical world where people really live. The people you attract to your list in this way will be far more loyal and interested when they talk to you, meet you, and deal with you in person.

4 – Offer Telephone Customer Service

One way to move list building to offline is to change how you do customer service. Today, most small businesses opt for help desks instead of phone support. If you can add phone support to your customer service offerings, you can move people to your email list via phone.

  • Train Your Agent(s) to collect email addresses. If you hire someone to help, always train them to ask for email address information and get permission to add them to a list. Consider adding text list technology too for SMS marketing.
  • Set Up a Voice Mail Option. One way to offer phone support is to set up a simple voicemail where you ask them to leave their name, number, and email address so that you can call them back. Do call them back within a specific period and make sure they know they’re getting added to an email list.
  • Add Number to Advertisements – Some people still trust older technology more than newer and will be more likely to put themselves on your email list if they can call someone. Even if you use a voice mail system, they may still trust you more and get on your list. Voicemail works great for sole practitioners without a staff or the funds to hire a dedicated agent.

Collecting email addresses whenever someone calls is a great way to build your email list. You can add your phone number to advertisements, to your website, and your FAQ. Plus you can add it to your business card too.

5 – Offer Discounts & Special Offers

You can make discount and special offers in person. Keep forms with you, or a card with a QR code to help them sign up for your offers in person. If you are at a trade show, you can offer a touch screen for them to use so they don’t need their own too.

Remember that people often need to be incentivized in some way to provide their information. Make it a habit to collect email addresses, phone numbers, and their name. Let them know that you’re going to email them or call them in the future so that it’s expected and not a surprise. You want them to want to be on your list.

In Summary

When you start thinking local and building your list in person, you can build your list with strong lifelong customers who trust you and want to be part of your community. Getting out from behind your computer and going to events, hosting workshops, building loyalty programs, and using old methods in new ways will grow your list effectively. In fact, nothing is more fun than using offline tactics to grow your list.

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Aletha McManama
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