Why Doesn't Every Business in the World Do This?

by Guest Expert

One of my local retail shops, Studio Bomba, has this clipboard and form at the counter:

It's a simple idea, and certainly nothing new. But why doesn't every business in the world do this?

Even more importantly: Why don't you?

Any time you're in front of somebody who might be useful to have in your network, are you taking the opportunity to invite them to join your mailing list? If you're not, you're missing out on the best marketing opportunity available.

Just a few important points to make ...

1. This is not just for prospects.

Note that I said "useful to have in your network", not just "potential customers"! Of course, potential customers are important and useful, but so are:

  • Current customers - who might want to know what else you can do for them
  • Past customers - who might not know what you're doing now
  • Potential referral partners - so they can send business your way, and vice versa
  • ... and many others

2. You need their permission.

Note that I also said you should invite them to join. This means getting their explicit permission before adding them to your mailing list. Don't just add them because you know them, or because they gave you their business card, or because they sent you e-mail, or even because you've done business with them already. Ask them first - or, of course, allow them to join the list themselves.

3. Make them feel safe.

Notice how Studio Bomba reassures customers that they will respect privacy and e-mail addresses. Make sure you do the same, whether it's on a printed form, a workshop handout, an online form, or elsewhere. If you ask somebody in person for permission to add them to your list, you probably don't need to make a big deal of your privacy policy. But when you're not there in person, it's important to reassure them.

4. Do it!

Although e-mail is one of the oldest Internet technologies, it's still one of the most powerful online marketing tools. Don't ignore it because it's old or because social media gets all the hype. Most people check e-mail daily, and guard their in-box carefully. So if you can get permission to be there regularly, sharing stuff they want to hear, it puts you in a very strong position of trust and respect.


Gihan Perera


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