Build Your Email List, Part 2

This week we’re focusing on ways to increase and improve your email lists. Tomorrow we’ll be presenting some digital tools that are available, but today I want to focus on opportunities in the bookstore.

I’m a fan a providing a sign-up opportunity at the checkout counter. I like individual sign-up sheets that are bound in pad.

The form should include a space for the name, address, city/state/zip code, phone number, and email. If you offer more than one newsletter, provide a list of the different newsletters with check boxes so the customer can sign up to receive only what they want. You could also provide a space for them to share their interests, like favorite genre or author.

SPAM has sullied email’s reputation a bit, so ensure customers that they can unsubscribe easily and you will not sell or share their address with anyone. This is one reason to remove the sign-up sheet on the clipboard with line after line of names and email addresses. If it’s on the counter for all to see, their information is not being protected. (Especially when an image of the sheet can be easily captured on a smart phone.)

When offering customers the opportunity to sign up for email newsletters, try not to pressure them. Instead, focus on what’s in it for them. Event information, so they’ll not be disappointed after the fact again. Information about new books for middle readers, so they can be better prepared in the classroom. Sale information, performance information, exhibit information. The key word is information.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay