Go ahead. Make me an offer. Chances are, that’s the only way you’re going to get me to sign up for your emails. I consider myself a nice person, but my email address is mine, and mine alone. I don’t share it with every company I meet. It will take some incentive to get me to share it with you.
But guess what? I can—like every other consumer or business person—be bought. Offer me a fair trade, and you’ll get that email address of mine added to your in-house email list without a hitch.
My point is, email marketing best practices require you to offer people a reason to sign up. An email address is an item with value, just like money. I don’t give out money for no reason any more than I give out my email address for no reason.
Don’t worry, I don’t expect a Starbucks card or a free travel mug. Sometimes all I ask for in return is really good information, like a whitepaper with content I can’t find anywhere else. Other times, I’m happy with a promise that you’re going to keep me up-to-date on issues important to me. As a consumer, I can be swayed by offers of future price discounts and subscriber-only specials. I’m also a sucker for advance notices, so I can be in the know before my friends are.
Growing your in-house quality email list is an email marketing best practice. Offering incentives to get those emails should be too.