I have a confession to make.
I have really bad handwriting.
There. I said it! So why’d I spill the beans and what does this have to do with your email subscribers?
I love to sign up for small business newsletters.
Any time I go into a mom and pop shop I ask them if they have an email list. But more often than not, I never receive an email from their business.
Recently, I started helping a small nonprofit with their email marketing. That’s when I learned how many contacts never make it from their sign-up clipboard to their Constant Contact account because…wait for it…the handwriting is illegible.
You read that right, folks. People with bad handwriting — like me — make it hard for small businesses and nonprofits to communicate with them. Doh!
That got me thinking: Why should my poor penmanship inhibit the marketing efforts of small businesses and nonprofits?
Well, it shouldn’t. There are lots of ways to gather contacts that don’t call for ye olde feather pen and paper method that make it easier for you to store and manage your contacts.
Let’s have a look at some of the best:
1. iCapture for iPad and iCapture for Android
If you have an iPad or tablet that you use for work, this is a tool you need to download right away.
Do you attend networking events or trade shows? Do you work on the road? iCapture does NOT require an internet connection and it’s super easy to use. Simply ask someone to type in their first name, last name, and email address — and that’s it.
Just re-launch the app when you get a connection and your contacts will be immediately added to your Constant Contact email list.
Most websites are designed for hit-and-run readers: People find your site, read a page or article, and leave. What if some of those people connected with you further by subscribing to your email list?
MailMunch helps grow your list by converting website visitors into subscribers and customers. With MailMunch, you can create beautiful opt-in forms for your site without writing a single line of code.
Choose from different types of forms such as Popup, Embedded, Top Bar, Scroll Box, or Side Bar, all of which are responsive and mobile-optimized. The best part? It comes with analytics and reports so you can easily find out which pages, posts, or opt-in forms are bringing in the most email contacts!
Here’s an example of a MailMunch form used by accounting business, CPA for Freelancers:
If you’re already a Constant Contact customer, you can quickly create a unique keyword for your business or nonprofit that people can use to text their email address to your Constant Contact database!
This a great feature to promote through signage in your store. While your customers wait in line, they can take a few moments to join your list right from their mobile device.
4. Embeddable sign-up form
While you may already have a sign-up form set up, consider using an embeddable sign-up form to make the sign-up experience easier for users. With an embeddable sign-up form, your website visitors never have to leave your site to sign up.
You can also customize your sign-up to include multiple email lists. Create a few different lists based on your audience’s interests, then let your visitors select which list they’d like to be added to.
Here’s an example from the Bullock Museum:
5. Join My Mailing List Facebook App
Don’t forget about social media. Add a sign-up form to your business’s Facebook page to encourage your fans to sign up.
The app is very easy to set up and appears prominently at the top or side of your Facebook business page. Periodically draw attention to it in your posts to drum up more subscribers.
6. Digitize Business Cards
You may have a shoebox or fishbowl in your office where business cards are always piling up.
Make it easy on yourself to turn those cards into contacts without any data entry on your part. You can use apps like Shoeboxed or ScanBizCards Connector, which will upload these contacts right to your email list.
Make it easy for yourself, and your subscribers.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to grow your list online and in-store without trying to decode messy handwriting.
And if you still want to chance it with pen and paper, go right ahead. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Bria Sullivan, Content Developer, Constant Contact US