10 ways to collect email addresses

10 ways to collect email addresses for tour or activity operators

Posted by Colm Hanratty on Feb 22, 2016

While social media marketing, retargeting, and remarketing are all the craze in the world of online marketing at the moment, there’s a method of spreading the word about your business that has been around for years – email marketing.

Recently I wrote about ways to improve your email marketing not once, but twice. But these tips aren’t very useful if you don’t have any email addresses.

Here are 10 tried and tested ways to collect those addresses so you can begin your campaigns.


1. Run ‘data gated’ contests or promotions on Facebook

Once upon a time you used to have to ask people on Facebook to ‘like’ your page before entering. This was called ‘fangating’. Facebook doesn’t allow this any more, but they do allow you to ask for user email addresses to enter. This is called ‘data gating’. You can practice it with contests where you’re giving something away, or with promotions where you’re giving away coupons.

If this sounds like something you’d like to try out, you’re going to need to do it through a third party app provider. I personally recommend Woobox, while other popular providers are Rafflecopter and Short Stack.

2. Have a landing page or a newsletter subscriber page

To collect email addresses on your website, you’re going to need either a form that’s part of a page on your website – some people have them in the footer of every page – or on a dedicated page that is known as a landing page. I recommend doing both, but when creating the landing page, include as much information as possible that will encourage users to sign-up.

3. Run ads on social media

If you create a landing page, you need to get people to visit it. Promoted ads on Facebook or Twitter are a great way to get people to that page.

If you haven’t tried either and are wondering which channel you should opt for, try Facebook advertising. The platform is easier to use and has been rolled out in more countries than Twitter advertising has. It also has extremely powerful targeting. You can put the ad in front of people you know will have an interest in your product, as well as in a market you’re looking to increase bookings from.


4. Ask your customers

Every day there are people with email addresses who go on your tours or activities – email addresses that are very valuable which you need. There’s no better way of getting them than asking for them! Simply pass around a piece of paper and a pen and ask those who want to receive regular newsletters from you to jot their address down.

5. Have a popup

Popups were once frowned upon, but they’re common practice these days. Every second website has a box popping up within thirty seconds of your arrival, asking you to like their Facebook page or give them your email address. Join them! Check out pages like Opt in Monster or Popupdomination to grab those details.

6. Promote it on your social channels

If you don’t have any email addresses but you have a large following on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, promote your landing pages there. But don’t simply say something like Have you signed up to our newsletter yet? Sign up here! <link> Tell them why to sign up. Explain that they’ll find out about competitions, offers and more.

7. Incorporate it into the booking process

If you offer customers the facility to make bookings online (if you don’t we can help you with that), have an option to sign up for newsletters streamlined into the process. This is generally a box on the enter details saying ‘tick here if you want to sign up to our newsletter’ or something similar. If you generate lots of online bookings, that means lots of email addresses.


8. Have a fishbowl at conferences

Most businesses go to trade shows, whether they’re trade or consumer facing. Having a fishbowl collecting business cards is an old trick but one that still works. If you’re going to one soon, put one at your stand. An incentive to give the card helps too.

9. Manually collect them at events

This is similar to the previous point, but not identical: if you’re attending an event where there will be potential customers, have somebody physically collecting email addresses. The best way to do is via a tablet – create a spreadsheet or document and ask people to enter their details. Again, make sure to give them a reason to.

10. Email signature

I’m surprised at the number of businesses that don’t do this. While it might not generate thousands of email addresses, it won’t do any harm either. Add a link to your signup page in your signature. While you’re at it, get other members of your team to do the same thing also.

How do you collect email addresses? Let us know in the comments below! 


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Colm Hanratty

Written by Colm Hanratty

Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.

Topics: Marketing tips, Business advice

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