SpeakerNet News Compilations

Getting Newsletter Sign-Ups

Vicki Hess

I’m looking for creative ways to get audience members to sign up for my e-newsletter (give me their name and email address) when I present to large groups (300+). I use a raffle of my book to get folks to sign up in the smaller groups and that works great. Just looking for suggestions for 500, 1000, 2000+ audiences that is logistically do-able and works.

— Brian Jeffrey, CSP

I’ve used the “Business Card Close” for my talks. Here how it works.

Have something of potential value to the participants that you can email to them. It might be a complimentary report, article, whatever. Mention it during your talk and tell them that you’ll tell them how to get a copy at the end of your presentation.

At the end of your talk, ask the participants to take out one of their business card that has their email address on it (or a piece of paper with the same information if they don’t have a card). Ask them to put the numbers 1, 2, 3 on the back. Tell the group that you are going to ask them three yes/no questions that you’d like them to answer for you.

  1. Do you want a copy of my complimentary report (or whatever you’re offering), yes or no?
  2. Would you like to receive my newsletter, yes or no?
  3. Do you know any one else or any other group who might benefit from the presentation I gave here today, yes or no? Point out that if they answer yes to that question you’ll be in touch at a later date.

Make sure you have a place for the people to drop or put their cards with the answers on it.

I’ve found that this technique is non-threatening for participants and I’ve gotten a number of prospects from question 3.

— Lynne Waymon

About halfway into my talk, I pass a clipboard (or several) thru the audience (with pen attached) inviting them to sign up for my newsletter with their name and email. I always check with the client before doing this — have only been turned down once in 10 years. And I mention what I’m doing from the platform. Almost everyone signs up. At the top of the clipboard is a brief description of newsletter’s focus, in case someone was not paying attention when I mentioned it. With a large audience I use several/many clipboards.

— Dave Balch

I have used feedback forms distributed to everyone in the audience. The form has a few questions and then a box where they can sign up. I mention the newsletter from the platform, and encourage them to fill out the form.

There are two problems with this, though:

  • If I can’t read their email address due to sloppy writing, it’s toast. This happens more than you might think.
  • Even when I do get the addresses, my mail service (aweber.com) requires a double opt-in, meaning that I can submit all of the addresses in a list, but they will still require verification from them via email.

I’m going to try offering a great bonus for signing up, which they will have to do on their own. It’s just so hard to get people to DO ANYTHING!!

— David Portney

Offer a gift or three that has high-perceived value to your target, usually oriented toward revealing mistakes they should avoid ought to catch their eye.

— Marv Marshall

I pass out a green slip. I have three printed on one page and then have them cut up. I have the slips distributed during the latter part of my presentation and I ONLY ask for the person’s email address — not the person’s name.

— Stephen Tweed

I have developed a technique that has worked flawlessly for getting a high percentage of the audience to sign up. As part of my presentation, I show them I tool that I have created on Microsoft Excel to help them track the performance of their businesses. I sell this scorecard on my Web site for $49. I ask them how many would like to have a complimentary copy. I have them bring their business card with their email legible on the card and put it in a bright purple bag.

I promise to send them by return email a copy of the Excel template. Then when I get back to the office, I have a member of my office team enter the information in to our database, add them to our email newsletter list, and send them an email with the promised Excel file.

— Wendy Keller

I offer a random drawing for a one-hour consultation. Seems to work great if I ask them to put in their biz cards (I have them pass large bowls down the aisles, like an offering in the church, and then have one or two people collect them, either staff or volunteers). Then I make a big deal out of fishing around for just the right card. I announce the winner in front of all of them. Curiously, I’ve NEVER had anyone who won a free hour ever use more than 30 minutes of it, because I allow the winner to break it into 2 parts. Most of the time, they never even use the half hour — lots of people are frightened of actually getting a book deal for some reason. They seem to just want to dream about it.

— Anne Miller

People are more likely to give you their card if they think the odds of winning are greater. I offer not one but three chances to win a book and generally get 100% of the audience’s cards. I also mention my newsletter and that people find it helpful and enjoy it and that I am going to add their names to my list and once they get it, if they prefer, they can cancel at that point. Have never had anyone object to that.

SpeakerNet News is produced by Rebecca Morgan and Ken Braly. It is not affiliated with the National Speakers Association. Send comments or suggestions