Marketing 101: How to Actually Get Someone's Email Address
Last updated: 8/7/2002; 8:50:48 AM
 
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Marketing 101: How to Actually Get Someone's Email Address

NOTE: Back in the dot com days, we used to agonize over the best way to get a user to disclose his or her email address.  Lots of strategies were discussed and they generally weren’t all that effective.  Now bloggers seem to be doing it regularly and here’s why and how illustrated.

If you haven’t read Alex’s blog, www.nosuch.org, you should.  It’s a hoot and half (well at least I think it’s funny).  Anyway I was just reading, saw that he got a new puppy (Go Alex!) and noticed a curious option called “NoSuch Direct”.  Hmm…. I wonder what that is.  It turns out that it’s an option to have his blog entries delivered to you via email – and it’s not a discussion list. He’ll actually reply to emails himself.  Two thoughts (actually 3) came to mind:

  1. What a cool idea.
  2. I need to get off my duff and code that for my readers.
  3. He did the signup process in such a way that I trusted him almost immediately. 

Here’s the signup page:

http://two.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/nosuch-direct

And, if you don’t want to go there, here’s his text exactly:

About Nosuch-Direct

| | > Are you lazy like Mr. Nosuch? Opening up a web browser just too much damn work? The Nosuch Direct email list is the answer. Nothing but smooth, mild entries fresh off the pages of Nosuch.org. And you are even spared the hassle of Yahoo Groups, which is annoying nightmare, isn’t it?

This list will only consist of entries from Nosuch.org, so it’s very low traffic. It is not a discussion list, replies to the list go only to Mr. Nosuch, lucky him.

Your privacy and email address will be respected like they are sacred. No ads, spam, offers (either legal or illegal) will ever be tendered. Like I have the time to do that, anyway.

What a great way to word it.  It’s not dissimilar to what I wrote about a few months ago.   Here’s what he did right:

  1. He used humor.  Humor is an astonishingly powerful marketing tool and one that large companies classically disregard – because, for it to work, humor will often offend someone.  To me, as long as I don’t offend a large percentage of my core audience, it’s worth it.  Here’s an example – We’re debating the positioning statement for my new email product (hopefully this week, fingers and toes are crossed), Inbox Buddy, and the slogan I like is this:

Inbox Buddy : We Make Email Suck Less.

Now we may not use that since there are other stakeholders involved that have registered an objection but it’s a good example of humor.  It grabs you right away.

  1. There is what we marketing droids describe as a “call to action” that starts it off.  This is the basic thing that is going to suck you in and get you to complete the “transaction” (and, make no mistake about it, this is a transaction; something of value was exchanged for something else of value).  Here it is:

Are you lazy like Mr. Nosuch? Opening up a web browser just too much damn work?

  1. He sets my expectations correctly: “… it’s very low traffic”.

  2. He gives me a promise.  Not legal crapola I won’t read anyway.  A promise.  These days, with the current distrust for large organizations and authority figures, that’s actually more powerful (IMHO).  Here it is: 

Your privacy and email address will be respected like they are sacred. No ads, spam, offers (either legal or illegal) will ever be tendered. Like I have the time to do that, anyway.

Great Job Alex!, Great Job! (And, yes, I actually signed up).

 
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