How to Build an Email List Fast, Pt. 4: Collect offline


So far I have shown you how to build your email list via web forms, social media channels and, other than your own, websites. Today I’ll share another secret with you, which is how to collect new leads in the offline world. Take a look at these 6 bulletproof solutions that will combine your offline and digital marketing efforts into one.


1. Printed materials

The printed materials used by your company can become a great source of new subscribers and traffic on your website if they are properly prepared. Amongst the materials you could use for these purposes are e.g.:

  • Leaflets
  • Packaging
  • Paper bags
  • Receipts
  • Order confirmation forms
  • Paper sign up forms

In order to make use of these, often neglected, means of communication, all you really need to do is add the address of your website or a QR code leading to it. Once your visitors reach your website, the sign up comes in place. It has to effectively capture their attention and convince them to take the desired action.

However, if you want your website visitors to become subscribers, you need to offer them something in exchange for their effort. An effective way of converting people into newsletter subscribers requires offering a valuable benefit that will prove to be worth the time and effort they had to put into filling in the form.

This benefit could be e.g.:

  • Discount on the next purchase
  • Exclusive new product release information
  • Chance to take part in beta tests of your service
  • Opportunity to take part in prelaunch or prerelease events
  • Free product sample
  • Loyalty program membership

Whenever you promote your newsletter or website in your printed materials, remember to use the language of benefit which will make it clear to your audience as to what they’ll receive in exchange for their actions. Your job is to make your offer compelling and impossible to refuse. If you can achieve this, your visitors will be happy to spend the few seconds and leave their details with you.

Fashion Rocks paperbag

Img. 1 – Paper bag containing a link to their website. Source:

Img. 2 - website converting visitors into newsletter subscribers.

Img. 2 – website converting visitors into newsletter subscribers.

2. Merchandise

You can also build your email list with the use of free merchandise you give away to your clients. Similarly to the printed materials, the process requires adding the website’s URL to your materials. Remember, however, that the address has to be visible for your audience to react accordingly.

If the free gadget turns out to be interesting and gets noticed by your audience, the chances are that they will go to your website to find out more about your offer. There, all you have to do is to impress your visitors and convert them into newsletter subscribers who want to stay in touch with your brand.

There is a number of popular gadgets that one gets to see at different trade shows or conferences. You can choose from:

  • mascots,
  • pens,
  • USB flash drives,
  • keychains,
  • clothing,
  • phone accessories,
  • and more!

Choose one that suits your brand best and stands out from the crowd. Make sure that not only does it stay your client’s memory, but also it grows their interest in your products and services.

Img. 3 - GetResponse Monster appreciated by one of the clients

Img. 3 – GetResponse Monster appreciated by one of the clients


3. Trade shows and conferences

Another great way to increase your brand awareness and reach out to both potential and existing clients is to attend industry conferences and trade shows. Since the main reasons for this kind of events are to promote your offer, make a sale and network, building your email list around the people who are potentially interested in your services fits perfectly.

The people you get to meet at such events may show interest in what you have to offer, but they may still not be ready to make a final purchase decision. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean they do not want to stay in touch and find out about your projects or new offers.

That is why you should remember to scan badges, collect as many business cards as you can carry and get people to leave their contact details. You can do so through all the different ways, such as:

  • simple business cards exchange,
  • paper sign up forms,
  • mobile apps such as the GetResponse Forms on the go,
  • sweepstakes or competitions that require leaving the business card to enter.

This method of collecting data is very effective, but there’s a tiny detail you can’t forget about – your potential subscribers need to confirm that they want to be contacted via newsletters.

In other words, receiving someone’s business card does not mean that they agree to join your subscription. To be able to use such details, you need to receive an agreement e.g. through sending an email containing a confirmation link.

Img. 4 - GetResponse Forms on the go app allowing the collection of leads at offline events.

Img. 4 – GetResponse Forms on the go app allowing the collection of leads at offline events.

4. Organizing events

Organizing your own offline events can also be a great method of collecting new email addresses of potential clients who you can contact through email marketing. Regardless if you are running a restaurant, bakery or are planning to sign your books to your fans in a local bookstore. All of these approaches have a great potential of attracting traffic onto your website and eventually building your email list.

Think about the reasons for which your audience may want to meet with you and help them achieve these goals. Apart from networking and answering any questions that may potentially arise, you have a great opportunity to show a friendly face of your company.

On top of that, if you play it right and make use of the suggestions made in section #3, you may only gain a lot of satisfaction but also new subscribers who will be happy to hear from you.

Img. 5 - Fishbowl for business cards. Leave a card to enter a competition and join the newsletter. Source:

Img. 5 – Fishbowl for business cards. Leave a card to enter a competition and join the newsletter. Source:

5. Customer Service

The main purpose of the Customer Service Department – your first line of contact with potential and existing clients – is to resolve problems and answer questions. But marketers tend to forget that Customer Service Team can also be a great source of information and insights. With this in mind, amongst the objectives you set for your team, you should always prioritize obtaining more information and data about your audience.

Make sure that whenever your team contacts your clients, they ask for a permission to inform them about any new promotional offers via emails. Ask for it when meeting the customers in person, speaking on the phone or even through emails by simply adding your website URL into the footer of their emails.

Although this approach may seem a bit unconventional, you will be shocked how effective it can be if your clients have been first provided with great customer service. If that is the case, they’ll be more than happy to keep in touch with you.

6. Snail mail

Traditional post may often be neglected, but it might prove yet another useful source of new subscribers. If you have collected your clients’ address details or have been contacting them via post, it’s time to let them work for you.

Prepare your printed promotional and educational materials so that they generate interest in your brand and lead your audience to the website or a landing page containing a newsletter sign up form. These, in turn, have to be designed for one specific goal, which is to convert the visitors into subscribers with whom you can communicate through email marketing campaigns.

Img. 6 - Ikea catalogue containing a website URL. Source:

Img. 6 – Ikea catalogue containing a website URL. Source:

All you have to do at this point is focus on planning out and designing your email communication to reach your marketing objectives.

That’s the end of our 4th part of this series – How to Build an Email List Fast? I hope that by now you have a broader awareness of how to run your email marketing campaigns effectively and how to gain new leads.