In this blog post, we talked about how to grow your email list when you’re presenting in Zoom, and now we’re talking about how to do the same thing at your live speaking events. It’s actually pretty fun, and when you know what your options are, you can grow that list exponentially.
Tell Me Again Why I Need an Email List
We’re probably preaching to the choir here, but for anyone who needs reminding, here’s why we highly recommend building your email list. If you are solely depending on social media to land speaking engagements and sell products/workshops/online classes/books, then you may be left out in the cold if any one of those platforms went away. They control the content, not you.
When you collect email addresses in various ways, you can build a list that you alone can communicate with, regardless of what’s going on in the world or in social media. It’s your list and nobody else’s. You’re not dependent upon any other platform in order to do your work.
So how do I collect email addresses at a speaking engagement?
There are tons of creative ways to collect email addresses, but let’s focus only on how you can do this effectively and conveniently (both for you and your audience) at a live speaking event.
And we cannot overstate this enough — when you are speaking live to an audience, it’s the #1 best time to get them to sign up on your email list. Why? Because they’re already excited about seeing you in person, you’ve pumped them up with a great presentation, and they want to ride the wave and stay connected with you. This is gold!
Ideally, your goal is to give your attendees multiple ways to sign up, not just one single avenue.
- Sign up at registration. If your event requires attendees to register for it in order to show up, take advantage of that and give them the option at that same time to sign up for your list.
- Have an iPad or laptop available with your email signup form loaded on it. Attendees can walk up to the table and submit their info right there.
- Create a QR code. Create a free QR code from a site like this one, and when attendees scan it, it’ll take them to your sign-up page. Use this code on your end slide, on a sign at your book signing table, or make copies and slip it into each book for them to discover later at home.
- Use a Text option. Yes, you do have to pay for this option, but for many, it’s worth it. Use a platform like Join by Text and put that info in various places like the end slide in your presentation or on your book signing table. “Want to stay connected? Text JOIN to xxx-xxx-xxxx and we can stay friends!”
- Use a hand-written sign -up form. This is our least favorite way to go simply because it’s tedious (you’ll have to input all those addresses by hand later on) and often difficult to decipher someone’s handwriting. Still, it’ll do in a pinch.
Remain Diligent About Nurturing Those Relationships!
As you know, the work isn’t done simply by collecting those email addresses! You’ll need a plan to keep in touch so that their newfound interest in you is sustained. Our tips?
- Make sure you have a welcome email series automated after they sign up. Your email marketing provider will have that option to create a series of “Hey, glad you’re here!” emails. Schedule emails to go out immediately upon sign up (“Thank you for connecting with me! Here’s your amazing freebie thing I promise you!”), then a couple of days later (“Let’s get to know each other. Here’s an FAQ about XYZ.”), and then again a week later (“I’d love to know what your biggest challenges are in gardening! Reply to this email and let me know!”). Don’t know how to do that? We can help! Email us.
- Traffic to your website will likely pop after an event — maximize it! Be sure you have a pop up or links on your site to direct newcomers to sign up for your email list. Make it visible and put it on every single page. Yes, every one.
- Add your sign- up link to any post-event communication. Are you emailing the program manager a thank you? Include your sign -up link so they can share it! Did you recap your event on your social sites? Be sure to include a reminder to sign up.
Tip: Nobody likes to simply sign up to be on a list, so don’t invite them by saying, “Sign up to be on my email list!” Instead, let them know what your freebie is. Make your freebie the most excellent freebie ever, and say, “And now I have a free recipe booklet for you to say thank you for following me/attending my talk! Here is the link to download it.”