Email Marketing: Leveraging Print for Email List Building

Posted by Scott Cohen On May 23, 2011 in story time I 0 Comments

A while back, I wrote about the many positive reasons why you should convert your printed newsletter to an email newsletter. Yet, in the cross-channel world of marketing, for many of you there is still a place for print. Why not use print to build your email list?

My alma mater just gave me an excellent example of how to do just that.

As an alumnus of James Madison University, I receive their quarterly alumni magazine. In the most recent edition, I came across this article (image to the right). The article showcases two important things to remember when you use print to build your email list:

  1. Leverage your message as a value proposition for subscribing. Case in point: JMU’s overall message is about community service under the banner of “Be the Change.” This article, essentially a call-to-action to subscribe, leverages that message by asking the reader to go to the website to “Connect.” Subscribing is only the first step, too. JMU wants to bring the community together, and that’s what the email subscription can facilitate. (Remember my post about email being the “Great Facilitator?”)
  2. Leverage print like you mean it. Odds are, if the subject line to this article didn’t jump out at me, I probably would have missed it altogether. It’s clear from the subject line that the article is not an afterthought, but rather a conscious effort to grab attention and gain subscribers. Make sure any request for information is done with purpose and proper discretion.


Don’t be afraid to adopt a cross-channel email list-building strategy. You can utilize media like printed magazines for subscription forms. Here are a few ways you can use print to your list-building advantage:

  • Use a business reply card as a physical subscription form. It’s easy to include in magazines and other direct mail packages, and can be a simple way to get in front of your customers (particularly if the BRCs are the kind which fall out easily).
  • Use an article like the example above, and drive customers to a specific sign-up form or landing page on your website.
  • Have sign-up cards at points of purchase in your stores for customers to sign up during their in-store purchase process.

At the end of the day, print can be very effective in your email marketing list-building efforts. Do you have other examples of how print can be utilized?

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