Top 5 Ways To Collect Emails At Your Store

August 17, 2017 // Chris Edwards

Creating an email marketing campaign is key to your brick-and-mortar business. Just because your business is not online, does not mean that your customers are not online. Being able to communicate specials, events, and information to your customers is an important channel for your business.

When you have a website, there are many methods to collect email addresses, however, collecting email addresses from customers, in store, can seem like a daunting task. In this article, we will discuss 5 easy ways to collect emails in your brick-and-mortar store. Prior to collecting emails for your ever growing email list we need to make sure customers have an incentive to do so.

Create a Valuable Incentive

With everyone already doing email marketing, nobody wants to flood their inbox with more emails from another store. To collect someone’s email, you need to provide some sort of incentive to encourage your customers to provide an email.

Discounts and Special Offers

Everyone loves to save money and to get a special offer by just handing over an email seems like a great way to get it. This can be a discount on the current purchase or on a future purchase. The offer does not have to always be monetary, but can be a special menu item, such as a dessert.

Giveaway and Contests

Asking for an email on an entry form for a giveaway or contest can be a great incentive. Your giveaway can be a cash prize, gift card, or even 1 year of free product. Be sure to check with local & state laws before running any contest.

Loyalty Programs

Setting up a loyalty program will help build your email list as well as provide your customers a reason to keep walking through the door. Be sure to offer rewards for repeat business as well as for holidays like birthdays and anniversaries.

Make Signing Up Quick and Easy

Customers don’t want to spend a lot of time giving your their email. Above, we talked about creating the incentive, however, the effort must match the incentive level. Also, you will want to offer more than one way for someone to signup for your email marketing list.

5 Ways To Grow Your Brick-and-Mortar Email List

1. Business Card Fish Bowl

This is one of the easiest methods to collect email addresses. This does not require your customer to fill out any information, just simply drop their business card into the bowl. Remember, not everyone has business cards, so adding a pin and a scrap piece of paper near the bowl will allow you to collect from them as well.

2. Sign Up Sheet

Yep, you heard that right. A simple sign up sheet can work wonders, even today. To make it easier for your customers, add the sheet to a clipboard so that they can hold it where they are comfortable signing it.

3. Receipts

One of the easiest way to ask for an email address is to find a time they are already writing information down. A great time is when your customer is signing their credit card receipt. Simply add a line under their signature that asks for their email address with information about the incentive that they will receive.

4. At Point of Sale

If your point of sale system supports the collection of email addresses, you can plug their email into at the time of purchase. Then you can email them receipts, and most systems will allow you to track how often they frequent your business.

5. Comment Cards

Comment cards are a great way to get feedback on your services and collect an email address at the same time. On your comment cards, offer an easy way for the customer to sign up for your email list program, offering them one of the above incentives. Be sure to also reply back to their feedback as well.


Reader Interactions


  1. I’d love for you to write a data driven post about how not to collect emails. Specifically a post about pop-ups and their effectiveness / alternatives. It seems it’s no longer good enough to have an email signup in the sidebar or at the bottom of a post. If it doesn’t break your flow and force interaction it’s not good enough. We now have pop-ups, header bars, footer bars and some websites employ them all. I understand pop-ups will have a better conversion but at what cost to the brand / frustration to the user. How can I present a cogent argument that yes the conversion will be lower in the sidebar / post footer but it’s still worth it because the leads actually want to be on the list and as a bonus you don’t have to frustrate your users / make your site look cheesy. I’m obviously passionate about this and am willing to be surprised but don’t expect that. Again would love a data driven perspective on why not using pop-ups makes sense. Thank you!

  2. Great article, Chris. I just wanted to add one more creative way to collect email addresses if you don’t mind. If you add some type of interactive engagement device, such as an iPad photo booth (you can now easily install these on your wall), you can collect emails when customers interact with it. It’s very unobtrusive and effective.

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Chris Edwards

Chris is Co-Owner of Data Driven Labs and a 17-year internet marketing expert in web design & development, SEO, digital marketing, and analytics. He often speaks at conferences around the world on everything WordPress and analytics.


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