Email lists are my favorite way to gather my audience. Scot Nery’s Boobietrap sold out most of the tickets last year just through the initial announcements. When it was running weekly, 43% of the audience was repeat visitors due to the email list.
With Boobietrap, we sent emails immediately after the show with a complete playbill so they could see what they saw. We have easy unsubscribe options. Our emails SERVE people instead of asking them for things. You can search my blog for more details about how I think about newsletters and emails
I am aggressive with gathering the right email addresses for my lists. I don’t need the lists to be huge. I need them to be full of the people that I think I can serve with the list. My aspiration would be to stay in touch with, and connect with every person who likes something that I do.
When I was building my list as a solo performer, every time I did a performance where it would be appropriate, I walked around with a sheet of paper on a clipboard and asked each audience member if they’d sign up for my email list.
When I got the signup, i’d read it back to them because I could usually only read 70% of them.
This technique gave them social pressure to sign up (me looking in their eyes), and got consent, and kinda said “I’ll read at least the first email you send me”
We want to make the experience of signing up easy and fun…
- Don’t ask if we’re not going to give them something
- Don’t make it hard to signup
- Don’t ask for too much info at once
- Don’t make busy work (if they gave their email somewhere else, harvest that instead of asking them to write it out or type it again)
When I ran Slapcon, I proposed the idea of a slapstick convention on Facebook and I wanted to gauge interest and have a way to follow up. Instead of having a signup form, I just asked people to email me. When they emailed me; it was easy for them, casual, and I got their email address. Was a tiny bit more labor for me moving their addresses over to my list and responding to emails, but worth it. Success for a small list and a fun event.
Boobietrap’s current capture on the website is a signup form. We offer people something for signing up – find out when tickets go on sale.
If these options aren’t available and addresses need to be captured at a live event, I have seen venues use comment cards. I would recommend adding the email address as a required element for a promised reward. EG: “Give us a comment and receive a free ticket to a future show. Email address where we should send the free ticket __________” I’d also follow up the positive comments with a message asking them if they would mind making an online review to share with the world – links to yelp and stuff.
An email or text action could also be included in the event. eg: “We have a photoshop expert coming out here on stage in a few minutes. Email us a photo and she’ll retouch it on screen”. after the event give them an offer of adding them to the email list (because it will serve them)