How do you collect email addresses

Newsletter: How to use the right campaign strategy to successfully collect email addresses

Today we want to show you how you can spend less money on advertising and still achieve more with the right campaign strategy.

Somehow election campaigns have become more and more common lately. So you probably know the case: The parties are fighting for your attention and your vote. A party wants to implement its concept to combat climate change and is looking for support, not only in the form of votes, but also from people who can help it in the run-up to the election. That's why she decided to collect email addresses. Despite ads on social media and a pretty landing page with a rousing statement video from the chairwoman, nobody signs up on her email list.

What happened?

Actually, they did everything right. The ads enabled them to reach the right target group. On the landing page, she clearly communicated her goal and the benefits it would bring for everyone if we fight climate change with her plan. She even set out the contents of the future e-mails that she would like to send out clearly and openly. It is a win-win for everyone, one might think.

It's all logical, but it doesn't work.

It's a give and take

The benefit of the achieved goal is not sufficient, but the benefit of the cooperation must be clearly communicated. And in addition, pure communication is ultimately not enough, because the best thing to do is to give something away immediately. Basically a simple barter: you get an email address and give something in return. Even if you don't sell or offer anything physical, there is always something useful to offer your target audience.

So let's take another look at the variants of list building:

1. You don't make any specific promises and don't give anything

Imagine you're walking through town and suddenly someone is standing in front of you, telling you something vague about CO2-Tax and the expansion of public transport to combat climate change and would like your address. You would even think their plans are great, but the person can neither tell you exactly why they need your address, nor what else should happen. Would you give your address? So we don't. To be honest, we probably would have interrupted the person in the first sentence and not even listened to what it was about.

Even on the Internet, our behavior does not differ fundamentally from that in the offline world. The bottom line is that such a campaign only costs you a lot of money and brings few results.

The FPÖ does a similar thing and asks people for their e-mail addresses with the very vague words: "Be ahead of your time, support us and get first-hand information."

2. You promise something concrete, but you don’t give anything

Same situation as before: you will be addressed in exactly the same way, only this time the person can explain to you exactly why they need your address and how this can help to achieve the climate goals. We'd like that better, and we'd be inclined to give up our address. But the question is still: Would we have stopped in the first place? Still better than variant 1, but still not optimal.

In the last National Council election campaign, the NEOS did something similar: they asked people to register as “future ambassadors” on their website. They also stated that they need your e-mail addresses so that you can be an "important interface" between them and other citizens and thus actively help in the election campaign.

Online you will pay with advertising money with the approach for each address. The more money you spend, the more you sign. Expensive and ineffective.

3. You promise a concrete benefit and give something away

You're on the road again. Someone is getting your attention by giving away free brochures that describe all sorts of ideas on how you, as an individual, can help the climate. You find this practical, because it is very easy for you to make your contribution. The brochure makes it clear that this is not enough and that we need major political measures to stop climate change. The person explains to you that their goal is to implement these measures with the next government and that your support in doing this can be of great help. I would give my address for it immediately.

What can such a gift look like in the online world? An online counterpart to this would be, for example, the Greens Whatsapp campaign “Werner Calling” in the National Council election campaign a month ago. They asked people to send them the names of their friends so that Werner Kogler could address them personally. So up to 10 names per person were diligently sent to the Greens and then Werner Kogler came back with a personal message: "Dear Wolfgang, ...". It couldn't be more personal.

Before starting your campaign, you should therefore take the time to think about the following three things about your campaign strategy:

  • What do I want to achieve?
  • What kind of benefit do I offer specifically?
  • What could I give away to my target group for free that also has something to do with my promised benefit? (How about an invitation to a secret Facebook group, for example?)

User conclusion

Without a clear goal in mind, nothing works, that's clear anyway. A concrete value proposition along the way will help you to find interested parties in the first place. With the small gift, you don't have to invest much in advertising because it works like a lure. This is also called a “lead magnet”. In addition, the network effect sets in and your campaign scales. You get great results with little effort.

If you would like to think with us about what you can strategically offer for your campaign, please send us an email!
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