Why That Email Signup Raffle Will Backfire


I spotted the following this morning on one of my favorite online marketing forums:

“I have a trade show coming up. I want to take advantage of the traffic and grow my email list. The best thing I can think of is an email sign up raffle…What is the best way to approach this?”  

Ahhhh…the email raffle trick. The lazy-marketer’s way to grow an email list. 

You give ‘em a chance to win an iPad or some other prize in exchange for their email. 

You celebrate when you add 259 people to your email list. 

Then you send those raffle contestants (258 of whom are disappointed they didn’t win the iPad) emails that THEY DON’T WANT TO RECEIVE. 

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of that trick. (I thought so). 

If you want to build an email list, give people a GOOD reason to subscribe. 

Bribing them with a “chance to win” is not a good reason. When you build your list that way, many (most) will tune out, opt-out, or even click the spam complaint button. Your delivery rates will go down. Your marketing will suffer. 

Here’s what I suggested for the aspiring Raffle-Master: 

“Focus instead on giving people a reason to want your emails. Create a landing page that sells the value of your emails. If you want to do the raffle thing, allow people to enter the raffle WITHOUT joining your email list. That means only people who truly want your emails will opt-in. You can still use the raffle as a magnet to get them to the landing page where they can enter the contest. But they have to check another box to join the email list. Your list won’t grow as much, but the people on your list will want to hear from you. And they’ll trust you more b/c you took this approach.”

Want more tips on how to build your email list the right way? 

I’m hosting a free workshop on Thursday, March 17 (3 p.m. EST, 2 p.m. CST) called: 5 Ways to Build Your Email List with the Right Prospects. 

This is a 5in25 presentation – five tips in 25 minutes – followed by discussion and Q&A. 

Sign up here. 

Whenever you’re ready…here are a few ways we can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you’ll land more clients:

1) Follow Tom Ruwitch on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Attend our free training: “How to Harness the Magnetic Power of Storytelling…” Discover how to transform marketing from a confusing, resource-draining hassle into something that’s simple, fun AND productive. Details and registration here.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.