by Tom Ruwitch
The online toilet paper vendor WhoGivesACrap.org cannot keep up with demand.
Instead of flushing their hopes down the drain, though, they’ve used this as an opportunity to expand their following.
Here’s the pop-up message that greets website visitors.
“We’re completely wiped out…” (Ha!)
“Don’t worry, we’re working our bums off to make more toilet paper. We’ve started releasing very limited amounts to our waitlist via email. It’ll still be several weeks before we get to everyone.”
They then encourage you to join the email/waiting list.
That’s smart marketing.
Thousands of businesses can’t keep up or have temporarily shut down during the pandemic.
Some will emerge in better shape than others.
Email list-building improves the odds of a better outcome.
Without that opt-in waiting list pitch, WhoGivesACrap would watch visitors come and go from their website. They could only hope that some of those visitors would check back another day when supplies replenish.
By building the list, they gain new followers who will jump at the chance to buy when TP is available.
You don’t have to pedal precious toilet paper to build a list.
List-building is a good strategy for any small business. Expand your list now. Use current conditions as a hook to encourage opt-ins.
You can promise to let them know when you’ll re-open.
You can offer timely, relevant information related to the health crisis.
There are countless ways to encourage visitors to join your list.
The larger list will help you sell more before the pandemic ends and long after it’s over.
Here are a few list-building tips that are proven to work:
1. Put a newsletter signup form on the top half for your homepage, on a separate signup page, and in the footer of all pages on your site.
2. Create a free report, white paper, or other valuable content that visitors receive in exchange for their email address.
3. Direct readers to an email signup page in every print piece that you publish or send to your customers.
4. Direct viewers or listeners to an email signup page in every webinar, online video or audio that you broadcast.
5. Use social media -- Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or similar channels -- to drive people to your email signup page.
Many businesses are stuck right now. But that doesn’t mean they have to pause their list-building and marketing. Those who press ahead will be better positioned to survive the pandemic and thrive in spite of it.
Tom Ruwitch is the founder and former CEO of MarketVolt which he founded in 2001 and which was acquired by Benchmark Email in January. In February, Tom now runs Story Power Marketing which helps businesses power up their stories so prospects tune in, stay tuned, and take action. More information at StoryPowerMarketing.com