I stole this idea from George Whalin.
To build your customer email database, put a fishbowl on your counter with a sign-up for your email and offer a drawing for a $25 gift certificate each month for anyone who signs up that month.
Works like a charm.
I shared this idea with some of my toy store owner friends. Tracey Harding of Kidz Enterprise in Tyngsboro, MA took it one step smarter.
She posted that the winner would be announced in her monthly email.
Guess what her open rate is?
Yeah, a lot higher than yours and mine.
PS Follow this link for some words of wisdom I wrote on how to make an email newsletter campaign work for you. I wrote it in 2009 and the principles haven't changed.