How Much Is an Email Address Worth?

Exactly $20. At least that’s how much it was worth to Eastern Mountain Sports last night.

Here’s the story. I was shopping at EMS in NY City last night, and about to check out with a purchase of about $100. The clerk asked me if I was a member of their rewards program and dutifully I said no and expected that would be that. Then I cringed as she said “well, would you like to join our program? If you. …” At this point I was about to tune out when she said “all you need to give us is a a name, your email address and phone number and I’ll sign you up, and I’ll take $20 off your purchase today.

I did a double-take. No credit card? No push for signing anything? And you’ll give me a $20 credit on the spot? Needless to say I’m an EMS club member and I got a 20% discount on my purchase.

As I left the store, I started calculating the ROI they must get on buying e-mail names for $20, which is what they are doing.

This is why I keep urging arts managers to ask for email names at every chance you can get. Arts patrons will gladly sign up for your list, and you don’t have to pay them to do it! If you ask properly, and make it easy, building your list is the cheapest way to market your organization.

If EMS thinks an email name is worth $20, have you calculated what an email address is worth to your organization?

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