Last week I headed to Vons to pick up some supplies, since I was having a few friends over for dinner and to watch a hockey game. At checkout, the cashier asked if I wanted to sign up for their ‘just for u’ program for extra savings. The grocery store is literally two blocks from my house and I’m there several times per week. I said sure.

She immediately paged a store manager, who quickly came over with an iPad. He had the registration process cued up and asked me for my Vons card. He input the necessary information himself, then handed it to me to enter my email address and create a password. All the while, he was explaining the ‘just for u’ program to me. You can attach all sorts of coupons to your card online, so you don’t have to worry about clipping coupons and remembering to bring them to the store.

The process and program were all simple enough to comprehend. My only issue came when the manager asked me if I wanted to subscribe to their newsletter. He showed me the different options, which were really just segments of their list based on types of products. I told him to sign me up across the board (since I habitually subscribe to newsletters anyway). The manager actually tried to talk me out of it! I get that some people still have a stigma around email marketing and associate it with spam, but c’mon. You have a customer in your store willing to subscribe to all your newsletters, and you want to convince them otherwise? Get out of your own way!

I had received two emails from Vons before I had gotten my groceries to my car. One confirming my registration with the ‘just for u’ program, and another welcoming me to it. It’s been about a week and I’ve yet to receive any of their newsletters, but I do look forward to them. Just as I look forward to my savings when I go to pick up some food for dinners this week.

What are you doing for in-store signups? If your answer is nothing, you are missing out on a golden opportunity to build your email list. It doesn’t have to be an iPad at the ready, either. I’ve seen some stores and restaurants with a poster asking you to text a number to subscribe. Others will simply have a paper signup sheet on the counter. It can even be as simple as your cashier asking the customer if they’d like to subscribe. (Of course, there’s always Benchmark’s handy Easy List App for just such occasions.) Make sure your employees are trained for it and positive, though. Not every willing subscriber will work for an email marketing company and be as undeterred as I was.