Get your contacts to become your audience.
So maybe you were at a giant trade-fair this week and you met someone or a bunch of someones. These new contacts want to know more about your business and they probably handed you their business cards. So now what do you do with them?
Ask them to join your subscriber list
Right away, in that first conversation you have with a new contact, ask them if they are interested in joining your subscriber list and make sure you get their email address and other relevant information. You will follow up with an opt-in email later, but this first confirmation gets the ball rolling.
Find ways to keep track of everything
You need to keep track of new people you meet. Grab a notebook, start an Excel spreadsheet - whatever works for you, so that you know where you were, what you talked about and when you made a new contact. This is going to help you later. You'll need to remind them who you are and how you connected so they are more likely to want to follow through and join your subscriber list. If your website is mobile-friendly, they can subscribe to your newsletter on site.
Write an email that is relevant to your new contact
You can't just take a whole list of new email addresses from all the expos, conferences, and comic-cons you went to and send them a generic "Join my list" email. Nope. You need to make them feel special. That is why you wrote down all that information earlier about where you met them and what you talked about, what their business or specialty is, and what they are interested in. Use that handy insight now to compose a delightful email for them and make sure you ask them to confirm that they would like to receive your mail - no assumptions here, some countries are taking a hard position on this - we recommend this article on CASL as an example.
Enjoy the benefits of coming full circle
Real-life conversations can lead to real email subscribers. All those handshakes and name exchanges just need to be harnessed, soothed and attended to and you'll truly create the link that makes your 'real world' contacts land on your email subscriber list. And after that, your business activities might bring you back to meeting in the real world.