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November 10, 2011 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a user friendly way to let people sign up for an email newsletter at a live event. Other than forcing them to enter their emails right into the right website, how can I simplify the current process of a person writing their email down, and a different person writing it into a spread sheet, and then someone else uploading the emails into the newsletter system? Is there an iPad app for this?

Equipment: Ipad or laptop. Almost never wifi
Users: people stopping by a booth, often not very tech savvy. They only will spare a second to write down their emails, and if it's not easy for them to access they'll just skip it. Shoving a laptop in their faces can seem either sketchy or arduous.
Numbers: anywhere from tens to hundreds of signatures at each event.

Ideally they would step up, sign the tablet like it was a piece of paper, and the app would put it in a spread sheet and the screen would reset.

OK, if that's impossible, is there an app that will show a simple, single input line that they can type into it and it will pop into a spreadsheet? Or a program on a laptop that will at least LOOK more friendly than HEY HERE USE EXCEL THANKS STRANGER!

Or is there an even easier solution that I'm missing?

Thanks!
posted by Potomac Avenue to Technology (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
OK, if that's impossible, is there an app that will show a simple, single input line that they can type into it and it will pop into a spreadsheet? Or a program on a laptop that will at least LOOK more friendly than HEY HERE USE EXCEL THANKS STRANGER!

A custom web page (served locally off the laptop, obviously) that has just a single field for the email address. They enter their email address, click "submit." The email address is saved to a backend of some sort (text file, database, doesn't matter), a "thanks!" message appears for five seconds, then the initial page automatically reloads.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 12:08 PM on November 10, 2011


4 Personal Database Apps for the iPad
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:13 PM on November 10, 2011


As usual MailChimp delivers. Here in the form of Chimpadeedoo:

Chimpadeedoo makes it easy to collect email addresses from your iPad and import them into MailChimp.

Even when you're not online, Chimpadeedoo collects email addresses and stores them locally on your iPad. Next time you connect, Chimpadeedoo automatically pushes the addresses to your MailChimp list.


Seriously, check out MailChimp.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:15 PM on November 10, 2011


There's some way or other you can use QR codes for this. I can't remember off the top of my head, but I know some of our student groups use it here on campus. I'll check in with my social media colleague and report back.
posted by Madamina at 12:27 PM on November 10, 2011


Okay, he's not around, but it looks like MailChimp is one of the ways you can use QR codes for this. Look here for a start.

I know you said people might not be super tech savvy, but I'll bet more people have smartphones than you'd think, so this could be part of your solution.
posted by Madamina at 12:34 PM on November 10, 2011


Thanks Doofus, is there a super simple way to procure something like that without having to employ anyone to design it? (Yes I do believe that webpages come from trees, why?)

Foci: That is very close to perfect! Except I'm not using MailChimp. And I won't be anytime soon.

Madamina: That is very neat, and certainly doable along with whatever we come up with as a solution, but trust me, the majority of the people at these events don't have smart phones.

Thanks again y'all!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:20 PM on November 10, 2011


That is very close to perfect! Except I'm not using MailChimp. And I won't be anytime soon.

I'm with you on that. But you don't have to actually use it. You can use the signup form to capture addresses at MailChimp and then export them to whatever.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:33 PM on November 10, 2011


As for making a self-contained webpage without hiring someone, look at things like tiddlywiki, which is basically a single HTML file that can modify itself.

It's been a while since I used it, but I think there are a few little widgets you can put on a page. I would look for a way to take input and stick it into a hidden list.
posted by mad bomber what bombs at midnight at 3:15 PM on November 10, 2011


Sign up for a Gmail account (if you don't already have one), click on the Documents tab (top left) and (on the left) create a form. A two-question form appears: click on the pencil icon to edit each field and click DONE when finished. Everything you type into the resulting form will automatically appear in an associated spreadsheet. If you want an easily-remembered URL (so that people can call their friends to ask them to register), go to TinyURL.com to generate a custom alias. Easy peasy.
posted by juifenasie at 12:59 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ditto to julfensale -- Google Forms! This is a great solution! The problem is you don't always have wifi...so you would need to do this on smartphones. Check with the particular venues though, sometimes they will give you their wifi passwords for free, or you can use them for a small fee (hotels, event centers, etc.).

You could also utilize SMS platforms, but that's only worth it on a large scale usually.
posted by manicure12 at 9:14 PM on November 13, 2011


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