List-Building Best Practices from the Pasta House

Our friends at The Pasta House Co. — a chain of Italian restaurants in and around St. Louis, MO — do a great job of building their email list, using MarketVolt’s online signup form, automated follow-up tools and survey engine.

Here’s how Pasta House does it…

On the front page of the Pasta House web site, visitors see a prominent call to action: “Sign up for special offers & discounts here and get a FREE appetizer!”


Two best practices here:

  • Include a prominent call to action for email list signup on your front page.
  • Give people an incentive to join your email list.

pastahouse_signup2_250Those who click the link jump to a signup form that requires First Name, Last Name, Email Address, and Zip. Date of Birth and Anniversary are optional. In general, the signup form is simple, short and not intimidating.

More best practices: 

  • Keep the initial signup form short and simple. If the form is too long, with too many required fields, fewer people will opt-in.
  • Anticipate how you might segment your list and tailor your content. Collect information that will help you segment your list. In this case, Pasta House plans to send location-specific content.

Subscribers receive a thank-you email soon after opting-in. The email includes the coupon for the free toasted ravioli and asks recipients to complete a short survey.  The survey asks whether respondents have kids or are teachers, among other questions. Those who complete the survey get another thank-you email with another, more valuable, coupon.

Ideas Worth Emulating: 

  • Use surveys to expand recipient profiles. While you  keep the initial signup form short, you can collect additional information with a simple survey. Those who click through demonstrate engagement (they’re strong prospects for repeat visits and additional services such as catering). Pasta House has special offers for children and educators. The survey helps the company identify the people to target with such offers.
  • Establish an interactive dialog with your followers. By sending a survey immediately following signup, Pasta House establishes the idea that it values customers’ feedback. Make your communications two-way. Don’t simply push information and offers out to your list.

Way to go, Pasta House, for demonstrating some marketing best practices. These are practices that you can apply to your business to grow your list and engage your followers.




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