Email list building strategies: How I increased my signup rate 1,282%

Not all email list building strategies are created equal, and I found that out the hard way. For too long I had relied on strategies that just didn’t produce results.

After a bit of experimentation, I was able to go from an average of 12 new subscribers per month to consistently adding 200+ subscribers per month. I’m going to show you which tactics worked for me, and which didn’t.

I actually started with list that was declining.

The decline in subscribers wasn’t quite fast enough to cause alarm. Since new people continued to subscribe and my unsubscribe rate wasn’t too high, addressing this issue had always moved to the bottom of my to-do list.

Email list building strategies: A case study on how I increased my subscribe rate 1,282%

Of course, losing subscribers is inevitable – marketers should expect about a 20% email churn rate. People can get off of your list for a variety of reasons – they unsubscribe, they change jobs and they no longer have the same email address, they change email addresses, etc. My email churn rate at the time was under 5% – way below average.

Knowing that you’ll lose a certain percentage of your list every year, the key is to add more subscribers than you’re losing if you want to continue to grow your list.

In my case, I was losing about 44 subscribers per month (29 to bounces, 15 to unsubscribes), while only gaining about 12 subscribers per month.

You don’t even need to get a calculator out to realize that this was not good news for my list growth.

And, for the record, even though email is a relatively “old” communication method in the digital world, it is still very effective. Check out these fun facts from a post on email marketing stats and trends for nonprofits:

  • Total online revenue correlates closely with email list size. The more people you can ask, the more money you will raise. But, in terms of growth trends, online fundraising by organizations with smaller lists is growing fastest.
  • On average, 35% of online revenue can be sourced to a direct email appeal, with the rest coming from other sources, like directly pulling up a website or peer referral.

Needless to say, I was starting to freak out that this subscriber list was slowly declining!


This was my situation:

I had inherited a decent-sized list, so up until this year I made minimal changes to how I collected emails. Basically, I very passively asked people to join the list by having a subscribe box on several locations on the website.

Before I started this experiment, I had subscribe boxes on the homepage, at the bottom of every article, and on the sidebar on the website. I averaged 12 new subscribers per month with these in place. Not exactly anything to brag about.


Small, easy changes led to… not much growth

In May of 2014 I made some small design and copy changes to the subscribe boxes in attempt to draw a little more attention to them. I added an arrow next to the subscribe boxes to make them stand out a little more. I changed copy from “Sign up for email updates” to “Sign up to get useful resources sent to your inbox monthly.” I also changed the language of the submit button from “Go” to “Send me resources.” Finally, I added share buttons to the bottom of the emails.

The results:

I gained an extremely modest two subscribers per month, on average, doing these quick fixes. This is likely not even a statistically significant change.

To be honest, even though I knew they wouldn’t be the magic bullet to building my list, I thought these tactics would have helped a little bit more than they did. But everything helps …right?



Email list building strategies that worked …and ones that didn’t

It was time to make some substantial changes in the way I collected emails.

I decided to make 2015 my year to increase the number of subscribers.

About nine months after I started this project, I’ve added a total of 2,675 emails to my list – nearly 300 new subscribers per month. Only 193 came from website sign-ups (my only method of collecting email addresses before this experiment) during this timeframe. Without implementing any new tactics, I would have only gained an average of 21 new subscribers per month. Instead, my list grew over 14x that rate.

Here are the tactics I tried:

  • Paper sign-up forms for in-person events
  • Adding people who sign up for webinars
  • Putting pop-ups on the website
  • Creating squeeze pages for valuable content

You can see for yourself that these tactics made a big difference in the number of subscribers:

Chart that shows how new email list bulding strategies increased the growth rate

(Note that this chart doesn’t include imported emails, but it does give a good sense of the kind of growth I experienced.)


Here is the low-down on the tactics I tried:

Create email sign-up forms and bring them wherever we go

This particular organization hosts events and trainings and attends many conferences throughout the year. I thought, why not make an email sign-up form for us to take wherever we go? That way, if we’re running a workshop or hosting an event we can collect email addresses of people we know are interested in our work.

It didn’t take more than half an hour to make up a nice-looking sign-up sheet. However, there were a few challenges with this tactic:

  • Convincing staff members to bring the sign-up sheets with them to trainings they run or events they attend. They already have a lot of things to think about, and this one just wasn’t on the top of the list for most people.
  • Collecting sign-up sheets after the training or event. If they did bring the sign-up sheets to the training or event, it was sometimes a challenge to locate it amidst the many materials they brought home with them.
  • Barely legible handwriting. I’m going to blame this one on the widespread use of digital media (though I’m sure this has always been an issue). So many of us our out of practice of writing things by hand that many of the names and email addresses we collected were difficult to decipher.
  • Needing time to manually input information into the subscriber database. Once we had the forms in hand, we needed to type up each piece of information to import these new subscribers. For the amount of information we gathered, this wasn’t terribly time-consuming. However, this task could get very overwhelming very quickly.

One solution that would help overcome a couple of these challenges is to use a tablet or laptop versus a pen and paper to subscribe people to the list. However, many times we were in situations where we would leave the sign-up sheet out on a table and run off to do other things, so we didn’t want to leave a tablet or laptop unattended.

The results:

All in all, I collected 59 subscribers from four events, averaging 15 new subscribers per event.

Even though this wasn’t a huge increase in our list by any means, I still think it’s worth implementing this tactic if you have the resources to do so because people who attend your trainings or events are already interested in what you have to offer. This one is definitely more about quality than quantity.


Add people who attend webinars to my list

Webinars are a great way to deliver trainings online, as well as to get the word out about what you offer. The great thing about webinars is that people need to give their name and email address to sign up – the exact same information you need to grow your list.

Adding webinar participants to your list is also a lot easier than the first tactic of having paper sign-up forms at in-person events. It gets rid of some of the middlemen and messy handwriting challenges. You just need to make sure that when people sign up for your webinar that they know they’re also subscribing to your email list.

The results:

During this timeframe, we only hosted two webinars – definitely not as many as I would have liked. However, I was able to add 121 to our list from this tactic – an average of 61 subscribers per webinar.

This is a pretty time-consuming endeavor to create, market, and host webinars. For some, webinars is a key email list building strategy and it’s worth the investment. It wasn’t for me, so I’m going to focus on some other tactics.


Add a pop-up to the website

Pop-ups have a bad reputation, for sure. But when I started asking around, people kept telling me over and over again that they work. So I decided to give them a try.

I used SumoMe to install pop-ups on the website. This tool has many great free features – pop-ups being just one of them. I used the free version of SumoMe, but if you subscribe to the pro version of their list builder for $20/month you’ll get access to advanced features like more options to customize your designs as well as A/B testing. Next time I’m looking for ways to increase the number of subscribers yet again, I will definitely sign up for those advanced options.

The key to not being annoying with your pop-ups is to configure your settings so they don’t show up too often. I choose the “smart” mode to let the program choose when it’s appropriate to display the pop-up. This means that it doesn’t show up for every user, and it only shows up when certain things happen like when they interact with the content (they’re definitely interested!) or when it looks like they’re about to leave (they’re leaving anyway, why not try to collect their email?). I also set it so it doesn’t show up again until four months after their first visit so they’re not bothered every time they come to the website.

If you (or your boss) are still wary of using pop-ups, try them out on your top exit pages first. That’s the place where you really have nothing to lose – people are leaving your site at a high rate anyway.

The results:

In the seven months or so that I’ve been using pop-ups, I collected 700 email addresses. This averages out to 100 new subscribers per month (I implemented pop-ups a few months into my experiment so they weren’t running for the full nine months). This is by far the best method of all the strategies listed so far!


Add resources with squeeze pages

Membership is a great way to increase your email list. This organization’s previous website had a membership feature, and this was the main way they grew their list. When they moved to a new design, they got rid of that feature for a variety of reasons I won’t get into in this post. This also meant they got rid of the main source for getting new subscribers.

I didn’t want to add the membership feature to the website again, but I did need something else to add value for our audience.

Asking people to subscribe on the promise that we’ll send useful articles and resources in the future was working out pretty well by using the pop-ups. But knowing human nature and our desire for instant gratification, I thought we could do better. If we could offer something that was useful to our audience that they could download right now in exchange for their email, I figured we would be able to grow our list even more.

For this organization, I released two resources that I made available to people if they subscribed to our newsletter. One was a set of templates and the other was a list of research we had pulled together that would be particularly useful for our audience.

To do this, I created a squeeze page to give website visitors information about the resource and to hopefully convince them to enter their information to sign up for it. I also set up an automated email so once they confirmed their email address, they would immediately receive another email with a link to download the resource.

The results:

Over the last nine months I collected an astounding 1,602 email addresses using this method. This averages 178 new subscribers per month.

One reason this method was so successful was that this particular list belongs to a nonprofit that has a Google AdWords Grant. This allowed me to send a significant amount of traffic directly to the resource, for free, with minimal effort, in a short amount of time. If you work for a nonprofit and have a Google AdWords Grant, this is a great tactic to use to get more subscribers.

If you’re not part of a nonprofit, you may want to consider spending some money for ads on Google and social media that send people to a sign-up page for your free resource. If you know how much each of your email subscribes is worth, it’s fairly easy to justify the money spent on ads as long as you get quality leads. If there’s no room in your budget for ads of any kind, you can still promote your resource the “old-fashioned” way with blog posts, social media, and enewsletters.


Final thoughts

The list growth was much higher than I ever expected – I grew this list by 56% in just nine months!

Here’s the breakdown of the sources that contributed to my list growth during this 9-month period:

Sources of new enewsletter subscribers after implementing new email list building strategies

The rapid increase in subscribers and website visits (via the Google ads) didn’t come without consequences. My email churn rate went from under 5% to a little over 11% – still not bad considering the average churn rate across the board is about 20%.

This experiment may have had a negative impact on the website as well. During this time period, bounce rates increased and the average time on the website decreased. My initial thought was that this was caused by all of the traffic I was sending to my squeeze pages. Turns out, people actually spend more time than average on the squeeze pages for the new resources I created. So the source of those two problems may lie elsewhere in the site and may not actually be caused by the increase in traffic to those pages.

The open rates for the monthly newsletter dropped slightly – a little less than one percentage point. I did see an increase in the total number of opens and clicks: there was a 6.7% increase in the average number of opens per newsletter sent, and a 3.3% increase in the average number of clicks per newsletter sent. While this is still a step in the right direction, the increase in opens and clicks did not keep up with list growth.

Now that I feel like I have a handle on growing my subscriber list, I’m going to tackle open and click rates next (one method I’m using is email segmentation).

I’ll keep you posted on my progress. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about email list building strategies that have worked for you. Post your results in the comments!



Email Segmentation in MailChimp: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help Boost Open Rates

We’re all looking for ways to increase email open rates. By far, the most effective strategy I’ve found is email segmentation. Doing things like experimenting with subject lines, A/B testing, and finding the optimal day/time to send your newsletter are all great ways to help you increase open rates. But if you’re looking for results, try these email segmentation strategies.

Boost email open rates with this step-by-step guide on segmentation

When you segment your list, you’re sending an email to a portion of your subscribers. It’s a way of getting information people want to the people who want it.

For quick reference, here are the five steps of email segmentation:

Step 1: Decide how to organize your email subscribers

Step 2: Sort your existing list and set up tracking for future subscribers

Step 3: Set up your initial email segments

Step 4: Set up a schedule for your email segmentation strategy

Step 5: Continue segmenting after they’ve subscribed to your list


When you try email segmentation for the first time, it can be like magic. Using this tactic, you may be able to more than double your open rate.

Here are real stats from a list I manage:
This graph shows that sending emails to segments resulted in a much higher open rate than the industry average

If you want to use this tactic, you’ll have to get off of autopilot for a little bit to think strategically as to how you’ll use segments to your advantage and to set up your groups. However, I think it’s a very worthwhile investment.

I’m going to highlight step-by-step how to segment your email list in MailChimp, but you can definitely segment with other email platforms as well.

Step 1: Decide how to organize your email subscribers

When you’re just getting started, think about a few groups you’d like to target. Ask yourself: How do you divide your content? Who is your audience?

For example, let’s say your organization runs computer programming camps for teen girls. You may organize your list into parents, volunteers, donors/sponsors, and prospective campers.

The difference between groups and segments in MailChimp

In MailChimp, you can sort your subscribers into “groups” and “segments.” Groups organize people by their interests and preferences. Segments are filters, usually based on an action they’ve taken. For example, you may create a group for volunteers. Then, you may create a segment of subscribers that includes volunteers who didn’t open any of your last five campaigns.

Sound confusing? That’s ok. You don’t need to understand the difference between groups and segments right now – just know that we’ll be using both in this guide.

At this stage, what’s most important is for you to think about who you’d like to target, what kind of content you might send those targeted groups, and how you might be able to identify subscribers in those groups.

Step 2: Sort your existing list and set up tracking for future subscribers

These are all optional, but highly recommended, ways to put your subscribers into groups – there are still a lot of ways to segment your list without doing any of these steps. Skim this list and choose which tactics, if any, would help you reach your goals.

Create groups in MailChimp

To create groups, select your list. In the “Manage subscribers” tab, select “Groups.”

MailChimp groups for email list segmentation

On the right, click “Create Groups” and choose the options you’d like.


Set up merge tags on your website

You should have sign up forms on just about every page of your website. If you add a tag to the MailChimp form code, you’ll be able to know which page or section people signed up from.

Think about how your content is divided on your website and the groups you want to reach. How can you tag the sections of your website in a way that will help you target certain audiences?

Let’s go back to the example of the organization that runs computer programming camps for teen girls. If their website is divided into separate sections for parents, volunteers, donors/sponsors, and prospective campers, they could tag the enewsletter sign-up forms with the appropriate tag for each section. Then they can send relevant information to those specific audiences.

Note: You may have to work with your web developer to create sections for your enewsletter sign-up forms on different sections of your website. If you just have one form at the footer of your site, for example, you may not be able to insert the MailChimp tag on different sections.

Here’s how you can create a new tag for your list:

First, go to your list in MailChimp. Select the down arrow and choose “Settings.”

MailChimp list settings used for email segmentation

Select “List fields and *|MERGE|* tags.”

In the “Field label and type,” add a label that makes sense to you. I use “Sign up source.” Make sure the “Visible?” box is unchecked (this prevents the field from showing on your website form).

Be sure to scroll down and save your changes!

MailChimp merge tag fields used for email list segmentation

Now that your merge tag is set up, go to the section of your website you want to add the tag. In your sign-up form code, add this before the “Submit” button:

<input id=”MMERGE3″ name=”MMERGE3″ type=”hidden” value=”volunteer_section” />

It will look something like this: Code for using merge tags to set up email segmentation in MailChimpMake sure the “MMERGE3” value corresponds with the “Field label and type” you want to track (so if it’s MMERGE4 for your list, make sure your code says MMERGE4 instead). Change the “value” to whatever you’d like to name your tag.

Congrats! Your merge tags are set up!


Sort people into groups from webinars and events

If you run webinars, this is a great opportunity to sign attendees up for your email list (do make sure there’s a disclaimer somewhere when they sign up that they will also be added to your newsletter list). In the webinar sign up form, you can ask people to select the topics they want to hear about from you and/or why they are interested in your topic. Basically, you can have people self-select to opt-in to your existing groups when they register for your webinar.

If you have in-person events, this is another opportunity to have people self-select which group(s) they want to opt-in to on your sign-up sheet.

For past webinars or in-person events, you can put people into groups based on the topic of the event. For example, if your webinar or event was an orientation for new volunteers, you can put everyone who attended that event into the “volunteers” group.


Use your existing database to segment your enewsletter list

You can use your database as another opportunity to segment your subscribers. MailChimp integrates with many kinds of databases, and if yours is compatible, you may be able to sort people into groups within MailChimp.

If your database doesn’t integrate with MailChimp, you’ll still be able to use it (just make sure the people you’re uploading to MailChimp are subscribed to your list). All you need to do is download a spreadsheet of the people you’d like to add to a certain group. Make sure you have separate spreadsheets for each group and that you save them as .csv files.

Here’s how you can add current subscribers to your groups:

  1. Go to your list in MailChimp. From the drop-down menu on the right, select “Import.”
  2. Choose “Integrated service” if your database links with MailChimp, or “CSV or tab-delimited text file” if you’re uploading a spreadsheet.
  3. Select the file you want, check the box that says you understand your billing plan may be automatically upgraded, and click “Next.”
  4. Match each column to a MailChimp field. Once you’ve matched all the columns in your list, click “Next.”
  5. Check the box to add imported subscribers to your groups. Select the group(s) you want to add your subscribers to.
  6. Check the box to auto-update your existing list. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. If you don’t do this, your groups will not be updated.
  7. Click “Import” and you’re done!

Step 3: Set up your initial email segments

Now that you have several ways to sort your list, you may find that you now have more than one way to track the same type of person or people with the same interest. For example, let’s say I have two ways of knowing if someone is a volunteer: if they signed up for my newsletter from the volunteer section of my website or if they marked that they were interested in volunteering in my sign-up form at an in-person event. Since I have more than one way of knowing if a subscriber is interested in volunteering, I need to create a segment in MailChimp if I want to email all the volunteers in my list.

To do this, navigate to your list. In the “Manage subscribers” tab, click the “Segments” option. This is where you can combine groups and/or segments in your list.

Here is an example of what a “volunteer” email segment might look like:

Screenshot of creating email segments in MailChimp

Step 4: Set up a schedule for your email segmentation strategy

Now that you have your groups set up and populated, this is the fun part. Trust me, it’s tempting to go a little crazy.

The purpose of segmenting your list is to send super relevant information to those groups. Keep in mind how frequently you want to contact your subscribers. I’d suggest you cap your emails at double your normal rate when you’re just getting started. For example, if you regularly send out a newsletter once a month, I’d suggest that you don’t send more than two emails a month when you start segmenting your list. Some people will be on multiple lists, so you don’t want to suddenly inundate your subscribers with a ton of emails.

Here is a email segmentation strategy example:

  • Monthly newsletter, sent to entire list
  • Email highlighting volunteer profiles, opportunities, and trainings, sent to volunteer segment
  • Monthly newsletter, sent to entire list
  • Email with FAQs from campers, sent to prospective camper segment
  • Monthly newsletter, sent to entire list
  • Email with FAQs from parents, sent to parent segment
  • Monthly newsletter, sent to entire list
  • Email highlighting stories of where campers are now, sent to donor segment

You’ll notice that in this sample schedule I still maintain the regular monthly newsletter. I’m just adding a focused email in between that I’ll only send to one segment.

I recommend this strategy for a couple reasons: First, the regular newsletter gives everyone on the list an opportunity to get a taste of a variety of content. This is important because some of your content will inevitably overlap, and groups may also be interested in more than one type of content. Second, this gives you an opportunity to continue segmenting your list based on activity (see step 5).

I like to think of the monthly newsletter as a taste of everything that’s happening in the organization. Then the segmented emails are an opportunity to send additional targeted information to those groups (which can be featured in the main monthly newsletter as well!).

Step 5: Continue segmenting after they’ve subscribed to your list

Now that you’ve got the hang of segmenting your list, let’s keep the momentum going. When people open certain emails or click on certain links, I like to put them into my existing groups or segments.

I think this is super helpful because this tells me what people are interested in without me assuming that they’re interested in certain kinds of content just because they belong to a certain group.

For example, let’s say I sent an email to my entire list highlighting all the different ways people can volunteer and get involved in the organization. Since the main topic was about volunteering, I’m going to assume that anyone who opened it may have some interest in learning about ways to volunteer, so I’d like to add them to my existing “volunteer” segment.

To do this, we need to go back to our list in MailChimp. In the “Manage subscribers” tab, click the “Segments” option. Click the “edit” button on the right next to the segment you want to add information to. Add a condition and select “Campaign Activity.” Then choose the newsletter that was on the topic of volunteer opportunities and save your segment.

Here is how your updated segment might look:

Screenshot of how to create segements in for email lists in MailChimp

Not too bad, right?

Now, if you’re like me and you send out a newsletter to your entire list that includes a variety of links, this makes things a little more challenging. How do you know if someone opened the email because they were interested in volunteer opportunities? What if they were interested in the advice for parents? Or they wanted to read information about the new program you’re rolling out?

In this case, the only way to truly know which topic there were interested in is by which link they clicked.

Unfortunately, right now in MailChimp there’s no easy way to add people to groups or segments by the specific link they clicked. But I think I’ve found a pretty good workaround.

There’s an app for MailChimp called Mail Bonobo that makes segmenting your list based on clicks really easy! Using that app, I only spend about a quarter of the time segmenting my list vs. doing it completely manually.

However, it is still a pretty new app so it can be a little buggy sometimes. If it’s not working for you, there’s still the completely manual way to do it. It takes longer, but it works every time.

Here’s how to manually add people to groups based on the links they clicked in your newsletter:

  1. Navigate to the “Campaigns” tab in MailChimp.
  2. Click the “View Report” button to the right of the campaign you want to analyze.
  3. Click on the “Activity” drop-down menu, then select “Clicked.”
  4. Click the “Export as CSV” button and open the file. This will give you all the information you have about each subscriber, including which link(s) they clicked in that particular campaign. In the Excel sheet, it’s helpful to widen the URL columns so you can see the full link. I also delete the other columns besides the email address because it clutters my view.
  5. Copy all the subscriber information for each link onto separate Excel sheets. For example, if a link was related to parent resources, I would copy all of those emails into a separate spreadsheet so I can import them into the “parents” group. Continue copying and pasting emails into separate spreadsheet for all the relevant links until you’ve gotten to the end of the list. Save each spreadsheet as a CSV file.
  6. Upload each list to their respective group in MailChimp.

Since this method is a little time-intensive, I only do this about once a quarter. But I definitely think it’s worth the extra effort!

Happy segmenting! Let me know in the comments how segmenting has helped increase your open rates 🙂

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Warning: You may be turning people away before you talk to them

If your contact information includes an “info” email address, a contact form, and/or a phone number that takes people through multiple prompts before reaching a real person, you’re likely turning people away.

If your contact information includes an “info” email address, a contact form, and/or a phone number with multiple prompts, you’re likely turning people away.

“Hello. You’ve reached the Wildlife Conservatory. Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed. For hours, press 1. For directions, press 2. For volunteer opportunities, press 3. For information on photography permits, press 4. For special events, press 5. For all other inquiries, treat yourself to an ice cream cone because you’ll be much happier than being on hold for 40 minutes listening to a 30-second clip of elevator music on repeat.”

I hate those menu options too. They drive me nuts.

If your contact information includes an “info” email address, a contact form, and/or a phone number that takes people through multiple prompts before reaching a real person, you’re likely turning people away.

People don’t trust “info” email addresses and contact forms because they don’t think they’re sending an email to a real person. Often, they’d rather leave the site than spend their time writing a message that they think will never be read or responded to.

Similarly with a phone number that leads people through multiple prompts, I can’t think of anyone who’d rather listen to those prompts than talk to a real person. Even if they stick it out through the prompts, they may be annoyed by the time they talk to someone at your organization. This is not the first impression you want them to have.


To do:

For your email address, you have several options:

  1. If there is one person who answers the emails that go to your “info” email address, put their email on your “Contact us” page instead. People are more likely to trust an email that’s going to “” than “”
  2. If you have multiple people checking the “info” email address or contact form submissions, it may not make sense to change it to one person’s email. On your contact page, reassure them that someone will reply to their email and let them know how quickly they can expect a reply.
  3. Include contact information for specific requests such as media inquiries, information about your services, and volunteer opportunities. Your audience will be happy to send an email directly to the appropriate person. This also reduces the amount of emails to the “info” address that need to be sorted through. Make the “info” email address available as a last resort if their request doesn’t fall neatly into the main categories.

For your phone prompts, take a look at your call volume and types of inquiries you receive. Review these questions:

How many calls do you receive on a daily basis? If you receive a significant number of calls, it’s likely worth it to have prerecorded messages for your frequently asked questions and/or prompts to send callers directly to the staff person who can answer certain questions. If you only receive a few calls per day, you might consider eliminating the prompts and assign one person to answer calls.

For prerecorded messages, do you update them on a regular basis? If not, you may be confusing your callers. Either make sure someone is assigned to update the recordings frequently, or eliminate the recordings altogether.

Can you consolidate any of your prompts? For example, the hours, location, and parking information could likely be one message.

Are there any prompts you should eliminate? For example, if you have a prerecorded message for volunteer opportunities, you’re missing the chance to connect with potential volunteers one-on-one and find a project that meets their skills and interests. Or let’s say you have a prerecorded message with information about photography permits, but you still get a lot of people who want to speak to a live person about that topic. Perhaps your message doesn’t have enough information, or it might be a topic that people need to ask specific questions which requires talking to an actual person.

Do you need to include the sentence, “Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed”? Do the same people call so frequently that they actually have your menu options memorized? If not, this explanation may not be necessary.