Introducing the GraceMed Newsletter Web App

A great way to grow the newsletter subscriber base is to encourage signups at special events. For example, the upcoming NHCW events in Wichita, McPherson, and Topeka could be opportunities to get more newsletter subscribers.

But the conventional method of collecting contact information by having visitors write down their names and email addresses on paper presents a few problems:

  1. Someone has to transcribe names and email addresses one by one, which adds another potential point of failure to the signup process.
  2. Some percentage of subscribers won't make it into the newsletter database because it's impossible to decipher their handwriting.

There must be a better way.

Enter the Newsletter Web App

I've made a streamlined version of GraceMed's usual newsletter signup form. You can use the form from any web browser, but this post will show you how to turn it into a web app. This will make the iPad function as a dedicated newsletter signup system. 

To make it work, grab an iPad (or iPod Touch or iPhone) and follow these steps.

Step 1: Add the Form to your homescreen

On the iPad, open this blog post in the Safari app. Then, tap on this link to open the form.

Now save the page to the home screen, like this:

 

Step 2: set the iPad to kiosk mode

Events can get hectic.

When you're managing a booth, you're juggling a lot of things at once, so it's helpful to simplify as much as possible. You don't want to always want to be carrying around the newsletter signup form. It's nice to be able to leave the iPad on the table in front of you — like you would with a clipboard — but kids love to play around with iPads. 

Fortunately, you can set the iPad into kiosk mode and prevent curious kids from opening YouTube while you talk with their parents. Here's how:

 

NB: Don't forget to turn off the automatic screen sleep function so the iPad is always on and ready to accept the next subscriber.

Mission Accomplished

 

Now you have a streamlined version of GraceMed's standard newsletter signup form. It asks for only essential information (first name & email address), and it automatically reloads for the next person upon submission, so people can sign up as quickly as possible. (Feel free to use the form and sign yourself up for the newsletter — just be aware that we can't legally add anyone who hasn't given explicit permission to join the newsletter.)

This digital signup form eliminates the need to interpret and transcribe handwriting. Submissions skip the middle man by feeding directly into a dedicated newsletter group for event attendees.

It's a one-time set up, so now your iPad is ready for use at future events. (Hello, Say Grace Race.)

Kyle Bowen