As email marketers, our top goal is to drive ROI from the email channel. Having a broad audience of engaged subscribers helps make our jobs that much easier. While list growth is key in achieving ROI for the brand, many email marketers have been horrified to see their campaigns land in the spam folder due to complaints, negative SRD feedback, or list hygiene challenges. So how do you grow your list without triggering this? It’s all about finding a balance of quantity and quality.
Well-strategized, organic list growth is the foundation of subscriber acquisition, in addition to focusing on multiple entry points into the list across key channels. In Return Path’s latest ebook–50+ Ways to Grow Your Email List–we cover 52 ways that marketers can boost their database with those new, high-quality subscribers we’re all looking for.
In this post, I’ll touch on the primary points of entry that marketers need to think about as they work towards acquiring a larger, more active mailable universe.
Get the basics dialed
Creating an optimized, user-friendly acquisition and onboarding experience is an essential part of the process. By making each step of the process simple, intuitive, and pleasant for subscribers, you’re more likely to see higher subscriber counts and better read rates. As you review the acquisition process, think about it from the perspective of your subscribers. Is the process easy? Is permissioning clear? Do the benefits resonate? If you play devil’s advocate with your own program now, you’ll be better off for it in the end. Check out this post for some additional detail on acquisition and onboarding essentials.
Refine subscribe forms on your site
This is the bread and butter of organic list growth strategies–and when it comes to the subscribe process–the details matter. Be sure that you have call-outs and opt-in forms throughout your website. If list growth is a big goal for your brand, devote a little more time and real estate to the entry points for your email program.
Consider the context of your pages and the interests and objectives that drive visitors to those pages. Where possible, adjust the benefit language and opt-in copy to relate to those interests and objectives. Your footer is also a common place where visitors will look for a subscribe form, so be sure a sign-up form is easy to find, like in this example from Norwegian Cruise Line.
Turn friends into subscribers
Your acquisition efforts need to go beyond your website in order to get the boost you’re looking for. Many social media sites are in-tune with your objectives and provide multiple ways (both paid and free) for you to get more sign-ups. If your budget allows, test out sponsored posts on sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram but be sure that you are keeping the subscriber’s perspective and objectives in mind when doing so. When you give people what they want, they’re more likely to give back!
Don’t only limit yourself to social media sites when you think about shared content. In occasional instances, your subscribers will occasionally pass messages on to friends, families and coworkers. Include a link to your opt-in page for interested recipients of forwarded messages.
Get old school at brick and mortar locations
In-store shoppers are pre-qualified email subscribers. They already like your brand and chances are, they probably like savings and perks as well. The ratty clipboard at the counter is still surprisingly effective but can be cumbersome and a list hygiene nightmare. Make it easier on your store employees and database by creating some in-store signage that speaks to the benefits of the email program and creates a very simple script and process for collecting addresses. If this is a tactic you employ, you will likely want to look into a list validation service to make sure you don’t end up Spam creek without a paddle. Check out this post on FAQs on list validation services.
You can also leverage your printed and emailed receipts to help drive more subscribers into the program.
If this any of these recommendations seem a little vague, check out the ebook for more detailed recommendations. Out of 52 tips, there’s bound to be something for everyone.