How does your garden grow?

Although it’s most assuredly winter in our New York offices, our thoughts are turning to new spring growth. List growth, of course!

Building a bigger list is generally on the top of most email marketers to-do lists. But, before you start to consider new tactics to meet that goal, you first need to assess how your list is growing now.

Questions to ask:

  • How many subscriptions get added per week?
  • How many people unsubscribe per week?
  • How many subscribers should we deem inactive (unresponsive after 60-90 days or longer)?
  • What is my net new additions – minus unsubs and inactives?

How do you know if your list growth is good or below average? Aim to measure success by how many new prospects you reach overall – if fewer than 70% of your new prospects (website visitors, sales leads, retail shoppers, call center prospects, etc) are joining your email program each month, then we recommend you swing into action. The next question? Where to start.

The answer is actually simple. If your problem is not enough new people being added to the list, then consider a combination of the four ways to grow your file – organic, paid acquisition, re-activation (ECOA and list hygiene) and append. Email us and we’ll send you our List Growth Best Practices Checklist – it includes four strategies for adding more subscribers to your list.

If the problem is people leaking out the bottom – either through unsubscribes or, more likely, becoming inactive, then your problem is likely a disconnect between your subscribers’ interests and the emails you send. If your emails don’t deliver on the promise you set during sign up, you will always have a high churn rate. What most subscribers find interesting is content that is about them, not about you. So rather than sending email messages based on your promotional calendar, focus on making your customers smarter, richer, better looking and more successful. Test adding a little bit of content to your product messages – three tips on productivity can turn a software product announcement from getting deleted to getting a response. Survey your subscribers and listen to your sales and customer service people to identify the most compelling needs – and then craft your email program around them.

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