How to Build a Bigger, Better Email List

Growing a quality email list is one of the most important (and most challenging) aspects of email-marketing success. So start 2015 strong by reviewing your current strategies for email list building with the goal of discovering new ways to improve.

Quality Trumps Quantity for Email Lists

Due to list attrition, a typical email list loses as much as 25% of its subscribers every year. List attrition happens for myriad reasons, such as people getting new business email addresses (because they change jobs), personal email addresses (to switch Internet service providers), or unsubscribe because they are no longer interested in the products/services you offer. That means that you need to find ways to continuously attract new subscribers to your list.

When it comes to the elements that are key to successful email campaigns, the quality of the email list is primary. A recent survey showed that while global email marketers rated data/list quality first among factors that influence email response rates, list size was rated as having the least impact out of the 10 factors studied. So as you consider implementing new list-building methods, it’s important to ensure not only that you’re attracting more subscribers, but also that those subscribers have the potential to become valuable customers in the future.

Are you doing everything you can to build a list of quality subscribers? To answer that, consider the following questions about your current list-building program:

  • Do you make it easy for prospects and customers to sign up? Begin by looking at all the touch points in your company’s sales funnel to be sure you’re providing ample opportunities for people to sign up to get your emails. For example, consider your website visitors. Do you have an opt-in form prominently displayed on the home page? Are there opt-in forms both above and below the fold? Do you have opt-in forms on every page of your website? Try testing various locations for the opt-in forms – such as in the navigation bar or right sidebar versus upper left sidebar, alone or in combination – to see what drives the most conversions.
  • Are you giving people a compelling reason to join your list? Let potential subscribers know from the start what’s in it for them. Whether you provide exclusive discounts, a monthly email newsletter packed with valuable industry tips, or other types of information that would be of value and interest to your email subscribers, include a benefit-centric description within or nearby your sign-up forms.
  • Have you tried offering an incentive to capture new subscribers? For example, collect email addresses in return for a white paper, e-book, webinar, or online tool (e.g., FulcrumTech’s ROI Goalsetter®) that provides information of value to your target audience. Contests and drawings for a prize are another way to entice people to sign up for your email list. Be aware, however, that people may give you their email addresses to try to win a great prize but not be remotely interested in ever purchasing your products or services.
  • Do you keep mobile users in mind when designing sign-up forms? With so many people using mobile devices to browse websites and answer emails today, using mobile-friendly design for your opt-in forms and landing pages is important. Keep your sign-up forms simple and the amount of information requested to a minimum, for example, so joining your email list is a quick and easy process. Check out a recent NewsLever feature – “Mobile Email Marketing Best Practices” – for more information about mobile-friendly design.
  • Have you tried using quick-response (QR) codes on print marketing materials to encourage people to join your email list? As we described in a previous NewsLever article, QR codes are two-dimensional, matrix bar codes that can be scanned by smartphone users to quickly link to your organization’s opt-in page. In addition to including QR codes on print ads, consider adding them on such offline sources as order forms, receipts, business cards, product packaging, restaurant table toppers, and billboards.
  • Do you offer sign-up forms on other platforms, including your social media sites and blogs? Take advantage of the opportunity to bring in more email subscribers from social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Highlight the benefits they’ll receive by subscribing for your email communications versus what they get through the social website. You may also consider social log-in (also known as social sign-in), which uses potential subscribers’ existing social media log-in information to sign in to your website and sign up to get your emails, as well.
  • Have you tried popup or popover sign-up forms to grow your email list? As a supplement to your website forms, a popover will help your invitation to subscribe stand out even more. Although many people may find popovers annoying, they work! For more information about incorporating popups and popovers into your list-building repertoire, be sure to check out a recent NewsLever feature on the topic.

Need some help building a bigger, better email list? Contact the experts at FulcrumTech and we’ll get you started on the road to email-marketing success today!

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