When marketers talk about building an email list, they generally mean something beyond the initial acquisition of a set of email addresses. Companies' email lists shouldn't be static. Rather, they should be constantly growing as more people sign up to receive high-quality email content and promotions from brands that excite them.
Creating that kind of growth and energy isn't a simple proposition. It requires an active, hands-on approach, as marketers need to implement multi-pronged strategies for encouraging signups so that more customers are being added to their lists than are unsubscribing. Sticking to a few best practices can help ensure your email marketing list expands rather than contracts.
Craft exclusive, useful content
One particularly effective way to encourage signups is to offer information, offers and content via email that aren't available elsewhere. This means not only differentiating yourself from your competitors but also making sure your messages don't simply repeat copy from your website. In a post for Business2Community, business expert and blogger Alex Strickland discussed how appealing exclusive content can be to potential customers.
"By providing those on your mailing list with information not available on your site, your customers are more likely to read each message, and begin looking forward to them," Strickland wrote.
Design your site to promote signups
Of course, contacts who sign up to your list organically are likely to do so from your website. As such, it's key that you optimize your landing pages for the purpose of growing your email list.
Small business writer Megan Totka recently wrote in a column for Small Business Trends about the effectiveness of using a blog page as a way of drawing in email subscribers. She recommended including a feature box prominently on the page so that readers can easily provide the company with their email addresses. Furthermore, offering some kind of free download – a whitepaper or eBook, for example – in exchange for email addresses is likely to encourage signups, Totka noted.
At all costs, avoid making the email signup process unnecessarily complicated. In a post for iMedia Connection, Act-On Software Senior Writer Monique Torres noted that page-loading delays as short as one second in length have been shown to lower conversion rates by 7 percent. She also pointed out that asking for too much information is likely to generate resistance from customers. Instead, require only the minimal data for email list subscription – name and email address – unless you're specializing the content in such a way that requires a greater set of information.