Email Thursday – Grow Your Email List Organically



Last time, I talked about the dangers of a needlessly large email list. Hopefully, I made a convincing argument that bigger (for the sake of being bigger) is not better.

Today, I want to give you a couple tips on how you can grow your email list in a way that will provide returns in both the near and distant future.

To catch fish, you have to go where the fish are. I am still surprised at the number of websites that do not have a means to sign up interested subscribers.

In the case of email, make signing up to your email list as accessible as possible. There are a lot of easy-to-implement pieces of technology nowadays that allow you to collect email addresses from your website and from social media channels, like Facebook.

The most obvious place to ask for opt-in subscriptions is in email order confirmations. At that point, you have an interested person who is actively engaged and is at the point of purchasing. If this isn’t striking while the iron is hot, I don’t know what is.

You can take the Orbitz example as one way of asking customers to opt-in for email marketing.

Facebook also has a lot of great apps that allow your fans to subscribe to your email marketing program. I included an example of an effective app that not only allows the user to subscribe to an email program, but it also asks a couple of additional questions to provides deeper information regarding the user’s preferences and interests.

I included a great example of an email signup on a web page. The graphic is distinct from the other elements of the page and the button format encourages people to click on it. The button is not hidden from view, nor do users have to search for it. The button is located on the primary landing page and can be located within first glance.

To make these sorts of sign-ups as accessible as possible, you should include a brief description of what the user is signing up for. Include a couple key selling points that benefit readers.

When you’re promoting your email program via the website or social media, be sure to offer value.

A common trap that marketers fall into is that they assume the public-at-large is just as interested in the industry and in the products as they are. This is not always the case.

I have seen many email newsletters that are basic listings of products and prices. To the vast majority of the population, this sort of email communication has absolutely no relevance.

Before initiating an email program, marketers should determine which factors command their subscribers’ interests. Is it the discount deals that are exclusive email readers?
Is it the sneak previews and hot-off-the-presses news that is communicated through email newsletters? Or sometimes the humor and insight keep readers coming back for more.

After you determine the key points of value, be sure that you effectively communicate that to your readership – in word and in action.

If your readers value industry news, then be sure to promote and emphasize that in your description of the email marketing program. And in application, you should regularly orient your content towards those topics.

If you put this ideology into practice, you will minimize unsubscribe rates and you may also attract new members to your reader population.

Email is a digital medium that can spread quickly. If your email marketing holds relevance and value to your readers, word-of-mouth about the utility of your marketing may help boost growth rates.

There are fewer things worse in email marketing than a marketer who communicates infrequently and sporadically. In a world already saturated with email marketing, irregular email strategies fall by the wayside and get lost in the shuffle.

In the email world, readers expect the marketer to establish a rhyme and reason, a rhythm, to email marketing communications.

Engage your customers on a regular basis. A monthly email newsletter is a great example of this. Regular communications provides several key benefits:

  • Your customers become accustomed to receiving communications from your company. Your brand becomes more engrained in their lives – which opens up more opportunities for revenue generation and competitive differentiation.
  • You can regularly showcase products and promotions to an audience that is receptive to these sorts of offers
  • Your brand is allowed to grow with relevance as your customers evolve.

The key to establishing a regular series of engagements is to build a calendar of broadcasts and to commit to it. Remember that your calendar doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Coordinate your calendar with other marketing efforts and incorporate other aspects of business and customer cycles. For example, if your sales are seasonal it may be helpful to increase your email activity during those months to capitalize on customer interest. On the converse, you can step up your email marketing when sales are slower to increase customer activity.