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Top 10 super-smart ways to boost an email marketing list

Great content will keep them coming back


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One of the keys to a successful email marketing program is continual list growth. It’s estimated that at least 22.5 percent of email addresses expire each year. Even if that was not the case, you’d still be looking for opportunities to expand your reach and increase your contact list. The following are 10 smart and fairly simple ways to do just that.

  1. Ask your current customers. The best place to start building your email list is with the people you already know. But don’t just upload a bunch of email addresses into your email service provider from your database. Ask your customers first if they are open to receiving email communications from you and be sure to communicate the value of doing so.
     
  2. Use a website sign-up form. Your website is another great place to find individuals who are interested in your business and might be open to receiving email communications from you. Many email service providers offer a simple sign-up form that you can easily implement on your website.
     
  3. Require email for registration at on or offline events. Whether you attend conferences or trade shows, speak at luncheons or host online webinars, all of these events are excellent opportunities to ask attendees to join your email list. It’s easier to collect email addresses upon event registration, but if you do that remember to allow attendees to opt in to your list, rather than just adding them.
     
  4. Promote your email efforts in social media posts. Invite people who follow you on social media to sign up for your email list. Provide a preview of an email newsletter or let them know about deals sent only to your email list that they are missing to encourage signups.
     
  5. Run special promotions or contests. Everyone loves a sale or the chance to win something really cool—like a gift card or an Apple watch. You can ask for email addresses in exchange for receiving the special offer or being entered into a contest, but be clear that providing an email address means they are being added to your email list.
     
  6. Conduct a survey. Doing a survey can both increase your list size and give you a great opportunity to learn more about the individuals who are joining your list. Ask questions related to your industry and service preferences and then use the responses to improve your list segmentation and personalization strategies.
     
  7. Start a loyalty program. Does your business model lend itself to a loyalty program? If your customers visit you on a regular basis for a product or service, it just might. Require an email address to sign up for the loyalty program and provide exclusive offers and benefits for members.
     
  8. Create a birthday club. Who doesn’t love to celebrate birthdays? Offer people a deal they can’t refuse as a birthday gift in exchange for signing up for your email list. And if your business’ services don’t naturally lend themselves to a compelling offer, partner with a local coffee shop or restaurant to offer a free drink, appetizer or dessert—on you—in celebration.
  1. Provide downloadable guides/content. B2B companies are the most likely candidates to produce downloadable content like whitepapers, guides and infographics. However, any valuable content is worth packaging and offering as a free download, in exchange for joining your email list.
  1. Include information in your email signature. Perhaps the easiest way to make people aware of your email marketing efforts is to include in invitation to join your list—with a very brief explanation of the benefits—in your email signature. This allows everyone you communicate with through email the opportunity to continue that relationship.

These suggestions are just a few of the many ways to grow your email list organically. Hopefully, they’ve sparked some ideas of other options you might try that will resonate specifically with the audience members you are seeking. And remember, the content you send is what will keep your list members engaged and give them reasons to open each email from you that arrives in their inbox. For this reason, it is important to take the time to ensure every email is valuable and facilitates a good experience with your brand.

 

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Tanya Wheeler-Berliner

Tanya Wheeler-Berliner is the director of marketing for Email on Acid, a Colorado-based company that provides in email testing, troubleshooting and advanced analytics. She is an experienced communications and marketing professional with expertise in branding, strategy, content development, and digital channels. Connect with Tanya on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter @tanyawb. Learn more about Email on Acid at www.emailonacid.com.

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