Here’s a statistic that might cause email marketers to lose sleep at night: according to MarketingSherpa, the average email database will degrade by an astonishing average of 22.5 percent every year. To combat that decline and its impacts, companies – even those with the most engaged and loyal subscribers – must constantly focus on building their email lists.
At ClickDimensions, we get a lot of mileage and new names on our lists from our content marketing efforts such as eBooks and webinars. If you’re looking for other ways to build your email marketing lists, here are 10 ideas to get you started:
1. Social sharing buttons. Use social sharing buttons in your email messages to encourage your existing subscribers to share your content with their social networks.
2. Contests. Host a contest or giveaway that you promote on your website and social media accounts, and ask for email addresses as part of the entry process.
3. Web sign up forms. Placing easy-to-find email sign-up boxes around your website can help tremendously with list building.
4. Subscription management. Not only is subscription management great for retaining subscribers, showing individuals that they have options in the communications they receive can help encourage new subscribers too.
5. Online ads. Use online ads to promote email newsletters or other content, and collect email addresses via a landing page.
6. In person. If your business has a physical location, provide an email sign-up sheet or ask customers for email addresses at check out. In-person events are also a great place to request email addresses from attendees.
7. Exclusive offers. Create exclusive offers just for your email subscribers, and tell your audiences about this perk on your website, social media and other communications channels.
8. Facebook call to action. Use a newsletter sign up call to action on your company’s Facebook page to create an opportunity to connect with that audience via email.
9. QR codes. Place QR codes that link to an email sign up landing page on printed marketing materials.
10. Email signature. Encourage everyone in your organization to include a link to your newsletter sign up form in their email signatures.
No matter how you entice individuals to give you their email address, the key is to ensure that your lists are permission-based. Permission-based marketing means that the individuals that you’re marketing to have directly granted your organization permission to do so. In email marketing, this means that they have “opted in” to be on your list. This opt-in can be in the form of a subscription sign-up form on your website, a paper form at your place of business, or even a conversation you have in person or on the telephone with someone. Giving a recipient an opportunity to unsubscribe or opt-out is important, but your marketing is not permission-based if you didn’t first get their consent.
And remember to always avoid purchased lists. It may be tempting to purchase a list of email addresses from a third-party; however, most of these lists are not reliable, and the recipients on the list have not opted-in to receive your emails. Third-party lists are often purposely seeded by ISPs with fake email addresses whose only purpose is to catch spammers. Third-party lists also frequently contain out-of-date email addresses that will cause your bounce rate to go up. Purchasing lists is such a bad practice that ClickDimensions does not permit the use of third-party lists at all, whether purchased, rented or borrowed.