Best Practices for Growing an Email Marketing List

Why should my company do email marketing?

When Ray Tomlinson sent the first email in 1971, I’m pretty sure he didn’t realize that he was embarking on what would result in one of the most cost effective forms of direct marketing. I’d also bet he didn’t have a clue as to how it would have evolved over the next 46 years. Email marketing is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to get an offer or message in front of an audience. It’s also great because as marketers, we’re able to watch campaigns go out in real time and monitor and react to consumer behavior in ways like never before. R&J provides email marketing for dozens of clients, and without fail, many of our clients also want to know how to grow their lists. We have ways of integrating some best practices for growing an email marketing list in our overall marketing strategy for our clients, and I’ve outlined a few below.

I’m not going to leave you in suspense and force you to read all 624 words of this post to give you the secret to building a strong email list. I’ll give you the secret sauce up front, but I’d encourage that you read the whole thing because there’s some good tips below. So here it is… The best way to grow a strong email marketing list is to do it organically. That’s it. No chemicals or fillers, just pure ingredients. Build the list over time from people who are interested in your product or service and who want to receive your content. Then deliver content that they will find value in and want to share with their peers. Essentially, this means that you should not buy a list. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, but they are very rare.

Tips for growing my company’s email list:

Since your email marketing database degrades by about 22.5% every year, it’s important to always be adding to it. So in addition to that secret sauce, here are some tactics that you can implement today to start building a more robust email marketing list.

Make it easy: Make sure you have plenty of ways for people to sign up for your newsletter. Include a subscribe form on your website, employ a pop-up form when users are about to leave your site, incorporate a link in your email footer to a subscribe form, and make sure to use calls to action on social media posts.

Fair trade: Build and promote compelling content that people want and then trade it for their email address. This is often called “gated content” because people will willingly give you their email address for what they want. You can also create contests that people would need to provide an email address in order to enter.

Think offline: You can use various offline tactics to get people to sign up for your email list, such as a simple list at the checkout counter, gather names and email addresses from trade show booth attendees, use a text to subscribe service, and promote it using traditional media.

Teamwork: Partnering with another brand in a promotion or contest can help grow your list outside of your typical demographic. Additionally, you can heavily encourage  your current subscribers to share your content with their colleagues, friends and family.

Regularly implementing and trying new tactics will keep things fresh and get your subscription offers in front of new people, often. Writing and continuously sending out rich, compelling content is still the best way to keep as much of your audience engaged over time.

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About Steve Guberman

Steve joined R&J in 2015 after successfully operating his own agency, Fifth Room Creative for more than a decade, enabling R&J to offer a fully-integrated suite of services to all of our clients. Steve leads the design and web development team and works closely with the account team to execute on the design portions of each clients’ strategic plan. With more than 15 years of experience working with brands across multiple industries, Steve is able to help our clients extend their brand value through traditional and digital media with his team. Steve has worked with local, regional, and international organizations on branding and advertising campaigns.

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