An essential part of growing your business includes continuously coming up with ways to ensure a steady influx of new contacts to your email list. Given that your email list degrades by an average of 22.5% every year, this is no cakewalk. The degradation happens for a variety of reasons- your customers opt-out of your communications, they change companies, abandon the address using which they signed up for your communications, and the like. The point of saying this is, more often than not, the decay of your email list is out of your control. But, adding new contacts and making sure that your list is growing continuously- now, that’s something that’s entirely within your powers.
For the uninitiated, chalking out an effective email acquisition strategy can be quite overwhelming. To help you gain familiarity thus, we’ve compiled this article that will walk you through a host of inventive and reliable email acquisition tactics. Before we dive into that, however, let us first understand why building an email list is so vital in the first place.
Importance of Building an Email List
When it comes to acquiring new customers, email is 40 times more effective than Facebook or Twitter. Hence, it can be rightfully said that a growing email list translates directly to the growth of your business. The following reasons shed light on the importance of building an email list.
Increases Your Reach
In 2020, the total number of global email users stood at a staggering 4 billion. By 2025, this figure is expected to swell further up to 4.6 billion. Even though roughly 1 in every 6 emails ends up in spam, the resultant reach is still head and shoulders above what other marketing platforms would be able to provide you. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any other channel that has such an extensive user base. Therefore, the more effort you put into building your email list, the more visibility and reach your business will obtain.
Gives You Absolute Control
While social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great platforms for building an audience, at the end of the day, the data regarding these contacts remain with the platforms themselves. On the other hand, when you’re amassing contacts on an email list, you have all the important data points at your disposal, such as name, contact number, and email address. Subsequently, this allows you to exercise absolute control over the direction you want your email marketing campaigns to take. Moreover, third-party platforms often levy certain restrictions that greatly dictate how you interact with your customers. This is not the case with email.
Lets You Send Personalized Messages
Email marketing does not just let you reach a large number of prospects, it also enables you to send personalized messages their way. It doesn’t matter how many contacts are on your list, email allows you to personalize your communications at scale. This is made possible by email list segmentation which lets you divide your customers into separate segments based on various parameters such as gender, location, ethnicity, age, occupation, buying history, and position on the sales funnel.
Take a look at this personalized product recommendation email from Honey. We don’t know about you, but we find ignoring emails like these very difficult!
Drives Traffic To Other Channels
Many businesses out there start building their email lists even before they start developing their products. And the reason for that is pretty simple- email campaigns are largely responsible for driving traffic to a business’ website as well as all other relevant channels. Needless to say, an extensive list correlates to greater traffic and engagement for your products and services.
Email Acquisition Best Practices You Need To Implement Now
Acquiring the email addresses of prospective clients is a rather tricky affair. You need to be creative and smart with your approach and put in a lot of hard yards to ensure that your plans are executed to perfection.
Make Your Email Content Unique and Compelling
Now, this might be the oldest trick in the book, but it continues to be as evergreen as ever. When your email’s content is engaging, informative, and insightful, it encourages your existing subscribers to forward your emails to their contacts. As a result, this helps you rope in scores of new subscribers, all without spending any additional penny (well, you do spend your creativity, but can’t really put a price on that now, can we?)
Avocode’s engaging newsletter is a brilliant example of how one can leverage content to captivate the imagination of their subscribers.
Use a Single Opt-in
The single opt-in subscription process is the email acquisition technique of choice among many marketers because of its low failure rates. The underlying reason behind that is pretty simple. The less friction in the subscription process, the less will be the number of disgruntled subscribers. Besides enhancing the customer experience, using a single opt-in also paves the path for a faster list growth. Typically, it also facilitates higher conversions since all the customers are required to do over here to sign up for your communications is provide their email addresses. There are no additional steps.
Use a Double Opt-in
Going a step ahead of single opt-in, in a double opt-in subscription process, the subscriber has to confirm their consent twice before they get added to your contact list. After they provide their email address, an email is sent their way asking them to confirm their subscription. Now, double opt-in might experience higher failure rates than single opt-in but at the same time, it also ensures that the quality of your list is top-notch. Everyone who has been added to your list on the back of a double opt-in process is certainly looking forward to interacting and engaging with your content.
Avoid Buying Lists Like The Plague
In a bid to quickly grow their email list, marketers sometimes fall prey to the temptation of purchasing one. Now, this is something that you should avoid at all costs. Buying an email list is problematic on multiple levels:
- It violates the rules of consent stipulated under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a privacy act prevalent throughout Europe that regulates how digital marketers can utilize customer data. Purchasing email lists is non-compliant with GDPR.
- It damages your sender reputation and brand identity.
- The quality of leads of a list that is up for sale is substandard and inauthentic.
- It hampers your email deliverability rates.
Create a Gated Offer
Also known as “lead magnets,” this practice involves providing a resource such as an ebook, cheat sheet, white paper, or checklist in exchange for the customer’s email address. Typically, these resources are hosted on the business’ landing page. Bear in mind that these resources must provide some value to the customer and must be relevant to them. That said, be flexible with your gated offers because there’s no guarantee they will work their charm every single time. At times, you might also need to provide your visitors with some free bonus content or peddle some of your high-performing content pieces as “upgrades” at the time of their sign-up.
Host an Online Contest on Social Media
What’s a better way of grabbing your audience’s eyeballs than organizing a free giveaway on your social media platforms? All they have to do to participate is provide their email address. Some contests even require their participants to tag a couple of their contacts in the comment section to be eligible. Social media handles can be leveraged in various other ways as well. For example, you could take the hero image or the landing page of your email newsletter and make it the display picture on your social media platforms. This instigates the curiosity of your social media audience and incentivizes them to submit their email address to sign up for your newsletter.
Collect Feedback From Your Visitors
Asking your visitors to provide feedback on items pertaining to their interests is a great way to acquire their email addresses. You could do so by either using a simple form or a live chat tool wherein visitors can enter their name and contact information along with their feedback. Alternatively, you can employ these mechanisms to collect their queries as well and subsequently follow up with them on their provided email addresses.
How Can You Maintain Your Email List?
Along with acquiring new addresses, it is equally important that you work dedicatedly towards preventing the decay of your existing list as well. Here are a couple of practices in that direction.
Create Multiple Buyer Personas
Customers these days no longer respond to generic marketing and promotional emails. To grab their attention, you need to intercept them with targeted and personalized messaging. An excellent way of going about this is by segmenting the contacts on your email list into different buyer personas on the basis of their interests and preferences. Engaging different segments of your audience with different, customized messages minimizes the likelihood of them unsubscribing from your email list. As a matter of fact, marketers using segmented campaigns reported having registered a 760% increase in their revenue.
This email from Spotify is a good example of a targeted email. Sending you a song recommendation based on the artists and genres you frequently listen to is assured to reduce the likelihood of subscribers opting out of your communications.
Don’t Give Up on Your Old List
If there’s a certain segment of your customers who haven’t responded to your communications in a while, don’t give up on them just yet. Use whatever data you have regarding their profile to craft and send compelling re-engagement emails their way. If you feel that they’ve outgrown the nature of communications they had signed up for initially, reach out to them again and give them the choice of subscribing to a more curated and targeted list. Remember, acquiring a new customer can cost you five times than retaining an existing one. So, do make sure that you try out every single trick in your book to re-engage your old, disengaged customers before you consider removing them altogether from your list.
Wondering how you should go about your re-engagement emails? Draw some inspirations from this example by Animoto.
Use Preference Centers
Preference centers allow your subscribers to explicitly specify their areas of interest, thereby enabling you to send targeted messages their way. Take a look at this email from Penguin Random House.
It asks the subscribers to specify their genres of interest so that Penguin can send them book recommendations accordingly. Not many will unsubscribe from a newsletter that provides them with curated recommendations, will they?
As you might have already realized, to increase your business’ email list, you need to implement multiple strategies before settling in on a select few that you think work best for your business. And while this entire process can be a touch taxing, the rich dividends that it yields, in the long run, make all the hard yards absolutely worth it.
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