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Tips For Growing Your Email Opt-In List

One of the most important measures of marketing success is the growth of an email subscriber list. But now, more than ever, list growth must happen “organically” – which means no list rentals, no website scraping and no purchased lists from trade associations or other sources. Your subscribers must find your content engaging and they must be willing – on their own and with a full understanding of what they are doing – to give you their email address for future marketing messages.
According to research by Marketing Sherpa, email lists will degrade by nearly one-fourth each year. This is due to normal requests to unsubscribe, employees leaving a job, people abandoning their old emails and so forth.
So, how do you grow your subscriber list organically? Never fear! Here are some ideas for you:

Make Sure Your Content is King

No surprise, but it bears repeating. Are you creating new, exciting, relevant, compelling, easy-to-digest content on a regular basis? Are you investing enough effort and funding in content development? Many marketers cite content development as one of their biggest challenges. If you don’t have the internal resources available, hire outside pros to help. Here are some content development tips to consider:

“Content” takes many forms – blogs, videos, slide decks, e-books, webinars, and so much more. By understanding your audience, you’ll understand HOW they want to absorb your information.
Visitors will gladly give their email if your content is perceived as valuable. In some cases, you can lock your content behind a “gateway page.” When you create gated content, you’re requesting payment to view that content – in this case, the payment is in the form of their email address.

Create Offers

An email address has value in the mind of its owner. What are you giving in return that has equal or greater value? Here are ideas:

Optimize Online Sign-Up Forms

You might be thinking “yes, thank you Captain Obvious. We all have sign-up forms on our website!” However, many sites hide their sign-up forms on a single page, such as the “Contact Us” page. Your prospect may not be ready to speak with a salesperson – they just want to get your e-newsletter. Place the forms on EVERY page on your site. Make it overt and “above the fold.”
Reassure them their information is secure. Add the sentence “We never share or rent our lists. Your information is secure with us and you can easily unsubscribe at any time with one click.”
What about “pop-ups?” While no one has ever said “I LOVE pop-ups!”, these email capture forms continue to prove their value. Make sure your pop-up is well-designed and appealing, that it asks for limited information, and that it is mobile-friendly.

Methods to Capture Email Addresses

In addition to great content and appealing offers, here are just a few ideas to consider to help grow your opt-in list:

What’s the Value of One Email Address?

To determine how much effort and funding to put behind your opt-in list building campaigns, you should determine the value of acquiring one email address. Here’s one way to calculate that figure:

So, if you are struggling with how much to offer prospects to sign up for your emails, use these calculations to estimate how much each new address is worth. Suddenly, that coupon for $5.00 off doesn’t seem so bad after all!
Keep in mind what I said in the second paragraph above: email lists will degrade by nearly one-fourth each year. Opt-in list building must be ongoing, aggressive, measured, well-planned, well-executed and well-funded.
Mark Vogel is president of Vogel Marketing Solutions LLC and serves as a lead email consultant for Nxtbook Media. He has more than 35 years of experience in the marketing world and has been actively engaged in email campaigns for more than 20 years. His email marketing clients include Fortune 500 companies, e-commerce retailers, non-profits, local businesses, and more. He can be reached at Mark@VogelMarketing.net.

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