Get ready I have some terrible news: Your email marketing database degrades by about approximately 30% every year. Your contacts' email addresses change as they move from one company to another, opt-out of your email communication, or abandon that old AOL or Earthlink (YIKES) address they only use to fill out forms on websites.
Without a list of email addresses in your database, email marketing can be quite challenging. That is why email list growth is the single most important aspect of any sustainable email marketing program. And it’s not enough to just focus on growing your email list as a one-time task. It’s imperative that list growth be ongoing due to the constant unsubscribes, those marking your email as spam, change employers (and therefore email addresses), and so on.
There is no need to fret. Here are 20 powerful email list building tips to give you momentum:
1. If you don’t have a newsletter yet, start one. People always want to learn more about their topic of interest. SMB Strategic Media provides newsletter creation services to make it easy. Just reach out and let’s get the conversation started. Consider tools like benchmarkemail.com which offers free enewsletters for up to 2500 contacts.
2. Use existing content! Don’t be afraid to link to other websites or recommend other good newsletters. Your subscribers will love it and the recommended sites / newsletters may even return the favor and recommend your newsletter!
3. Use your Facebook Page to promote an offer that requires an email address submission. Promote offers on your Timeline, and be sure to add social sharing buttons to the landing pages and thank-you pages you send them to so you encourage your leads to share those offers.
4. When exchanging business cards at networking events, trade shows and expos, ask permission to send the people you meet your newsletter or report. If they say “no”, write an “X” on the back of their card. Otherwise, add them to your list. If they don’t want it, they will simply unsubscribe.
5. Publish a newsletter with niche-specific information - Begin your content newsletter with your readers’ needs in mind. Offer useful information, not just veiled sales material.
6. Create a squeeze page designed solely to capture new subscribers.
7. Host an online webinar and collect email addresses at registration.
8. Sponsor other people’s contests and get exposure for your newsletter. Give away freebies that don’t cost you money (think free consultations or assessments.)
9. Visit discussion boards, forums and comments section on relevant news/industry website article to provide helpful answers, while including a link to your newsletter subscription page in your sign-in file.
10. If you sell anything online, promote sign-ups in confirmation and transaction emails.
11. If you have a physical mailing list from your offline business, send a postcard to your customers, offering a special for opting-in to your email newsletter.
12. Leverage paid search ads to link to a landing page with and email sign-up.
13. When creating content for guest blogging opportunities, include a call-to-action as well as a link for readers to subscribe to your site's blog or email database in your author byline.
14. Repurpose articles from your enewsletter or blog and submit articles to Article Directories like GoArticles, SubmitYourArticle or EzineArticles. Include a bio box at the bottom with a link to your enewsletter signup.
15. Host a co-marketing offer with a partner -- like an ebook or webinar -- and ask them to promote the registration to their audience. After it's released, swap leads.
16. Reinvigorate a stale email list with an opt-in campaign. Do you have an older list that you think is mostly decayed? Create an engaging opt-in message and send it to your old list encouraging contacts who wish to re-opt-in and promising to remove all contacts who don't respond. Though it might seem counterintuitive to remove folks from your email lists in order to grow them, emailing only engaged contacts could improve your deliverability and increase the odds of your email getting shared with those outside your current contacts database.
17. Create multiple email subscriptions types that you use to send more targeted content to specific segments of your marketing personas. Email recipients are more likely to click through emails that have been targeted at them, so if you create multiple, targeted subscription types, you'll increase the chance that visitors will subscribe to one of them.
18. Leverage your company's YouTube channel. Add calls-to-action and URLs in your videos to encourage people to subscribe to your list, and include links to relevant landing pages in your videos' text descriptions.
19. Promote offers and email sign-up through your Google+ Page by making use of your Google+ updates and your Google+ "About" section.
20. Host your own offline, in-person events like meetups, conferences, hackathons, educational panels, etc., and collect registrations online using email addresses.