Let’s get one thing clear before we begin: size isn’t everything.
There’s always pressure for people to want to grow the size of their email marketing database. And while having a good sized list of current and potential customers you can communicate to is great, it’s also important to make sure you get quality subscribers who are frequently engaging with the email marketing campaigns you send them.
Below you’ll find three sure-fire ways that will help you grow your email marketing database while ensuring the quality remains high.
1. Give people a reason to sign up
And make it easy as possible for them to do so. While it’s a great start to have a sign up form on your website asking people to subscribe to your newsletter, it’s not enough if you’re serious about growing your database and, the good news is, it’s really easy to do more.
Firstly, make it clear and obvious for your users. Use a call-to-action button encouraging people to sign up or even a pop-up that’s triggered for first time visitors to your site. Then offer an incentive for people to part with their data. Offering a discount on their first order or access to exclusive discounts always works well, as does offering a resource that can be downloaded after they enter their email address.This could be anything from an ebook containing your latest blog articles, an infographic, a white paper or a simple guide. Be creative with it and ask yourself the question: “What is it my customers want and what can I give to them as a value add?” The email address you collect is the ‘payment’ for this piece of content and is a great way to get more, good quality, subscribers.
2. Competitions, giveaways and prize draws
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book for the simple fact it works. And depending on the value of the prize you give away, competitions are also a great way of getting additional data. With a high value prize you can ask your customers more questions and therefore tailor the future communication you send them based on their profile.
You can run them on your own or partner up with an organisation who are targeting a similar demographic. By doing this you extend your reach and hit a wider audience. You can also use competitions to gather more data about your existing subscribers, again with the aim of sending them more targeted communication, which stand a higher chance of converting.
A word to the wise, you’ll attract people who just love entering competitions because they want something for free. To combat this, when the competition ends, make sure you email all the entrants immediately after it closes with a welcome email and enter them into an automated email journey – this will help clean the list as the people who just want a freebie will inevitably unsubscribe. You can also consider the prize or offer before you launch to ensure that only people genuinely interested in your product or service will enter e.g. a free personal training session if you own a health club and are looking to build membership
3. Offline data capture
Collecting data offline is still a great way of growing an email database. If you’re visiting trade shows, exhibitions or festivals then it pays to have something in place to capture people’s details. It could be pen and paper or a jar to collect business cards but, if you wanted to be clever, you could do it from a tablet to save having to re-enter the data at a later date - this would also trigger an autoresponder so you can begin your conversation with potential customers immediately. For more information on the best ways of doing this, have a look at this guest blog which our Founder and CEO, Stafford Sumner, put together.
Collecting email data at purchase points within stores is another easy way to grow your list, especially if you incentivise individual stores to see who can get the most. Remember when doing this that best practice is to use ‘stable doors’ (boxes for each letter) for people to enter their email address in as it greatly reduces the margin for error when processing the emails at a later date.
To conclude, make sure you make it as easy as possible for people to sign up and give them a clear reason to do so. The next step is to make sure you have a great email marketing strategy in place so you can hit your new subscribers with relevant, engaging and inspiring content.