Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective online marketing strategies, and intelligent brands put a lot of thought and planning into not only how they collect emails, but how they market to their list in an effort to provide useful content that receives a high open rate while also resulting in revenue generated. An email newsletter allows you to build a strong connection with your customer base and keep them up to speed on company news, special promotions and events, as well as industry-specific happenings and information.
There are several ways to increases your email newsletter subscribers, and to help spark some ideas and strategies, I reached out to several individuals responsible for building large highly-targeted lists that are responsible for generating a tremendous amount of revenue. Your email list is an asset that you can continuously tap into, and when you leverage it correctly it can make your business money every time you hit the “Send” button. Give these tips and suggestions a read if you are interested in taking your email marketing effort to the next level.
1. Use gated content to collect emails.
“Start a blog and include gated downloadable resources in every single post. These can be anything from free templates in Microsoft Office file formats, infographics, ebooks, white papers, case studies, or anything else relevant to each post that adds value or helps the reader implement the advice you’re giving them.
We have built a list of more than 400,000 subscribers strong, driven primarily using this tactic. In order for this to work effectively though, you’ll need a solid strategy for getting website traffic, too. So, it’s best to pair this methodology with some sort of traffic generation plan, whether that means SEO, paid advertising, or a mix of the two.” — Ben Sailer, Content Marketing Lead at CoSchedule
2. Automate your gated content follow-up sequence.
“Building a successful email newsletter list consists of two parts: Providing gated content and creating a newsletter that delights your readers.
Optimize content on your company’s blog, and then gate some of the information in exchange for their name and email address. As you continue to create more content, you will have more and more downloads — aka subscribers. Once people have downloaded the gated content, send it to them via an automated email, and in that same email introduce your company, your brand, and let them know that they will begin to receive your newsletters.
Once you’re generating subscribers, you need to continue to delight them. Stay on top of what is trending in the industry, and provide relevant content or opinions about said topics. Think about what your audience would find useful, or even funny. By doing this you will create loyal subscribers, which will then eventually lead them to forward your newsletter on to more potential subscribers.” — Alexandra Brown, Marketing VP at Careerminds
3. Seek subscribers through various channels and create topic-specific lists.
“We invite people to join our email newsletter through our website, emails to clients, and in our vendor on-boarding packages. We utilize an opt-in email form on our website. Our email newsletter gives people an opportunity to read the latest news about supply chain and logistics. As a leader in the industry, we believe it is important to share our successes and failures so that we can keep improving and along the process, help others to do the same.
We have different email lists for different purposes and types of communication. Our internal email list for employees has over 3k members as our employees are located nationwide. We send out company updates, inform our employees of their benefits and discuss opportunities for growth.” — Alex Tran, Marketing Specialist at Hollingsworth LLC
4. Use a full page exit-intent popup.
“We’re an email app who’s users have sent 1 billion emails last year to 72 million subscribers. Our customers made $25 million in sales this year through our email platform, built on a machine learning stack to personalize email.
My top newsletter growth tip is to experiment with a full page pop-up. Our users that have implemented this have seen an average increase in signups of 20 percent with no noticeable change in bounce rate. While it’s a bold decision, doing it right is much more effective than having multiple pop-ups interrupt your visitor’s discovery process. There’s easy tools to implement this such as Justuno, which integrates with all the popular email tools.” — Josh Reyes, Marketing Manager at SmartrMail
5. Make your email list building your top website conversion focus.
“Focus on making email subscription a major conversion for your web traffic. Many businesses consider this to be secondary, but considering the LTV of email subscribers is so much higher than a regular web visitor — especially for e-commerce — it should be a no-brainer. Once you’ve decided to look at email subscription as more valuable, the second tip is to maximize the locations where you acquire email addresses without ruining user experience. Some overlooked areas are the top of your site, where you can easily add a floating bar — I recommend Hello Bar — and an exit pop-up — I recommend Optin Monster. An exit intent pop-up can net you 10 percent more emails than you are currently acquiring without doing really anything but giving exiting visits one last piece of value. If you hover around 2-4 email grab opportunities on your site you should be getting at least 15 percent of total visits to give their email. If you’re not getting those kinds of numbers then focus on increasing the quality of the value/offer — higher discounts, better content, etc.” — Andrew Lee Miller of AndrewStartups
6. Collect emails at off-site events.
“What gives us the best results when building our email list is organizing events in each city we expanded to. This results in event participants voluntarily joining.
To this day, we organize an average of 80 events per year and this strategy continues to be the best source of new subscribers to our email marketing list.
We use this list to send educational content to the subscribers and then after about 8 months, the average subscriber is converted into a customer. These events designed to nurture our list and email marketing efforts are responsible for our current growth rate of 31.1 percent annually.” — Cristian Rennella, CEO and Co-Founder of oMelhorTrato.com
7. Focus on quality over quantity.
“It’s easy to add thousands of people to an email list by giving away an iPad or some Amazon gift cards — you’ll get plenty of sign-ups. But it’s actually much better to let an email list grow steadily and organically. A five or six-figure subscriber count is nothing more that a vanity metric if those subscribers aren’t engaged and interested in what you’re saying or selling. All those extra subscribers do is push you up to the next pricing tier for your email marketing software, increase your number of spam complaints, and have a detrimental effect on the metrics that actually matter — your open and click-through rates.
The opt-ins for my list only come once it’s clear people have already taken an interest in my content — after a significant time delay and at the end of (often very long) articles. The reporting seems to suggest that the tactics work, as click-throughs are solid and there’s not many unsubscribes.” — Ben Taylor, Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com