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MarketingSherpa on the most effective email list growth tactics

This week’s chart from MarketingSherpa shows the results of a survey given to 1,100 email marketers on the most effective means of acquiring new subscribers.

The survey deals with email growth tactics and their effectiveness, and, although the results are by no means surprising, we can extract very valuable information from this chart.

MarketingSherpa’s survey on the most effective email list growth tactics

What to take from this

Registration during purchase

First of all, we can see that registration during purchase is still very effective, and that is something everyone (but the 6% who may find this tactic ineffective) should incorporate in their campaigns. Clearly, the user is interested in hearing more from you if he or she makes a purchase.

Then again, the chart says that offering registration is very effective to acquire new subscribers. It is guesswork to say whether or not you’ll sell anything to these prospects in the future. So, in the end, to actually sell more, not just grow your list, you have to divide users into segments, and provide information interesting to them, not someone else.

Providing value to the customer

Registration for downloads and other valuable freebies as a trade-off for a subscription is just a “best practice”, yet it is often forgotten how well it (giving value) actually works. Actually, 4 of the 5 most effective means of list building have something to do with giving value, so here’s something to keep under the pillow.

Online vs. offline events

Online events are regarded as more effective than offline events, probably because they offer immediate value. However, offline events are also shown as effective, but that could depend heavily on the niche (if a person can find everything on the topic/products online, why bother visiting a convention, a tradeshow or an exhibition?).

Mobile email is still on the horizon

You could argue that mobile is the dark horse of this survey, but with the ascension of mobile phone usage, even these numbers seem somewhat disappointing.

Although different reports suggest that mobile email will become one of the hottest means of acquiring emails, mobile email viewing is still something that will expand — and that marketers need to work more on.

Other means of acquiring subscribers

Placing an actual sign-up form on your website (email newsletter subscriptions) is still a top-notch practice, obviously.

Co-registration programs and paid search are both well-grounded methods, yet most marketers consider these methods only “somewhat effective”.

It is likely that these methods seldom offer any real value to the customer, except for times when the customer receives cash or free iPods for signing up. That has… eh, nothing to do with your business, right? However, there are marketers who consider co-registration effective, and it is mostly effective if there is no money involved — only good will and sharing with other email marketers who are relevant to your niche.

And it seems that by the time the survey was taken (September 2010) social sharing was still something that didn’t work for everyone. However, social sharing should be somewhat effective either way, because of the very small costs involved.

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