The Only Influencers Blog

The top thought leaders in email marketing share their insights and thoughts.

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If you take them aside in confidence and buy them a drink or two, most people working in email marketing will eventually admit there’s a hungry beast they have to deal with that is never full and always has an appetite for more. No matter how much or how often they feed it, it’s a bottomless pit.

What is this monster? It’s none other than your email list! Actually, if you’re treating it right, it’s more like an elite athlete than a monster. Chances are, no matter how many subscribers you already have, you hunger for more. The simple truth: the care and feeding of your email list is a job that’s never done (and shouldn’t be).

The constant need to acquire new email list members is fueled by a few unchanging facts: Brands continually seek greater market share, which means increasing visibility and interest among non-list members in order to bring them into the fold and once we do – turning them into customers. Not only do we want to grow the number of prospects we can communicate with through email, but many companies are also challenged by having subpar percentages of customer email addresses on their files, so seek better coverage of customer opt-ins to email. Couple those realities with the inevitable churn most email lists see annually due to unsubscribes, aging data and deliverability issues (30% turn-over is not uncommon) and it’s no wonder we can’t satisfy the beast!

Email marketing’s early days seem like ancient history now, which presents both new subscriber acquisition challenges and opportunities. Unlike the age of commercial email’s inception, the novelty of receiving savings, coupons, content and other exclusive goodies promised to subscribers wore off years ago. List members expect that at a minimum, and expectations are rising – subscribers now want us to surprise and delight them, anticipate their needs, and enable or remind them to make their interactions with us efficient and convenient.

On the bright side, we have more tools and tactics at our disposal than ever before to invite new subscribers on to our lists. Here are the top-performing new-subscriber acquisition practices that should be in place for your program:

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Tagged in: Email Acquistion

Every marketer knows that one of your greatest assets is your email list.  In the '90s and early '00s, relatively little attention was paid to how you actually built that mailing list;  the focus was on building the biggest mailing list possible, and mailing lists were often bought, sold, or shared.  Nobody really thought about the concept of "permission", after all email was the closest thing to free advertising and marketing you could get, and if somebody had an email address, it was considered fair game.

So, back then, when one thought of email acquisition, they usually thought in terms of getting as many email addresses as they could to add to their list, or to have mailing access to a large shared or purchased list.

But that was then, and this is now.  For at least a decade the reality has been that you need to have the actual permission of the owner of the email address before you put them on your mailing list.

Obviously this has put a crimp in how email addresses are acquired, and how mailing lists are built.

So what's a conscientious marketer to do?

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Bill is looking for articles on email acquisition this week – in other words, missives on ways for an organization to grow its email list. I have some standard ways that I address that topic, and to my dismay, I used them back in December 2013 in a post for this blog.

But it now occurs to me that I might have more to say on the subject.

As email marketers we often get ‘in the weeds’ – focused on whether or not the opt-in box is checked (if you’re collecting email addresses from Canadians, CASL says it matters), agonizing over where the email sign-up call-to-action appears on your Website and trying to figure out if someone who offers to send your ‘sign up today’ message to 70 million qualified (according to them) prospects around the world is worth the $1,500 they’re going to charge you (hint: it’s likely not).

And right in the midst of writing this I got a ‘sign up for our email list’ card with my check (I am working while I eat dinner at a restaurant, as I often do when I travel). The incentive – a free entrée during my birthday month. Needless to say, I’m in! (Yes, seriously. I’m a sucker for a free meal. Sigh.)

Shula Email Sign Up

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Tagged in: Email Acquistion

One of the most productive places to capture email addresses is on your company’s website. People who are browsing your products and information are demonstrating their interest, so you want to make it easy for them to sign up for your newsletter or email list while they’re engaged.

                  At FierceMarkets, a digital B2B publishing company, anywhere from 30%-80% of our email newsletter list growth comes from converting web visitors into subscribers. In this article, I’ll share what’s working for us, and hopefully you’ll be able to apply it to your organization.

                  fierce signup adsIf you visit one of our publication websites, you’ll probably quickly notice the number of subscribe ads we have on the page to promote our email newsletters. We have no less than four signup areas on each of our content pages, and we sometimes push it to five.

                  We want to make sure that we can convert a visitor into a subscriber at every point in his or her journey down the page. Starting from the top, we have two signup ads near the headline, in case reading the headline is all it takes to convert someone.

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Tagged in: Email Acquistion

FBOILogo200Getting end customers to go paperless is a focus for many companies and one of the easiest ways to do this is ask them to switch off paper for their bills and receive an electronic version instead.

Companies today spend a lot of time and money developing electronic billing solutions to reach their end customers. For all of the effort that is put into developing the solution, a somewhat unequal amount of time is actually spent focused on collecting customer email addresses.

As you can imagine, your solution can be great but if you do not have customer email addresses as the gateway to electronic communication, the project will not be successful.

Gathering email addresses for billing purposes is more involved than any initiative put in place for email marketing. Merely capturing a name and email address is no longer an option, as you need to tie that address to the customer on record. However, it does not have to be a complicated endeavor. Maintaining a clean, updated email database is a critical strategy in continuously increasing your paperless adoption rate, but where to start? The two most important strategies are:

  • Develop a solid email collection plan
  • Leverage every customer touch point

Develop a solid email collection plan:

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