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Email List Growth: It is as Hard as It Seems


By Joe Harrison

emaillistEmail remains attractive to marketers for its affordability, immediacy and effectiveness. Best of all, you know your subscribers have given you permission to contact them which means there is implied interest in what you’re offering.

“Growing your list is tough but so worthwhile,” says Brian Neufeld, CMO and co-founder of ActiveDEMAND, a Canadian-based marketing automation software company. “You need to treat contact lists as a valuable asset. It costs time and money to acquire contacts. For example, collecting business cards and badge scans from a trade show where you paid to be, only to have those contacts end up at the bottom of a desk draw is a complete waste. If your average cost to obtain a contact is $10 and your list is 1,000 strong, you have a $10,000 asset you can leverage to earn a return.”

According to our recent study, SMBs rank content downloads (43%) and access to value-added website pages (43%) as the two most effective tactics for building contacts; they also score among the easiest to execute. About one-third say they value events for list-building.

Most email list growth tactics require a registration form to capture new subscriber information – an essential piece to information downloads and “premium” website content like case studies, informational guides, tip sheets or videos. The number of fields in the form may vary, but the optimization principles remain the same: fewer fields generate more, less qualified subscribers. More fields generate fewer, more qualified subscribers.

What to capture? MarketingSherpa says nine of 10 marketers agree the most important data to collect is an email address followed by name, phone number and lead source. Additional information to capture in a long form would be company name, address and postal code.

Want to learn more? Ask us for a free copy of Email List Growth from the Small to Medium-sized Business Perspective for more insights into how SMBs will overcome new challenges to email list growth.