By Kestrel Lemen, Marketing Strategist, Bronto Software Europe

Tips to Grow Your List Organically

For email and cross-channel marketers, list growth is a constant exercise in evaluating and improving current tactics as well as finding new ways to add subscribers. The benefits of organic growth versus list acquisition are clear, so the best recommendations are based on permission-based acquisition. At one point the concept of purchasing lists for list growth seemed like a logical idea. This was standard for direct mail, so why not use the same tactic with email? This mentality is dated and highly risky in today’s permission based marketing world. Purchased lists cause issues ranging from spam traps to lower engagement metrics to a tarnished IP reputation. For the modern marketer this is truly a defunct method. Organic list growth is not only what is expected by your audience but will only continue to be an industry standard.

1. Be visible!
Don’t make visitors look for the sign-up. Give the sign-up prominent placement and use tactics like bolding, different colour font, graphic buttons with a stand-out background colour, nearby animation and/or white space around the call-to-action to help give the sign-up prompt more visual punch.

2. Multiple locations
Don’t limit the sign-up to the home page. Put it on every page of your site so it’s accessible no matter where people enter. Consider moving the sign-up to the header and footer of every page; don’t make visitors search for it!

3. Pop-ups and Light Boxes
Love them or hate them, they work! Many companies have experienced huge list growth by implementing a pop-up or a light box. Someone will only look at this for a fraction of a second so strongly consider offering up something that will get attention right away. Make sure to have a very easy way to get out of the pop-up. You don’t want to frustrate your site traffic. Take the time to set it up in a way that suits your brand and you’ll undoubtedly see a spike in subscribers.

4. Sell the sign up
Potential subscribers may ask: “What’s in it for me?” Set expectations on frequency and content and entice them to join with an incentive such as a coupon. Simple requests like “Sign up for email updates,” or “Sign up for our newsletter,” don’t explain the benefits of opting in or how often subscribers will receive mail. Consider using a one-sentence intro to the sign-up, to give more context, such as “Sign up for our exclusive monthly promotions and get an instant 10% off coupon!”

If you’re asking for more than just an email address, you might offer a more detailed explanation.

By setting clear expectations you will have a better relationship with your subscribers, but remember you need to actually deliver on the promises that you set forth in the sign-up.

5. Forward to a Friend & Share with Your Network
People tend to purchase based on friends’ recommendations. Use your existing subscribers as a recommendation tool by running “forward to a friend/share with your network” offers that encourage them to share the savings. Include an email sign-up option within those emails so friends can easily subscribe.



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