73 Astonishing E-Mail Marketing Statistics You Need to Know

Did you know that marketers sent over 838 billion e-mails in 2013?  That’s almost 9 times as many direct mail pieces the U.S. Postal Service delivered.

I know the types of stats you’re looking out for: numbers on e-mail engagement and frequency, mobile optimization, and ROI.  Data is power, which is why I have put together this list of 73 essential statistics every e-mail marketer needs to know.  I know firsthand just how profitable e-mail marketing can be.  One of my e-mail campaigns generated $700,000 in profits on a minimal investment.

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E-MAIL MARKETING ROI
1.    Email marketing has an ROI of 4,300%.
2.    For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment.
3.    Companies view email marketing as a better return on investment than PPC, content marketing, social media, offline direct marketing, affiliate marketing, online display advertising, and mobile marketing.
4.    60% of marketers believe email marketing produces positive ROI.
Takeaway:  E-mail marketing should be taken more seriously.  Integrate e-mail with your overall marketing mix and consider allocating more internal and/or external resources to e-mail marketing.

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GENERAL E-MAIL MARKETING
1.    Nearly two thirds of marketers rate their company e-mail as poor or average and less than 4% rate it as “excellent”.
2.    91% of consumers check their e-mail at least once a day.
3.    56% of businesses say they plan to increase their use of e-mail marketing in 2014.
4.    42% of marketers use e-mail service providers for services beyond e-mail broadcasting. This is up 12% from 2010.
5.    Companies that use an e-mail service provider are more likely to be satisfied with their e-mail marketing than companies who do not.
6.    Less than half (41%) of companies are using more than half of their e-mail system functionality, which has not improved since last year.
7.    In addition to broadcast e-mail, measurement and analytics, personalization, automated campaigns, and segmentation are the popular services provided by e-mail service providers that marketers tap into.
8.    Businesses are looking for deeper integration of e-mail with other business functions. The most common barrier to integrating e-mail with overall business strategies is disconnected systems and technologies.
9.    Only 8% of companies and agencies have an e-mail marketing team.  E-mail marketing responsibilities usually fall on one person as a part of her wider range of marketing responsibilities.
10.   There were 3.6 billion e-mail accounts in 2013.
11.   By 2016, the number will reach 4.3 billion.
12.   54% of e-mails sent by businesses are marketing messages.
13.   838 billion marketing messages were sent in 2013.
14.    91% of consumers check their e-mail daily.
15.    72% of B2B buyers are most likely to share useful content via e-mail.
16.    56% of businesses say they plan to increase their use of e-mail marketing in 2013.
17.    27% of consumers were more likely to say their favorite companies should invest in more e-mail.
18.    1 in 2 marketers use animated gifs in their e-mail campaigns.
19.    E-mail ad revenue reached $156 million in 2012.
20.    E-mail marketing spending grows 10% year over year.
21.    40% of B2B marketers rated the leads generated by e-mail marketing as high quality.
22.    74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via e-mail
23.    The average clickthrough rate for B2B marketing e-mails in Q2 2013 was 1.7%.
24.    59% of companies are integrating e-mail and social channels together.
25.    17% of marketers don’t track or analyze e-mail metrics for their organization.
Takeaway:  An e-mail marketing plan should be developed that is fully integrated into your overall marketing mix.  Have an e-mail marketing calendar created to maximize engagement and sales with your active and past customers and prospects and have e-mails sent out regularly.

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MOBILE
1.    E-mail is the most popular activity on smartphones among users ages 18-44.
2.    Over half of smartphone users grab their smartphone immediately after waking up.
3.    64% of decision-makers read their e-mail via mobile devices.
4.    The #1 e-mail client for Gmail users is the iPhone’s built-in mail program, with 34% of all Gmail opens.
5.    32% of marketers do not have a strategy in place to optimize e-mails for mobile devices.
6.    39% of marketers have no strategy for mobile e-mail.
7.    48% of e-mails are opened on mobile devices.
8.    Only 11% of e-mails are optimized for mobile.
9.    69% of mobile users delete e-mails that aren’t optimized for mobile.
10.  Women click 10% more often than men on mobile e-mails.
11.   25% of e-mails are opened on iPhones.
12.  64% of decision-makers read their e-mail via mobile devices.
Takeaway:  Keep mobile at the center of your e-mail marketing plan.  Make sure links in your e-mails are optimized for mobile and readers can continue to engage via mobile.  Subject lines are more important than ever.

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SALES
1.    66% of US online consumers, ages 15 and up made a purchase as a result of e-mail marketing messages.
2.    Over 70% of mobile purchasing decisions are influenced by promotional e-mails.
3.    Over half of businesses achieve over 10% of total sales through e-mail marketing.
4.    44% of e-mail recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional e-mail.
5.    7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing e-mail in the prior week.
6.    66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an e-mail marketing message.
Takeaway:  E-mail marketing is a powerful sales channel.  It represents a growing % of company sales and profits.

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SUBJECT LINE
1.    Nearly one third of e-mail recipients open e-mail based on subject line alone.
2.    Subject lines fewer than 10 characters long has an open rate of 58%.
3.    Personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened.
4.    Crazy subject lines generate opens but will damage subscriber relationships. If you use a subject line such as “Free books”, you better actually offer free books.  An exciting subject line that gets someone to open an e-mail but leaves them with nothing special in return can have a negative effect on your business in the long-term.  Why would a subscriber open your next e-mail if they no longer trust you?
5.    Using “Alert” or “News” or “Bulletin” in subject lines significantly boosts open and click-through rates.
6.    Using “Daily” or “Weekly” in subject lines boosts open and click-through rates whereas “Monthly” hurts open rates and click-through rates.
7.    Using the words “Sale” or “New” or “Video” in subject lines boost open and click-through rates.
8.    For B2B companies, subject lines that contained “money,” “revenue,” and “profit” performed the best.
9.    64% of people say they open an e-mail because of the subject line.
Takeaway: The key to higher opens and click-through rates is consistency (daily or weekly), urgency (alert, news, bulletin), and special offerings (sale, new, video).  Don’t use insane subject lines unless they deliver as promised.  Run A/B Split Tests for subject lines when sending e-mails.

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LIST & DELIVERABILITY
1.    Almost half of subscribers are inactive on an e-mail list.
2.    Over 20% of marketing e-mails never make it to a subscriber’s inbox.
3.    E-mail open rates are noticeably lower on weekends than on weekdays.
4.    Sending four e-mails in a month instead of one significantly increases the number of consumers opening more than one e-mail.
5.    76% of e-mail opens occur in the first two days after an e-mail is sent.
6.    Gmail opens have decreased by 27% since May.
7.    82% of consumers open e-mails from companies.
8.    Suppressing anyone in your list who hasn’t engaged with your e-mails in over a year increases your deliverability rate by 3-5% immediately.
9.    Less than 1 in 2000 subscribers mark an e-mail as SPAM.
10.  This year, about 84% of all e-mail traffic will be spam.
11.   Roughly half of an e-mail list will be active – either opening or clicking on e-mails.
12.  Lists are responsible for 50% of the success or failure of a mailing and e-mailing campaign.
Takeaway:  Clean out your e-mail list every few months and avoid sending on weekends.  When selecting e-mail marketing software, make sure deliverability is strong.

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TESTING & OPTIMIZATION
1.    Design and content is the most time-consuming e-mail activity for marketers and it is taking away from spending time on testing and optimization.
2.    17% of marketers are not tracking e-mail marketing metrics for their organizations.
3.    E-mails that include social sharing buttons have a 158% higher click-through rate.
4.    Monday e-mails had the highest revenue per e-mail. (Experian 2012 Q4 E-mail Benchmark Report)
5.    A winning subject line test can beat a long-standing control by 100% or more.
Takeaway:  Use e-mail tools to spend less time designing and more time on testing and optimization.

These statistics tell a compelling story.  E-mail is still the preferred mode of communication, is still biggest driver of new leads, has an astronomical ROI, and should clearly be one of your top marketing priorities.

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Key to be a successful multichannel marketing on a budget

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Early in my career, I used to carefully select snail mail lists by SIC codes for a former employer and 1 million catalogs were sent to these lists annually.  The company quickly grew from 23,000 to 86,000 customers thanks in large part to these compiled lists.  It was exciting to find out how much business came in from my lists on any given day but I needed to be patient, since it often took weeks before the orders started rolling in.  We kept the U.S. Postal Service very happy with all our business.

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More recently, I began searching far and wide for a good compiled list which could now be used for a fully multichannel marketing campaign for my wide range of small to mid size clients.  I realized one shoe does not fit all but I needed a pair of shoes so to speak that could fit many at an affordable price.  I looked at some familiar names and unfamiliar names domestically and overseas.

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After testing a few of the options, it turned out Dun & Bradstreet gave me the most bang for the buck.  Dun and Bradstreet traces their history back to 1841.  In those days, mail delivery was a long and slow process since there was no car, only horse and ship; it would take weeks or months before your recipients received their mail.

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My journey to Dun and Bradstreet began with speaking with an Ed DeJesus in the Center Valley PA office of the company.  I told him I needed a multichannel marketing list for a building services client targeting specific types of companies where I could select by SIC and/or NAICS code, occupation, sales volume, geography, and other parameters.  Moments later, he was giving me a demo of their Hoovers.com database and showing me how easy it was to select and obtain this data from the Hoovers platform.  I was able to direct the telemarketing team I assembled to use Hoovers.com and use the data meeting my parameters for my e-mailings and mailings.  Soon I was off to the races designing and scheduling my own e-mails by targets.  I used to need a graphic designer and web programmer for my e-mailings; they often aren’t needed today thanks to technological advances.  This saves time and money.  Leads came in quickly and before you knew it, a lead came in from an email recipient that could become a $300,000+ customer!  I remember turning a $200,000 investment into $900,000 from one of my campaigns but the ROI % could be far larger with the Hoovers.com data.  I recently needed to find an email list as varied as film and TV production companies and schools for another client that manufactures specialized clocks and I found it quickly on the Hoovers database.

Lists typically account for 50% of the success of a campaign so it is best to obtain outside lists from a company you can trust.

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How to Select Profitable Outside Lists

The most important factor in determining the success of a direct marketing campaign is the list (who you mail, e-mail, call, or a combination of the three).  Lists account for approximately 50% of the success of a direct marketing campaign.  With so much riding on list performance and over  60,000 postal, email and telephone mailing lists from more than 1,400 vendors  to choose from, it is crucial to spend the time to select, and rent the lists with the best potential ROI.

The first step is to decide who you want to mail or email.  You need to focus and define your ideal target audience(s) who will find your message and offer most relevant.   Who are the most likely responders?   They often have similar attributes to your  most profitable customer groups or have bought similar products or services from competitors.  You may want to create different versions of your direct mail or email piece for these different groups of people. Marketing automation tools make this easier than ever.  You’ll want to analyze your own in-house customer list to identify your best customers and find more people like them to mail to.  80% of your business often comes from 20% of your customers.  Do you know who these customers are and what characteristics do they have in common?  To increase sales most profitably, you want to attract new customers who will be profitable for you to sell to/serve.  Your best future customers will be most like your existing best customers.

What if you don’t have a mailing list?  You should still try to determine the characteristics
of your customers.  You may want to pay a list service provider such as D&B to get your existing customer list appended (attached) with more information about your existing customers to help you better determine their characteristics.  Write down the characteristics of your most profitable customers.  This becomes your list selection criteria for when evaluating and selecting new direct mail lists to rent.  You generally will want to list demographic information such as age, sex, income level, location, etc. as well as psychographic or lifestyle information (hobbies or interest they may have).  When mailing to businesses you’ll also want to know what’s called “firmographic” information as well (how many employees the company has, their revenue, etc.)

Armed with this information, you can then rent lists that match these characteristics.  List brokers can often arrange a merge purge of your customer list and lists you are considering renting (especially with larger databases) to determine the number of duplicates (people on both lists). The lists with the most duplicates (overlaps) with your existing customer list generally perform better than lists without many duplicates.  The duplicates indicate a new list has similar customers to those who buy from you now.

You will want to provide list brokers with a list recommendation request which typically would include history of lists you have rented for the campaign you are working on. Profitable lists are called continuation lists.  Lists you are trying out are called test
lists.  Continuation lists have the best profit potential until list fatigue sets in.
Lists are typically rented for 1X usage, although you can often negotiate multiuse or annual use discounts which only make sense for proven continuation lists.

Although the best way to find a good list broker is from experience and word of mouth, you can also find them from key direct marketing publications such as DM News and Target Marketing, from DMA annual conferences, from list broker links on the NextMark site and by asking who others use in direct marketing groups on LinkedIn.   Once you find them, it is like hitting gold.  Some have specialties (international, non-profit, etc.).  They
can help navigate you through the complex list world which includes everything from compiled to response lists and more.   They have access to services such as NextMark for searching for lists meeting your specific criteria and can provide you with a custom list recommendation which would include a summary and data
cards of the list recommendations.

Most marketers don’t realize they can also do their own search on NextMark.  They also may not know there could be 20 different lists under mergers and acquisitions attorney for instance, and the lists will often perform very differently based on a number of factors (e.g. list quality, recency, and the makeup of the  list).  Strong continuation lists can  often lead you to additional segments from these lists to consider testing.  List brokers will know or can  find out who is renting a list and the continuation renters of a list (they  rent again and again) which often leads to more profitable lists. Re-rental of a list is a good indicator that the list is performing well for another  company.   They often know which lists are not doing well for their clients or clients of their firm.

Not all lists are in the NextMark system.  Doing online Google searches including ones on  associations in your target area can often lead to additional lists which may or may not be on the market which you may be able to test subject to the approval of the listowner.  Listowners are often willing to exchange lists with you if you have a list for rent which saves list rental cost for both sides and could lead to future list rentals.

You generally need to submit a sample of your mail or email piece to your broker which is forwarded to the listowner for approval. The listowner may deny a rental to competitors or to offers they don’t feel comfortable with.  A lot of direct mail lists are not available as e-mail lists (especially association lists) but it is worth  inquiring about.  Most e-mail lists are opt-in and generally the listowner will not allow a renter to do their own e-mail blast or via a renter’s outside e-mail service provider.  Often, an e-mail list owner won’t even let a  renter have their e-mail list go into their merge purge at a 3rd  party data processing company.  I have  found a way around this is to find out if the listowner will allow you to just have their direct mail list of the list you are renting go into your merge  purge whereby additional codes are added to each record and then the e-mail addresses are added to the records that survive the merge purge and thus can be e-mailed after opt-outs.

The base price is the price you pay to rent a list before  additional selects (e.g. hotline which indicates recency, industry, geographic,  gender, etc.)  A good list broker can
often negotiate a special net on larger rentals (e.g. 50K quantity or more) and
on smaller quantities where you can show a high duplication rate on a
continuation list you are looking to rent vs. your in-house suppression file
and other rented lists on a recent merge purge report.  They can often get selects waived to cut your list rental cost and the waived selects won’t impact their commission which
they work hard to get.  When you need to hit a certain quantity to mail and there is a limited universe of lists to choose from, you can look to negotiate on marginally profitable lists at pricing needed to hit ROI objectives.

Here are some more tips for selecting the best lists:

The best names on a list are generally “Hotline” names. These are the people who are new to the list within the past three or  six months or who have purchased or responded within this timeframe.  It’s a good idea to rent these names first to  see what the response rate is. If the Hotline names don’t respond, generally the entire list won’t either.

Be selective and precise in selecting who to mail to.  Through data-mapping, a publisher of reference books can specifically target medium  to large academic libraries. This process of eliminating inappropriate people is called suppression.

In most cases you need to test many lists for responsiveness and evaluate them relative to cost.

Make sure your prospects likely to be interested in your offer also have a proven history of acting on offers that interest them.

It’s a best practice to check references for a new list supplier carefully, especially if they don’t come recommended by a trusted source.

Request samples of lists you are considering to check for accuracy on LinkedIn and more.

By selecting the best suited lists coupled with some out-of-the-box creative ideas and strong negotiating, I was able to turn a marginally profitable campaign during strong economic times into a subsequent campaign that earned $700K in profit for my employer, during the worst economic slump in nearly eight decades.  You can profit from the best lists and list selection too.

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Mark Gottlieb’s Updated Resume

Mark Gottlieb

464A Liberty Street #102

Little Ferry, NJ  07643

Cell:  201-647-0199   Phone:  201-807-9091

Mgconslts@aol.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/mgconslts

 
Accomplished, out-of-the-box thinking, marketing executive with a proven record of helping startup to Fortune 500 companies penetrate domestic and overseas markets.  Adept at using direct marketing, social media, and MARCOM to accomplish company goals.

Skills:  Broad digital, print, B2B, B2C, and global marketing experience, encompassing strategic planning, direct and e-mail marketing campaign planning and analysis, lead generation, e-commerce, web analytics, social media (e.g. blogging, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, content syndication, and content aggregation), search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), pay-per-click (PPC), branding, creative development, databases, public relations, competitive intelligence, advertising planning, business development, and sales promotion, with the ability to negotiate the lowest possible costs, and provide creative, innovative, enthusiastic and forward-thinking leadership in a team environment.
 
Key Industry Expertise:  Publishing, industrial, manufacturing, and technical and technology verticals.
 

Consulting Experience

 
Mark Gottlieb Consulting                                                                                                    Little Ferry, NJ, 1996 – Present

Proven experience generating domestic and international business for a wide range of companies and industries utilizing my strong marketing, digital marketing, and public relations experience.

Selected Accomplishments for Clients

  • Provider of security solutions to over 200,000 business customers and 25 million PC users-  Worked on a variety of projects encompassing lead generation, e-mail marketing, social media, content syndication, marketing automation, and project management.
  • Distributor of decorative millwork, moldings, and related products to businesses and consumersSales rose from $500,000 to $2 million in my first year consulting for this company.  Company grew from a small local millwork supplier to a large national catalog/online marketer thanks to my digital and direct mail marketing, market research, marketing strategies, press release coverage, e-commerce, and project managing and contributing to catalog and website production.
  • Mortgage subsidiary of largest USA based bank– Developed and implemented marketing campaigns averaging 100,000 in size and managed project tasks as this global financial services leader ramped up mortgage marketing.    
  • Lettershop– Sales rose $1 million the first year consulting for this company.  Introduced a NJ lettershop to the world of digital marketing via my social media, SEO, SEM, and PPC campaigns.  Also identified new target markets, developed promotions, and maximized press release coverage.
  • Major manufacturer and distributor of signage, displays, and display components– Placed my press releases in over 1,000 key publications/online media around the world.  One of my PR placements resulted in a new distributor for a recently launched product line that quickly generated orders in excess of $1 million.
  • Manufacturer and supplier of bendable substrates for a wide range of businesses– Sales increased from $4 million to $6 million in my first year thanks largely to my identification of new markets and business from my free press in 90+ magazines that generated nearly 2,000 leads.
  • Large global distributor, importer, and manufacturer of specialty hardware and complementary products– Lead generation predominantly from my press releases for salespeople and branding for major Toronto Stock Exchange listed company during its crucial USA market launch phase.
  • Top global information technology company– Obtained speaking opportunities for key executives to polish their public image and introduce new product lines.

 

Professional Experience

 
MARKETING MANAGER, Marquis Who’s Who LLC (B2B publisher of reference books and online content)                                                                                  New Providence, NJ, 2001 – August 2010

  • Consultant from 2001-2007 and hired full-time in 2007.  Marquis Who’s Who top management signed written approval allowing me to consult with other companies during off hours.
  • Increased book and product sales as much as 200% and profits from these sales as much as 800%.  One campaign generated $700,000 in profit on a $200,000 investment.
  • Negotiated 80-100% reductions in list rental costs through innovative out-of-the-box thinking including list exchanges.
  • Saved $500,000 per year in information production costs while maintaining high quality standards.
  • Managed marketing for all books which were sold globally included Marquis Who’s Who titles, Official Museum Directory, Official Catholic Directory, Direct Marketing Marketplace, and others.  Also managed marketing of other titles from LexisNexis and Bowker prior to Reed Elsevier divesting Marquis Who’s Who and Bowker.
  • Instrumental in the successful migration from reference book to web subscription sales.
  • Created, analyzed, and executed frequent, broad based integrated campaigns for books and online reference products including e-commerce, web analytics, and social media.  Campaigns ranged from the thousands to millions in size.
  • Developed out-of-the-box tests that resulted in increased purchase rate of 50% and more.

 
MARKETING MANAGER, Spiral Binding Company, Inc. (manufacturer and distributor of business equipment and supplies)                                                                                                                                          Totowa, NJ, 1997 – 1999

  • Sales rose 25% through my maximizing business with current customers and producing new sources of strong revenue with additional customers in best current markets and new markets, domestically and abroad.
  • Built the Spiral Binding Company name and business through my marketing and promotional campaigns, which included the development of profitable catalogs and marketing materials.
  • Managed profit and loss; developed and executed budgets.
  • Supervised and worked with creative staff and managed the activities of computer service bureaus, a mailing/fulfillment house, photographers, and production departments.
  • Explored alternative media for customer acquisition and successfully launched and marketed a company Website on the Internet.  Developed strategies to keep company’s web pages consistently near the top of all key search engines to maximize ‘hits’ and leads.

MARKETING MANAGER, Outwater Plastics/Industries, Inc. (distributor of moldings, P.O.P. and store fixture products, lighting, and millwork that targets both B2B and B2C)                                             Bogota, NJ, 1987 – 1996

  • Developed and implemented marketing campaigns responsible for driving global sales from $7 million to $26 million and the customer base from 23,000 to 86,000 during this period.
  • Discovered and successfully launched a product line that became the foundation for a successful company spinoff.  The spinoff went from 0 to $8 million in sales in 3 years.
  • Three hundred press releases worth in excess of $150,000 per year were printed/broadcast by various media.  The number of leads and subsequent business from press releases often outperformed advertising results.

WRITING AND WORDPRESS POSTINGS, Mark the Marketer Blog                                  Little Ferry, NJ, 2011 – Present http://markthemarketer.wordpress.com/

I created this blog to gain access to a larger potential client/networking population.  By providing free value added services such as cutting edge ideas and insights on marketing techniques, I was able to network and build my LinkedIn connections which continue to grow exponentially and now exceed 8,000.

Professional Affiliations

Social Media Marketing LinkedIn Group Moderator (733K mbrs.)
Social Media Marketing Innovators LinkedIn Group Owner
B2B Content Marketing
Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Network
Direct Marketing Association Official
Ecommerce and Online Marketing Experts
DMA Business-to-Business Council
Forbes CMO Network
Hudson Valley Direct Marketing Association
DMCNY – The Direct Marketing Club of New York
Publishers and Book Sellers Association
Social Media Marketing
Those in Media
B to B Marketing

Education

Bachelor of Science in Marketing
Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, N.J.

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Check out my marketing consulting website

http://markgottliebconsulting.weebly.com/index.html

 

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Subscribe to my Mark the Marketer News Daily

 

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89 Ways to Get Email Addresses for Newsletters & Marketing Campaigns

Interested in increasing your ROI while further building your customer base and brand?  One of the best ways to accomplish this is by building an email list and emailing informative content (plus special promotions) regularly. This strengthens your relationship with customers and adds new ones. Implement several of the tips below and watch your customer base grow and grow.

  1. Keep it simple: Make it quick and easy to sign up by asking only for a first name and email address – not all the name, address and demographic details.
  2. Share With Your Network (SWYN): Include a SWYN or Share-to-Social functionality in your email, allowing subscribers to share your emails with their social networks. SWYN extends the reach of your message, helps to identify your influencers (who shares your emails the most), and allows you to grow your email list. Don’t forget to include an opt-in form for the recipients to sign up for future emails.
  3. Facebook email signup form: Include an opt-in form on your Facebook fan page. By offering unique content through each marketing channel, you’ll encourage your audience to want to connect with you in multiple places. Your Facebook fans may not be aware of your existing email program, so give them the option to sign up on your fan page. This article gives a great tutorial on the process of adding the signup form.
  4. Facebook updates and wall posts: Include links to your email subscription center in Facebook updates and wall posts. Do you have a Facebook page and an email subscription center? You should.  Alert your Facebook fans of upcoming campaigns, and direct them to your subscription center to sign up for more information.
  5. LinkedIn updates and email list URL on your LinkedIn profile page: Include links to your email subscription center and email newsletters in your LinkedIn updates. LinkedIn also allows you to include three web addresses at the top of your profile. Make one of them a link to your email subscription center/newsletter signup page.
  6. LinkedIn Groups: Offer a sign-up option to your contacts when participating and sharing information on LinkedIn Groups. You can join existing relevant groups or create your own to promote discussions about your company or industry. LinkedIn is especially helpful for enriching your email list with B2B contacts.
  7. YouTube: Add a link to your landing page and signup form under the video clip. The video should match the theme and motivate signing up for a company’s news.
  8. One-click signup with Facebook Connect: Use data-providing systems like Facebook Connect and very clear privacy instructions to allow people to sign up for mailing lists with one click. Make it simple to subscribe.
  9. Tweet: Tactfully and tastefully tweet about upcoming marketing initiatives and describe the benefits of signing up for future emails. Include shortened links to your subscription page. Mention email-only promotions and link registration-required content, such as manuals, webinars, and other useful information. A re-tweet contest is a great way to attract people to subscribe to newsletters. All participants need to do is re-tweet a message with a link to your landing page where they can subscribe for newsletters. Reward the most active ones with convenient prizes that fit the audience and your company image. You can even tweet articles of interest to your target market.
  10. For all social media sites: Link to your landing page with sign-up form should be added to your profile information in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others. Do it for both – company and private/professional profiles. And invite your colleagues to do the same. Make sure, there is a strong call to action in the landing page, so that people are really interested in signing up for your company’s email newsletters.
  11. PR: Invite editors on your PR media list to sign up for your newsletter email list. This can lead to a lot more free press including requests to write articles. Also tell editors about any content in your email newsletter that might be relevant to their readership, which might include items on their upcoming editorial calendars. You might want to reformat this relevant content to press release format (search engine optimized) and also email it to all other appropriate editors on your PR media list.
  12. Identify the websites and online publications that serve your geographical area, like your local newspaper’s website. Submit letters to the editor, post your comments on stories, and post on discussion forums. Promote your business and use a tagline, but keep the content relevant and not spam like.
  13. When interviewed by the press: Whenever you’re interviewed by the press, mention your free email newsletter.
  14. Reach out to key bloggers reaching your target market: Tell them about your email newsletter and provide links to your email subscription center.  Reach out to them about topics that might be of interest in each email newsletter issue. Positive comments from these bloggers can result in huge increase increases in your number of email newsletter subscribers fast since these are influencers.
  15. Post articles on article submission sites like EzineArticles.com: 400K+ authors share their articles here. Make sure you optimize the article for local search by working in references to your city, state, zip, phone number with area code and website. Include links to your email subscription center.
  16. Show examples of email campaigns on social networks: Give Twitter followers and Facebook fans a taste of the content you’ll provide in your email campaigns (share your emails with them via SWYN or link to past issues). This will entice them to sign up for more.
  17.  Host a professional group, chat, or local association: On sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, there are multiple opportunities to host live chats, discussion groups, and industry-specific conversations. Step to the plate, take charge, and see inquiries come to you as a recognized expert in your field.
  18.  Encourage email subscription on your blog: Include an email subscription center on your blog, and make sure it’s a prominent call to action that’s available in the content of your posts as well as in site navigation, so that everyone still see it.
  19. Republish email content on your blog and website: Do you have a great newsletter? Don’t hide it – publish newsletter articles and other information, and be sure to include a link to sign up for future emails. You might even want to allow other bloggers to post your content on their blogs. If they provide a link to your email newsletter, the reader should see links to your email subscription center.
  20. Include links to your email subscription center at the end of any comments you post on other blogs.  Make relevant comments and avoid posting blatant self-promotion or outright spam.
  21. Post insightful comments (not blatantly self-promotional postings) on blogs that your customers are likely to read: Always include a subtle mention of your newsletter (“As we shared last week in our newsletter on 89 Ways to Get Email Addresses for Newsletters & Marketing Campaigns…)”
  22. Include links to your email subscription center in any bios you post online – for example, if you’re an examiner.com topic expert. Guest blogging is another place where your bio information is important.
  23. Guest author for other blogs and publications: Share your expertise with your community, writing for other publications. Be sure to include links to your email subscription center as part of your bio and in all articles.
  24. Leverage all social networks: There are hundreds of social networks, from SlideShare to YouTube to specialized discussion forums. Find where your customers are, participate in the networks they participate in, and use those networks to grow your presence. Here’s a simple tip to try: ask your 50 best customers which social networks and groups they participate in, then go join those networks and groups. Like attracts like, so there’s a good chance more great future customers are on those networks.  On LinkedIn, you can see LinkedIn groups your best customers are a member of, assuming they have a LinkedIn account and are a member of their groups, on the bottom of their LinkedIn profile page.  You can find the most common groups they are a member of and join them. 
  25. Encourage employees to be active on social networks: The more people are talking about your brand, your products, and your industry, the more likely someone will reach out to you and find their way to your company. If appropriate for your corporate culture, set some internal policies and guidelines, and then encourage your employees to actively participate in social media, tactfully and tastefully evangelizing your business to their networks.
  26. Promote your subscription form: Include opt-in subscription forms on the top 15 pages of your website (including the home page) as determined by your web analytics. Make it stand out and provide a clear call to action. Place a subscription form at the end of every article to catch readers when they’re ready to take another action.
  27. Ask for a subscription during online checkout: For online transactions, ask customers at checkout if they want to receive future emails from you.
  28. Ask customers to subscribe as you ring up their orders: Provide a small registration blank next to the cash register or a bowl where they can leave a business card to subscribe (and enter a drawing)
  29. Add an email newsletter opt-in line on your credit card receipts. Customers   notice it as they file their receipts or prepare their expense reports.
  30. Provide obvious incentive: The easiest way to build a subscriber list is to tell people what’s in it for them. Give them clear, unmistakable value up front and people will sign up. In these days of information overload, you’ll have to explain the benefits of subscribing in a compelling way. Offer a white paper, free e-books, entry in a contest to win an iPhone, discount coupons, free targeted mobile phone application, the promise of Internet-only specials — something that your subscribers value. Continue to provide valuable content and they’ll stay with you after the incentive ends. Content is king!  For example, an email service provider might want to offer a relevant and useful gift in exchange for signing up such as 89 Ways to Get Email Addresses for Newsletters & Marketing Campaigns.
  31. Include content that is fresh and fun or interesting; this increases the likelihood that people will want to forward your email newsletter.
  32. Check the clickthroughs reported by your email service providers to tell which content is most interesting to your readers. Focus on future content that draws the greatest interest.
  33. Ask during webinar/online event signup: Host a webinar or live online event (concert, chat, panel, etc.) and include email list subscription as part of the sign-up process.
  34. Mention your free email newsletter at seminars and talks: Put the signup link on the last slide of your presentation. Pass around an email list sign-up sheet at all events where you’re speaking.
  35. Consider entrance or exit pop-ups: As soon as someone arrives or before someone leaves your site, consider having an in-page pop-up appear prompting them to subscribe to your list. Explain that you want to stay in touch and continue providing value to them.
  36. Include a subscription center: Make sure you have a subscription center on your website that allows subscribers to change their address, pause their subscription, and opt-down (rather than unsubscribe, just choose to hear from you less often). This makes your newsletter more professional as with the major publishers.
  37. Include testimonials on your email subscription page: Ask existing, engaged subscribers to write a short testimonial or film a video talking about how valuable your emails are. If prospects know that others find your emails valuable, they are more likely to sign up to receive your emails. What’s in it for them?
  38. Promote sign-ups via contests: Consider using a special contest for a highly desired prize to build your email list. Be aware that subscribers may not be as engaged or interested once the contest ends, so act quickly to provide obvious value to encourage subscribers to stick around.
  39. Make every form a subscription form: Make sure that every form on your website has email list subscription built into it. Capture and catch at every opportunity, not just on sales forms.
  40. Consider your domain name: If your domain name is especially hard to remember or is unclear when spoken, it will be that much harder for people to spread via word of mouth. At the very least, consider buying and redirecting a custom domain name for your email subscription center if your regular corporate domain name isn’t in your control.
  41. Make it easy to share: Include a Forward to a Friend (FTAF) and Share With Your Network (SWYN) link in all of your emails, not just marketing promotions.
  42. Ask people to share: Be direct. Be explicit. Ask people to forward and share your email. Give them obvious permission to do so – you’d be surprised how many people question whether it’s okay to forward, print, post, or repost an email.
  43. Make unsubscribing easy: It’s far better to lose a few subscribers than to be blacklisted for spam or not have your emails delivered, which can happen if people can’t find an unsubscribe link easily. Make unsubscribing easy and people won’t push the Mark as Spam button on you.
  44. Make the most of your unsubscribe: When someone is unsubscribing, take the time to get feedback from them about why. Ask a few short questions about the reasons they’re no longer interested in your emails and what would make them come back some day. Give them the option to keep in touch, and offer them the ability to “opt-down”, or subscribe to a less frequently-mailed list.
  45. Leverage transactions: When sending purchase confirmations or other transactional emails, make sure to invite customers to subscribe to your email list. Provide reasons and value for doing so, along with incentives. (Subscribe and receive x % off your next order). This can also be done in brick and mortar stores where at the end of the purchase receipt you provide a link to sign up for an email list and you receive X % off your next order for doing so. 
  46. If you are a retailer, have large signs in prominent places to promote your free email newsletter and distribute a flyer or postcard promoting your free email newsletter list in each customer’s bag or shipping box. 
  47. Display your domain on all printed materials with the benefits of your newsletter –  on sales collateral, fliers, bags, business cards, advertising, etc.
  48. Run a special for anyone who brings in a printout of your email newsletter to your brick and mortar locations or spots a “picture of a tick tack toe board” in your store – some hidden message, image or other feature in your newsletter.
  49. Collect email addresses at your place of business: Don’t overlook the in-store sign- up. Put a sign-up sheet on your checkout counters, front desk, customer service, product shelves, etc. – along with a clear, posted privacy policy. Offer coupons and discounts as incentives to encourage people to sign up.
  50. Periodically make hard copy newsletter samples available at your front desk and elsewhere in your brick & mortar location. Keep the samples updated with new materials.
  51. Ask for subscription after webinars: When following up with webinar registrants by email, be sure to send along more than just the slides and session materials. Ask registrants to subscribe to your email list, especially if your emails may cover future events.
  52. Sign it: Encourage or require (depending on your company culture and rules) employees to include a link to your subscription center in their email signature.
  53. Advertise in other email campaigns or swap this type of opportunity: Purchase advertising space in other newsletters. Purchase a guest issue with clear calls to action to subscribe in other newsletters. Note that this is not the same as list rental/list purchase.
  54. Reciprocal plugs  in complementary newsletters: Find newsletters you enjoy and ask the editors to plug your newsletter to their lists in exchange for you  plugging their newsletters to your list. This works best when your  list isn’t too much smaller than theirs.
  55. Send re-engagement email with incentives: When re-engaging a list you haven’t used in a while, lead with an incentive to maximize the impact on readers.
  56. Ask while on the phone: When speaking with a customer or prospect on the phone, ask them if they’d like to receive your emails. Provide telephone guidelines for employees to explain how to ask for an email list subscription during each call.
  57. Retailers get more catches per day with fishbowl campaigns: Retailers can do fishbowl campaigns offering those who agree to receive their store newsletter a chance to win a prize or store gift certificate.
  58. Business cards and company letterhead, envelopes, and forms: Include a link to your email subscription center on your company’s business cards, on return envelopes, invoices and other paperwork you provide to customers and vendors.
  59. T-shirts: Include a link to your email subscription center on t-shirts you and your staff wear and give t-shirts with this type of information as an incentive for signing up for your email newsletter which should lead to more email list subscribers as your customers and prospects become free walking billboards for you.  The t-shirts can also be given away as a tradeshow booth premium.
  60. Ask at events, mixers, conferences, and tradeshows: When talking with someone at your tradeshow booth (or while passing in the hall of a conference), ask them if they’d like to receive more information from you. Include a fishbowl or signup sheet with a published privacy policy and opt-in notice.
  61. Sponsor/host an event that requires registration: The event could range from the simple (Tweetup) to the more complex (3-day conference). Display and set privacy expectations, then collect registration information.
  62. Talk about your email subscription center while speaking at events: If your employees or executives speak at industry events, they should mention your email campaigns and direct audience members to your website and/or email subscription center. You can even include a unique URL at the end of your presentation deck. Ideally use an easy to remember, easy to repeat URL.
  63. InPerson (LinkedIn) and Poken: While at events, consider using services like In Person from LinkedIn or Poken as a way of connecting with others quickly. Ask for their email address and if you can add them to your list.
  64. Advertise your email subscriptions in dead zones: Dead zones are places where people have time to spare and can’t go anywhere. Southwest Airlines does a great job advertising their email list on their monitors while you’re waiting to board the plane. Where else are people captive audiences? You might even want to mention your free email newsletter in the “on hold” recording that plays while callers are waiting. Make sure you tell them how to sign up.
  65. Promote your email marketing communications with direct mail: If you send snail mail (postal mail), alert recipients of your email program. Whether you send a brochure, catalog, billing information, or any other type of communication, direct recipients to your website to sign up for your emails. Tell them why they should want to receive emails from you and entice them to sign up. You might even want to send a postcard mailing specifically to promote your email list.
  66. Offer mobile subscription via text message: If you’ve got a strong mobile program, you may already have a short code available. Let prospective customers subscribe to your lists via short code (e.g. text your email address to 21411) and capture them on the spot. This is especially effective when people are standing around for a bit.
  67. Investigate 2D barcodes and QR: Mobile phones with cameras are just beginning to adopt Quick Response codes or 2D barcodes. Generate a QR code and include it any place people are likely to be using mobile phones with cameras and QR applications, even the back of your business cards. To learn about 103 Ways to Use QR Codes to Drive Sales and More, see this blog of mine at http://tinyurl.com/7kdpp62
  68. Use a mobile application to collect email addresses: At a tradeshow or conference? Use an iPhone app (or other platform application) to take new subscribers on the spot, rather than waiting to do data import later. Be sure, of course, that a privacy notice is displayed prominently and clearly. Read more about this tip in action.
  69. Optimize for mobile: Ensure that all of your email marketing efforts have mobile versions and are well-optimized for the mobile reader. Include phone numbers in standard formats in your messages so that when forwarded, others can call you. Make links for Forward to a Friend and Share With Your Network obvious and near the top of your message so mobile readers don’t have to scroll far to use them. 
  70. Targeted, timely, and valuable: Offer valuable, unique content that your email recipients can’t get anywhere else. Be sure that it’s targeted (specific content for them), timely (sent when they are most likely to interact), and valuable (something they want/need).The more valuable your emails are, the more people will sign up to receive them.
  71. Identify, contact, and engage your brand advocates: Do you have people singing your praises to their networks for free? Reward them. Develop some inclusive network they can be a part of. Run contests to reward their advocacy. Buy them lunch and listen to their ideas. Give them t-shirts and free iTunes downloads. Above all, listen to them.
  72. Prioritize retention: If you have to choose between attracting new subscribers and retaining the ones you have, focus your efforts on keeping things fresh and interesting for your existing subscribers. It’s usually much more valuable (and cost-effective) to keep existing customers happy than it is to prospect for new ones.
  73. Capitalize on buzz: Are people talking about you, your brand, company, and/or products? Convert as much of that attention as possible to subscribers while you have the spotlight. Make sure any specialized landing pages on your website highlight an email signup so that interested passersby can be contacted after the spotlight moves on.
  74. Search engine optimize (SEO) your newsletter page: Optimize your email subscription center for keywords related to your area of expertise and email, such as “e-mail marketing newsletter” or “entrepreneur newsletter”. Let the search engines do the work for you and drive new potential subscribers to the page where they can sign up to be on your email list.
  75. Post a free classified ad about your email newsletter on CraigsList in the cities you wish to target.  Be careful with the spammers that Craigslist can attact.
  76. Treat your free email newsletter just like any other product or service: Develop a marketing calendar with specific activities that runs throughout the year.
  77. Whet thy appetite before you get: Show potential subscribers a sample of your email newsletter so they can see it’s informative and not a sales pitch.
  78. Approach local employers and offer to let them send your email newsletter to their employees: Important: it needs to be informative, not blatantly self-promotional.
  79. When your customers place an order, train your staff to confirm their current email address and double-check that they’re on your email list. Also ask for their name and email address if they are simply placed an inquiry.
  80. Use your email as your “default” customer communication tool: For example, if you’re running a contest to count the number of shirts in a display, make sure everyone knows that “Next Monday, check out the winners in our free weekly email newsletter. If you’re not getting it, sign up at…”
  81. Put pictures and names (“Bob R.”) of your customers and employees in the newsletter so that featured people are likelier to forward it. People like to see themselves in print and let their network know about it.
  82. Buy a 30 – 60 second radio ad that sends people to a sign-up page for your newsletter. Include business name, address, telephone number and your key message – and mention your web address at least twice. Offer a relevant and useful freebie in exchange for the signup.
  83. Promote your email newsletter with ads in weekly shoppers, local magazine ads, coupon packs, and door hangers.  These are inexpensive ways to target a local market.
  84. Consider billboard advertising if you can make your newsletter pitch in about 7 words and include the domain name. Rates are usually cheaper at the end of the month – or you can use a pay-by-the-day billboard.
  85. Produce banner ads that drive email newsletter subscriptions and choose their placements carefully for maximum benefit. Good graphics and wording will attract eyeballs and clicks!
  86. Co-registration: Using  RegReady, advertising clients syndicate their opt-in offer(s) across their choice of websites within RegReady’s online publisher network while publishing partners create a new revenue stream from this process. This  “win-win” process is called co-registration.  If done correctly, co-registration has      proven to be the most efficient method of growing a true opt-in email list. Be careful, however, since co-registration subscribers often don’t  realize what they’ve really signed up for, may not be well targeted, and  may unsubscribe or go dormant quickly. Monitor these subscribers carefully.
  87. Have foreign language versions of your email newsletter: If you are targeting global markets where English is not the primary language for a fairly large % of your audience, have the newsletter translated into their native language.
  88. Rent some lists: Use an expert list broker who can help you navigate through the 60K+ lists out there and find you the best suited ones to sell some of your offerings and build your email list.  This is how I found a group of email lists that generated a $700K profit on a $200K investment in a single campaign. This increased an email list by 20K in size in a highly targeted group of professionals with tremendous lifetime value (LTV).To read more about how I did this and my experience in doing so, please see the following blog entries of mine: http://tinyurl.com/7s252yl and http://tinyurl.com/7v4poy6.
  89. Honor your privacy and trust commitments: Set clear privacy and delivery expectations up front, then live up to your promises with your audience. Do so and they’ll remain yours for as long as you honor their trust. Break your promises and you’ll lose your audience and reputation with lightning speed. As email marketing evolves, trust and reputation will be the cornerstones of deliverability, so put earning and keeping trust at the top of your strategic priorities.

Once you have built up a large highly profitable email list, you can even increase company profits further by renting your email list and selling advertising on your email newsletter. 

Can you think of other good ways to build your email list?

 

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