August 06, 2013

Marketing Research Chart: Most effective email list building tactics

SUMMARY: Everything grows. Children grow. Animals grow. Plants grow, too. And, email lists …

As any marketer knows, without proper feeding and care, email lists can stagnate or, even worse, decline. This poor performance affects much more than just the email marketer. Email lead gen and acquisition, lead capture for an email list … these are all just alternative ways to say capture contact information and communicate with people who are interested in buying a product.

For the most effective tactics to achieve that, read this MarketingSherpa Chart of the Week.
by Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content

Tumblr. Twitter. Facebook. Foursquare.

Today, there are many more methods other than just email to capture a prospect’s interest and communicate with them.

However, unlike social media, with email, prospects are forced to a decision point — open or delete, click or delete, etc. (assuming you've mastered deliverability).

Which brings us to today's chart. How can marketers best capture that interest and build their email lists? We asked marketers that very question in the MarketingSherpa 2013 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

View Chart Online

Click here to see a printable version of this chart

Valuable content drives list growth

The goal of every element listed on this chart is to provide an extra incentive to encourage people to register for the email list.

If you look at the above responses, you can see that the top performing list building activities tend to be focused around content, which makes sense when you think about it. After all, the best way to have people register for your email list is to send out really good emails that people want.

One way to give them a preview of the valuable content they will receive is with a piece of content — according to respondents, 29% found white papers or other premium content to be the most effective.

It's interesting to note content was even more effective for B2B and B2G marketers, with 43% ranking white papers or premium content as the most effective tactic to register new email subscribers.

Incentives can drive list growth as well

As I mentioned above, while each of these elements are essentially extra incentives to encourage a decision to subscribe, some are, for lack of better wording, more incentive based than others.

While content can tie directly to the value received from subscribing to the email list, sweepstakes and gift cards often, but not always, have their own unique value, which is why marketers may have rated them as less effective.

An important element to consider when offering sweepstakes or gift cards is how well the value in the incentive ties into the value we offer in the email list and the value proposition of our company in general.

For example, if you are a security company, a sweepstakes for a $5,000 security system may be more effective than a $5,000 trip to Bermuda.

After all, your real goal isn't just building any email list. Your goal is as one survey respondent put it…

"Building a responsive list. These will be subscribers truly interested in my services."

Running a successful email list building campaign is its own rewards. But, we'd like to reward you for it as well. Just enter MarketingSherpa Email Awards 2014 for a chance to win a trip for two members of your team to Email Summit 2014 at the Aria in Las Vegas (no entry fee).

Related Resources

List Building: The four questions every email capture page must answer

Email Marketing: 77% of marketers use website registration pages to build email lists

Marketing Research Chart: Capture subscribers with top list building tactics

List Growth: 11% increase from sweepstakes for current subscribers

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