If you could start with only a single section of data about a client, you’d probably choose their email address because this channel is direct, easily assessable, and can be without delay activated. For this cause, consider email the bedrock audience, because it’s so introductory to your overall marketing.
Email has come a long way since its early days, and it’s time to consider the latest tactics and strategies that marketers are using to build solid email audiences.
Growing Email Subscribers in 2014:
According to new research conducted among hundreds of marketers, 91% of surveyed marketers reported being involved with email marketing on a regular basis. We asked email marketers to tell us about their primary email objectives and goals.
More marketers prioritize selling as a primary objective for email marketing than for social media and mobile channels. As selling is tied to overall ROI, this is consistent with the 42% of email marketers who identify overall ROI as the most important measurement to gauge effectiveness of their email program.
In addition to using email to drive sales, email marketers understand the channel’s ability to prime subscribers for future purchases by generating leads and driving brand awareness. We see this demonstrated in the 42% of email marketers who also identify the quality of subscribers as their most important gauge of email subscriber growth effectiveness.
Quality email subscribers help brands achieve their overall business objectives. So, as we seek to understand why certain email tactics are more effective than others, we filter our analysis through the lens of a tactic’s ability to secure high-quality subscribers who purchase, frequent the website, and respond to brand awareness campaigns.
In search of the best subscriber growth tactics, we asked email marketers to identify which tactics they use to grow their email subscribers, and then rate how effective they consider the tactics they employ.
Each tactic serves a different purpose and involves varying levels of effort and maintenance. Some underutilized tactics may deserve higher adoption rates, while other underperforming tactics should be reconsidered in terms of the time and investment they draw from your team and budget.
Noteworthy Subscriber Growth Tactics
Some of the most popular tactics for subscriber growth don’t have the highest effectiveness ratings, but rather may be widely used because they’re so easy to implement. These tactics include:
General email sign-up form on website (73% use, 44% rate effective)
Sign-up requests specific to different sections on website (51% use, 46% rate effective)
Email capture via Facebook (47% use, 30% rate effective)
These subscriber growth tactics may not drive vast amounts of high-quality leads, but they don’t require much time or money. These tactics create an easy inlet for subscriber growth, but you shouldn’t expect these tactics alone to fill your funnel.
Tactics such as inbound call center requests and in-store loyalty program acquisition are high in reported effectiveness, but are used by a relatively small group of marketers because they require a call center or brick-and-mortar location that not all brands have.
In this offline category, these are the top performers that drive email subscriber growth:
Capture email during inbound sales calls (22% use, 76% rate effective) and service calls (23% use, 63% rate effective)
Acquire email for loyalty program registration in-store (19% use, 67% rate effective)
Sales associate requests email during check-out process (20% use, 58% rate effective)
Email acquisition tied to emailed receipt or ticket delivery (13% use, 56% rate effective)
For marketers that do not have the option to test these offline tactics, consider implementing parallel tactics online. Just as a direct request from a sales associate is more likely to result in a customer’s email address compared to a static in-store display, these online tactics have the same direct-request effect and high effectiveness ratings.
Require email to create an account on website (57% use, 70% rate effective)
Registration with incentive on website (50% use, 63% rate effective)
Promote content via social media that requires email registration to access (39% use, 59% rate effective)
The greatest promise may lie in the tactics that are not as commonly used, but are highly rated as effective. Several mobile tactics could also fall under this category:
Option to opt into email when viewing mobile app content (15% use, 58% rate effective)
Require email to register mobile app (15% use, 56% rate effective)
Paid mobile ads (14% use, 42% rate effective)
You can implement subscriber growth tactics online or offline both ways, depending where your audience is and how they prefer to interact with your brand and company. Meet your audience where they are, and refine your strategies as each communication channel evolves.