5 Strategies to Grow Your Email List

woman using phone

Email is the most effective marketing channel and most preferred medium of business communication. This is why it’s imperative that your organization is collecting email addresses if you want to grow and succeed.

Let’s face it—compared to social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, email seems old, antiquated, and irrelevant.

But, when you step back from the glitter of social media and focus on what’s best for your organization in the long-run, you’d realize that email is better. Why?

Because email marketing has higher ROI, more people are using it, and even expected when dealing with businesses. Take a look at these statistics on email marketing to find out why it’s still better than social media.

But that’s if you’re talking about a zero-sum game. Honestly, if you’re looking at growing your business, you have to use them together to get better results. Here are five strategies for how you can grow your email list.

Top 5 Strategies to Grow Your Email List

1. Actively Build Your List

Email marketing databases naturally degrade by about 22.5% every year. This means that about every 4 years, your current email list will have become useless.

If you don’t have a strategy to make up for these lost contacts, the performance of your email marketing campaigns will naturally decline.

Some marketers compensate for this natural decay by buying lists (or similar activities like getting the list from a colleague, or a sister company, etc).

This is one of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever do as a marketer. Not only will this hurt your analytics, it will eventually create animosity for your brand.

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) taking effect last May 2018, the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica controversy, and many more — acquiring data from 3rd parties are quickly becoming less viable options.

2. Categorize Your Email

56% of email users unsubscribe from a business or nonprofit email subscription because the content is no longer relevant to them.

These people joined your list willingly at some point because they found value in the emails they receive. But because you keep sending irrelevant messages, they unsubscribe.

This happens when there is a mismatch of expectations.

A person who subscribed to your blog is expecting emails about content from your blog, but is not expecting emails about your upcoming promos.

Someone who recently bought an item from your eCommerce store may expect some emails about warranties, product-related content (like tutorials, how-to’s, FAQs), or even some feedback survey.

But surely, they won’t appreciate receiving more promotional offers, or worse, getting a discount offer for the same product they just purchased at a full price.

3. Segment Your List

Think of your email list as a big database. Not everyone got in it for the same reasons, nor do they have the same problems. Some are leads while some are customers. There are some who will never buy from you.

All these are examples of segments within your email list. It’s a way of grouping people together based on similarities and/or differences.

If you’re like most organizations, your email marketing activities only revolve around sending a newsletter to everyone in your list.

And if you’re sending that email to everyone in your list, you might as well call what you’re doing spamming.

As an added note, the GDPR clearly forbids this type of behavior. If they signed up for product updates, then you send them a promotional sale, that already violates the use of their data.

4. Use a Real Person When Sending an Email

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

All these examples are email addresses marketers typically use when sending newsletters. However, studies show that adding a face behind your organization can improve open and click-through rates.

When you receive an email from a person, you’re more inclined to open it, read it, and take action.

Compare that when receiving an email from an organization— an entity you know nothing about; where you haven’t built any relationships.

There are pros and cons to this approach. But the benefits outweigh the costs every single time.

5. Work with Other Departments

Email marketing works best when all departments that “talk” to prospects and customers are involved.

Prospects and customers only see one entity — your organization. They don’t see separate departments such as marketing, sales, customer service, and IT.

But, most of the time, email marketing is solely handled by the marketing department.

Instead of getting the information your customers need at the right time, they have to actively look for it — which means more work for them.

This results to poor customer experience.

And when they contact your organization, they get passed around from one person to another.

This is something that you’re familiar with and probably experienced yourself. Now that you’re in the position to effect change, why not change it?

So, What Are You Going to Do Next?

Email marketing remains one of the most effective activities marketers can implement. It has the highest ROI across other channels. It also is the most preferred medium of business communications.

If you aren’t taking advantage of email, you are missing out a lot of potential growth in your business. Learn how you can increase your email traffic by creating marketing offers and sending different types of email.

If you need help with your email marketing, or have questions about how you can implement these strategies, feel free to get in touch or leave a comment below.

What Is an Email List

What is an email list

An email list is a database containing information about your prospects and customers like name, email addresses, and phone numbers.

Originally, an email list is simply that — a list of email addresses you send mass email to.

But now, they have evolved into a complete database that contains all interactions with your organization — from social media, emails, and even sales calls.

From this database, you can slice and dice the data to give you actionable insights on your prospects and customers.

It is now the heart of effective digital marketing.

Without an email list that tracks all these information and interactions, you are in left in the dark. You start guessing. Make assumptions. This can lead to a poor customer experience.

The Dreaded (and Useless) Voice Prompts

Don’t you just hate it when you get asked around for the same information over and over by the person you’re talking to on the phone?

Recently, my wife got on a call with a bank to dispute some credit card charges (short story: her replacement card was not delivered to her because she was out of the country yet someone was able to use it).

One of the frustrating things here is that upon calling the customer service hotline, you get asked to enter your 16-digit credit card number. Then, after minutes of hearing the useless voice prompts, you finally got to chat with a real person. Yey!

Then, they asked you for your 16-digit card number again. They also ask a couple more questions for additional verification. I can only imagine this is a requirement before some data in the system shows up on their screens.

You know what’s even more frustrating? After all these verifications, you finally got to tell them your issue. They said another department is handling that and will transfer your call.

Stop for a moment. What do you think happens when after you get transferred to another person?

They ask the same verification stuff again.

It’s no wonder why a lot of customers shout and curse at customer service reps. They are already frustrated with an issue — in this case, someone used their credit card — then it takes them a very long time just to talk to the right person.

It’s neither their faults for this poor user experience. That’s “just the way how it’s done.” That mindset has no place in today’s fast-paced world.

And to clarify, my wife didn’t do any of those. But I was beside her. I was the one shouting and cursing in my head.

Customer Experience Matters

Customer experience matters. Period.

No matter how big your organization is, like Globe and Smart, the moment someone better comes along, people will switch.

It’s the same thing with me. I no longer have much brand affinity. I have been a Globe subscriber for more than 6 years (an additional 9 years if you count my usage under my parent’s plan).

But because of some issue they have internally that a lot of customers are already complaining about, they are passing the blame to me. I immediately switched to the next competitor — Smart.

I recently read that there’s a new telco coming to town soon.

I’ll be very vigilant when that time comes. Because if they do offer something better and Smart doesn’t reciprocate, I won’t hesitate to jump ship.

The Modern Email List

With the rise of chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI), the requirements of organizations from the modern marketer continuously increase.

If your email list is simply collecting information like names and email addresses, you’re at a great disadvantage.

At the very least, your email list should tell you what forms/landing pages they filled out, what pages they visited, and if you’re an e-commerce store, their purchase data — the number of times the person ordered, amount, and products ordered.

These data points allow you to segment your list further and create automation rules that trigger when certain conditions are met.

For example, you can segment people who downloaded your industry report last year and offer them to download an updated report for this year. Or perhaps invite them to answer a survey to be used in your new industry report.

Or you can segment people whose latest store purchase is twice than your average order value. You can probably give them a gift card, or maybe even a personal call or email saying how much you appreciate them.

If your email list doesn’t give you these data nor allow you to capture them, it’s time to search for a new one. And if your email list allows it, but you aren’t using it, then it’s time to start doing so.

Don’t wait until you are forced to adopt these changes. It’s always easier and less stressful to implement/change your systems when your neck is not on the line.