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Killer tactics and best practices to keep your subscriber list growing

Online or in person, make the most of overlooked opportunities to find relevant opt-in email contacts

A sizable list of opt-in email addresses is the gold standard for email marketing. People who chose to sign up for your list are most likely to visit your website, to trust your brand, and ultimately to convert. They were on the hunt for something when they found you, and they told you that they want to stay in the loop.

So how do you build a robust list of past customers and potential future customer leads who are willing to hand over the keys to their precious inboxes?

In-person email collection

inpersonThere are countless ways to collect emails from your customers face-to-face (or face-to-screen). Don’t miss these opportunities.

If your organization interfaces with the public via electronic kiosks, this is a great place to ask for emails. If your brand participates in trade shows or sponsors public events, be sure to collect emails at your table, either on a clipboard or on a tablet. The person staffing the table should encourage sign-up.

For brick and mortar businesses, ask for emails at the point-of-sale. As a caveat, according to Experian, emails collected at point-of-sale have a 20 percent bounce rate compared with a 1.5 percent bounce rate for emails across the board. So even though the cash register can be a tricky place to gather quality contacts, it’s still primed to yield high volume. With a line of customers waiting to check out, overhead music, and the customer talking to their friend, it’s a good idea to have customers enter their email themselves or at least verify their email on a screen.

Once you’ve captured these email addresses, send a confirmation email to keep bad emails off your list. This is a good way to make sure that the inboxes you’re sending to are the ones that get seen, which helps to keep your clickthrough rates respectable. No one likes spam, anyway – that’s why we’re after opt-ins in the first place!

On the internets

internetsDon’t miss out on opportunities to collect email addresses from the teeming masses of otherwise anonymous web-surfers who frequent your site and social media presences.

Take advantage of your homepage, your blog, your newsletter landing page and your Facebook page to collect information.

Did you know that Mad Mimi’s subscription webforms can integrate with your Facebook page? Here at Managed for Mimi, we went for an even simpler approach, but plenty of brands have implemented powerful alternate solutions, requiring opt-ins to unleash content.

Put a prominent sign-up form, or link to your newsletter splash page, on the front page of your website. Compel visitors to sign-up for your newsletter by showing them examples of your awesome content and exclusive online-only deals. Entice them with a freebie of some sort, a podcast, a trial membership, or free shipping on their first order form your website.

Make your sign-up form quick and easy to complete. But if you’re planning on segmenting your messages, which can be a good idea, be sure that you capture enough information like gender, age, or areas of interest to be able to target them with some specificity and to personalize their emails. Tell them how often they can expect to hear from you, or better yet let them choose how often to receive email.

Go through the extra trouble to collect quality emails and other relevant information, and you will find your list will reward you with higher rates for deliverability, engagement, and conversion.

Photos courtesy of flickr users Amanda M Hatfield (top) and Kevin Dooley under Creative Commons licenses.

About Ben Jacobson

A content marketing services professional since 2001, Ben Jacobson serves as Operations Director of Managed for Mimi and Co-Director of its parent organization Action Packed Media. To see Ben's LinkedIn profile, click here.