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Only Influencers: News, Jobs, and Opinion for Email Marketers

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Email Acquisition Special Edition Part 2

This week we have a lot of new subscribers to the OI newsletter, thanks to Jeanne Jennings article 2 Industry Organizations Every Email Marketers Should Join. Next week I'll talk a little bit about how to join OI as a full time member, but we have a jammed packed issue this week, so let's get started.

A few weeks ago I asked the influencers to write a few words on Email Acquisition, and I got a torrent instead. In part two of our special edition, Karen Talavera gets us started with 6 Subscriber Acquisition Tactics to Fastrack Your Email List Growth, the first of a two parter. Anne Mitchell talks about the dangers of email acquisition in The Slippery Slope of Email Acquisition. Jeanne Jennings talks about Focusing on the Forest, Instead of the Trees when it comes to acquisition and finally Dave Hendricks gives us Email Acquisition Principles for CRM Success.

Until next week, I remain your intrepid Editor,
Bill McCloskey

6 Subscriber Acquisition Tactics to Fastrack Your Email List Growth (Part 1)

by Karen Talavera

If you take them aside in confidence and buy them a drink or two, most people working in email marketing will eventually admit there’s a hungry beast they have to deal with that is never full and always has an appetite for more. No matter how much or how often they feed it, it’s a bottomless pit.

What is this monster? It’s none other than your email list! Actually, if you’re treating it right, it’s more like an elite athlete than a monster. Chances are, no matter how many subscribers you already have, you hunger for more. The simple truth: the care and feeding of your email list is a job that’s never done (and shouldn’t be).

The constant need to acquire new email list members is fueled by a few unchanging facts: Brands continually seek greater market share, which means increasing visibility and interest among non-list members in order to bring them into the fold and once we do – turning them into customers. Not only do we want to grow the number of prospects we can communicate with through email, but many companies are also challenged by having subpar percentages of customer email addresses on their files, so seek better coverage of customer opt-ins to email. Couple those realities with the inevitable churn most email lists see annually due to unsubscribes, aging data and deliverability issues (30% turn-over is not uncommon) and it’s no wonder we can’t satisfy the beast!

Email marketing’s early days seem like ancient history now, which presents both new subscriber acquisition challenges and opportunities. Unlike the age of commercial email’s inception, the novelty of receiving savings, coupons, content and other exclusive goodies promised to subscribers wore off years ago. List members expect that at a minimum, and expectations are rising – subscribers now want us to surprise and delight them, anticipate their needs, and enable or remind them to make their interactions with us efficient and convenient.

On the bright side, we have more tools and tactics at our disposal than ever before to invite new subscribers on to our lists. Here are the top-performing new-subscriber acquisition practices that should be in place for your program:

(continued, with graphics, on the Only Influencers Website)

Continue reading "6 Subscriber Acquisition Tactics to Fastrack Your Email List Growth"

The Slippery Slope of Email Acquisition

by Anne Mitchell

Every marketer knows that one of your greatest assets is your email list.  In the '90s and early '00s, relatively little attention was paid to how you actually built that mailing list;  the focus was on building the biggest mailing list possible, and mailing lists were often bought, sold, or shared.  Nobody really thought about the concept of "permission", after all email was the closest thing to free advertising and marketing you could get, and if somebody had an email address, it was considered fair game.

So, back then, when one thought of email acquisition, they usually thought in terms of getting as many email addresses as they could to add to their list, or to have mailing access to a large shared or purchased list.

But that was then, and this is now.  For at least a decade the reality has been that you need to have the actual permission of the owner of the email address before you put them on your mailing list.

Obviously this has put a crimp in how email addresses are acquired, and how mailing lists are built.

So what's a conscientious marketer to do?


(continued on the Only Influencers Website)

Continue reading "The Slippery Slope of Email Acquisition"

Email Acquisition: Focusing on the Forest, Instead of the Trees

by Jeanne Jennings

Bill is looking for articles on email acquisition this week – in other words, missives on ways for an organization to grow its email list. I have some standard ways that I address that topic, and to my dismay, I used them back in December 2013 in a post for this blog.

But it now occurs to me that I might have more to say on the subject.

As email marketers we often get ‘in the weeds’ – focused on whether or not the opt-in box is checked (if you’re collecting email addresses from Canadians, CASL says it matters), agonizing over where the email sign-up call-to-action appears on your Website and trying to figure out if someone who offers to send your ‘sign up today’ message to 70 million qualified (according to them) prospects around the world is worth the $1,500 they’re going to charge you (hint: it’s likely not).

And right in the midst of writing this I got a ‘sign up for our email list’ card with my check (I am working while I eat dinner at a restaurant, as I often do when I travel). The incentive – a free entrée during my birthday month. Needless to say, I’m in! (Yes, seriously. I’m a sucker for a free meal. Sigh.)

(continued, with graphics, on the Only Influencers Website)

Continue Reading "Email Acquisition: Focusing on the Forest, Instead of the Trees"

Email Acquisition Principles for CRM Succes

by Dave Hendricks

The constant acquisition and scoring of email addresses should stay at the top of any marketer’s list of smart things to do. Not near the top. At the top. As long as you are in business you should be capturing email addresses to drive your business’s growth and health.

While mailing subscribers is indisputably important, there are several reasons why the importance of capturing email addresses has nothing to do with sending your new subscribers another email. And how you obtain those addresses has become critical.

What you can use your email addresses for is highly dependent on how you collect them. Permission and Process drive email address usability. In order to make sure that every email you capture retains its elemental value, here are six basic principles that can guide your email address collection philosophy.

  1. ABC. Always Be Capturing. You should know when someone shows up on your site whether or not they are a subscriber. If they’ve logged in, no need. If they haven’t logged in, check for a cookie. Don’t see either of these? Put up that modal now!
  2. “Email is a form of currency”. The exchange of email address data between you and a site visitor or customer is a compact, an agreement. In exchange of the customer’s valuable unique identifier (the email address) you promise to provide something of value, like access to site resources, a white paper, daily or weekly newsletters, friends and family rates, and so on. There must be a symmetrical exchange of value. If you fail to honor this pact, expect the users to unsubscribe.
  3. Direct sign ups are most valuable. Social sign ups, while reducing friction for the user, are in fact as sticky and valuable as a Facebook ‘Like’. Remember how marketers put all their time into campaigns to get users to ‘like’ their Brand Pages? You can’t do much with a ‘like’ anymore. Now if you want to reach users in Facebook you need – guess what – email address. Worse even, if you used a social sign up service, it’s more than likely you have almost no rights to that customer data. That customer belongs to the social service – not you. Nice move, huh? See the Facebook terms of service for more reasons why you shouldn’t use Facebook Connect to acquire email signups.
  4. Confirmation. When you get someone to sign up, send her an email. Immediately. Not in 10 minutes. Numerous studies have shown that interacting with someone who is new to file is absolutely necessary. You can also use services like Experian’s Leadspend to check the validity of a signup before you even send a confirm.
  5. Don’t be a list pimp. Don’t get signups in order to rent them out. Treat your direct signups as the valuable asset that they are. Don’t cheapen your relationships.
  6. Score acquisition sources and know your ROSS. You may get 1000 signups today from that co-registration campaign that you ran on StationWagonStation.com. Unless you continually run a ROSS – return on subscriber source – analysis, you will have no idea who your long tail subscribers are where they came from.

Email Acquisition is an art, but doing it well requires some science. Test your modals.   Test the location of your ‘Register’ links. Review your preference center to see if it ever gets updated.

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