5 Email Subscriber Acquisition Tactics
Subscriber list growth should be near the top of your email marketing program’s priority list. Here are five online-specific tactics to help you accomplish your acquisition goals and identify opportunities that you may be missing:
1. Enhance your website.
- Conduct a touchpoint review of your website, documenting the places you currently collect email addresses. Also, identify places to add permission-based, opt-in language. For example, if you have a customer service-oriented “Contact Us” form, include a check box to give visitors the chance to receive future marketing emails.
- In the e-commerce funnel, capture email addresses at the point of purchase and position your opt-in box near the regular address fields. If you have the box checked by default you'll get more opt-ins, but this may hurt you in the long run since some people won't remember giving permission.
2. Create or optimize a stand-alone email sign-up page.
- Add a global call-out in the navigation on every page of your website that directs visitors to the email sign-up page. Don’t make them hunt for it.
- Having a stand-alone email sign-up page (as opposed to a global, one-click capture) will give you more opportunity to direct traffic from other places, such as social media status updates, online ads and pay-per-click ads.
- Simplify your sign-up form to reduce abandonment. Keep form fields to a minimum, while still collecting relevant information for segmentation. You can always request that your subscribers update their profile at a later time.
- Communicate the value propositions and benefits of being an email subscriber. State why the visitor should sign up for your emails.
- Include a screenshot of a sample email so they know what to expect.
- Set frequency expectations.
- Include a link to your privacy statement.
3. Don’t stop there … test your page.
- Test variables such as imagery, content, messaging and form fields. Test one thing at a time so you can tell what element is making the difference.
- Set up analytics on your email sign-up page to track conversions and form field abandonment.
- Use a testing tool such as Google Website Optimizer, which is free and fairly easy to set up and track results.
4. Create a mobile-friendly email sign-up page.
- If you have or are planning to have a mobile site or app, make sure that one of the pages is an email sign-up page.
- More and more people are browsing online via their mobile device; this is a big opportunity to capture their information at the point of interest.
- Send an immediate, mobile-friendly welcome email with an offer to encourage even more engagement and interaction.
5. Integrate online and social media into email.
- There are vendors and rich media providers that can design online media ads to collect email addresses directly in the ad. This works well for coupon offers or contests. Red Door Interactive recently ran a campaign that resulted in 48 percent of consumers opting in for future messaging when they entered their email address to download coupons.
- Cross-promote your email program in social media status updates and link to your sign-up page. Also, include an email sign-up tab or widget on your Facebook page.
After the acquisition
Whatever acquisition tactics you use, track the source and send a welcome email immediately upon sign up. Design this welcome email in HTML (as opposed to a simple text confirmation) to highlight your brand and value propositions. If you have the resources, customize different versions of your welcome email to coincide with where and how the subscriber opted in. This will most likely be your highest open rate email ever; it engages your subscriber from the beginning.
Check out the April 8 edition of All About eMail, where I will discuss ways to increase subscriber acquisition offline.
Pilar Bower is the senior email marketing strategist at Red Door Interactive, an internet marketing agency. Pilar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.