Grow your in-house email list

More People Subscribe to Your In-House Email List When Engaged

Looking through some old notes, I came across this MarketingSherpa chart from May showing the most effective tactics for growing your in-house email list.

It resonated anew with me today because of the response to a post published by our CEO at the Email Critic blog.  Marco’s post argued for having more than a simple sign up box on your website for encouraging subscriptions. At ClickMail we encourage our email marketing clients to remember that an email address has value. To get the email address, you must offer something in exchange. That’s one reason for suggesting businesses do more than simply have a signup box on their website.

This MarketingSherpa chart says kind of the same thing, if you look at the numbers. Out of the 10 tactics survey respondents could choose from, the top four have something in common. Let’s call it engagement. Each of the top four methods for legitimately acquiring an email address involves the subscriber engaging with the organization at some level. The top four tactics according to the survey are:

1.    Signing up when making a purchase

2.    Submitting an email address in order to get a download

3.    Submitting an email address to register for an online event

4.    Signing up when at a tradeshow

With the first three, the subscriber is getting something. And I suspect with the fourth, they are as well, as tradeshow booths usually have giveaways and raffles to entice people to sign up for emails. And that’s email marketing best practices, to offer something of value to the potential subscriber so they see it as a fair exchange and they sign up.

The two least effective tactics? Social sharing and forward-to-a friend. Neither of these offers any kind of engagement with your organization at all. Hence the difference. You must offer both as part of your email marketing best practices! But this chart shows you can’t rely on them alone, any more than you can rely on a simple signup box alone on your website.

Published On: July 13th, 2011Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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