Most effective incentives for email marketing list building

In a recent MarketingSherpa survey marketers were asked what incentives captured the most subscribers.

What incentives work best for building an email marketing list?

The biggest incentives are white-papers or other premium content (29%). The next group, all at 19%: webinars, exclusive access/offer, discounts/coupons.  The lower performers: competitions (10%) and gift cards (6%).

As MarketingSherpa points out, the top performing list building activities tend to be focused around content. One of their tips to increase interest is to let potential subscribers preview the content they will receive.

The biggest benefit to working this way to attract new subscribers? A database of people who have shown an interest in your products and services – and much more likely to engage with your emails.

Any other email marketing list building ideas?

I’ve pulled together some other ideas for email marketing list building that have performed well for our customers:

  • At networking events – Don’t forget to mention your newsletter as you are networking. Tip: write down verbal permission on the back of their business card, and add them when you are in the office.
  • Personal invitations – When you meet someone, follow up with a personal email, including sign-up information about your newsletter.
  • Every single touch point – Ensure that every opportunity or interaction you have with customers and leads yields an opportunity to sign up to the email newsletter.
  • Trade directories – When you add your company profile to directories, include a link to the subscribe box page. In the purchase/sales process – Include an opt-in checkbox that the customer / potential customer can tick if they’d like to receive the email newsletter.
  • Offer a forward and/or share function – Place a forward to a friend function in your newsletter to encourage readers to send to someone who may find it of interest.
  • Post a subscribe link in your social networks – Put a link to the sign-up form in all your social networking profiles. Include it in your Linkedin profile as well.
  • Post the latest issue to your social networks – When you send a newsletter, publish the link in your social streams, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Signature files – Have a link to the sign-up form placed in the email signature files of outbound emails within your organisation.
  • Optimise for SEO – Optimise your html email newsletters by inserting keywords in the meta tags to help increase your appearance in organic search results.