While it's important to grow your email list, it is equally important to ensure you're only acquiring truly interested subscribers. If you have a huge list but hardly anyone engages with your emails or people complain, then your reputation will be damaged, lowering your ability to deliver to the inbox therefore affecting your ROI with email marketing. The key is receiving explicit permission when adding subscribers.
Here are some ways of acquiring subscribers to build a high-performing email list:
- Use online signup forms which make it clear that the person is signing up for an email list
- Use a list verification tool during the sign up process.
- Make sure your forms are protected from abuse.
- Have your subscribers type the email address in twice to lower the chances of typo domains.
- If you run an e-commerce store, include an email marketing opt-in checkbox on your purchase page. Make the box unchecked by default.
To maintain a quality list avoid the following pitfalls:
- Purchasing a list. Learn more about why this is a risky practice.
- Scraping websites for email addresses - addresses obtained in this manner are not subscribers who opted-in for your content. These email addresses are often role accounts (i.e., not a real individual but rather a group like sales@ or info@) and best practices state that you should avoid sending to role accounts because there is no way to prove opt-in.
- Using a list shared with you by another company. While you may not have purchased such a list, any list of contacts who did not specifically opt-in to your marketing content is unlikely to perform well.
Affiliate Marketing is a common way to reach people who are interested in your area of expertise. However, there are some things to keep in mind. Affiliate Marketing should never be done through email – sending your content to a list owned by another marketer is dangerous.
Instead, Affiliate Marketing should be done through:
- Websites with related subject matter.
- Search Affiliates or paid ads.
- Bloggers who have a large audience and can direct traffic to your site.
- Incentive Programs like coupon sites, loyalty portals, and review site.
- Traditional Media such as TV or radio ads.
Following these guidelines will help you not only build a great list, but also remain compliant with various international anti-spam and privacy regulations like CASL, CAN-SPAM, and GDPR.