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Marketing Mastery: Get More Email Sign-Ups

Year after year, email is consistently one of the best performing digital marketing channels. 

While the benefits of better (optimized) sending practices are clear to most enterprises, all aspiring masters of the email experience quickly encounter the same issue: for email to be a truly genuine driver of growth and revenue at a fundamental business level, acquisition of subscribers is imperative. Of course, getting new users on a list is easier said than done.

In my nearly 20 years of sending email marketing messages in a professional capacity, however, the tactics and techniques outlined below have consistently provided the most dramatic improvements to the success of such brand initiatives. What's worked for your enterprise? Share your experience-driven insight with a comment below.

+ The Visuals: Show the Goods
Be it a physical good or an informational product, showing users what they are going to receive by completing the sign-up enables them to immediately understand the benefits of doing so. Calls to actions with images regularly outperform those without, so whatever the result of subscribing is (a free ebook, a coupon, a more pleasant disposition) show it in visual form.

+ Present the Negative
Consumers who purchase are not than different than those who don't - there's a fine line between the two. Enterprises can impart their influence (in a positive manner) by revealing the negative consequences - what happens when prospects don't subscribe. The aim with this approach is to present subscribing as the better option (if not the only one). While a small percentage of potential recipients may be turned off, many senders claim the approach is effective so may be worthy of a test.  

+ Don't Over-Ask
Nothing is more repugnant than a pushy sales person - real or virtual. When marketers ask for too much information upfront (more form fields than are really necessary) the conversion rate tends to plummet. To avoid an email acquisition campaign that does not generate any results, determine the minimum amount of information that is required and develop form variations which confirm the optimal number of fields and the influence they have on conversion rate. 

+ User-Defined Experiences
The ideal message for marketers is one that delivers a profitable result - and as anyone experienced in the channel can attest, communications which are personalized are those that lead to conversion most frequently. Senders that provide potential recipients an opportunity to customize and define the experience they desire will almost always outperform those that do not. Enable consumers to select the type of content, the pace of delivery, and the format (text, html, etc) and watch the email performance metrics improve over time. 

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