Effective methods of driving email subscriptions

Marketers that rely heavily on email may need to refresh the tactics they use to attract new subscribers. In fact, a recent report from ExactTarget found many of the Internet marketing methods used by companies to gain more subscribers are easy to use rather than effective.

If a lead generation technique was simple to implement, marketers were more likely to use it. However, some of these methods were not leading to larger customer databases. For example, nearly three-quarters of companies utilize website forms to increase subscriptions, but only 42 percent said this technique was successful. Nearly half of the respondents were using Facebook to capture emails, and 31 percent were seeing results.

Tactics that drive email subscriptions

The study found there were a number of techniques that weren’t widely used but were more effective. Paid advertisements that direct to a landing page with an email opt-in were found to be a successful way to build email lists. In addition, including email opt-ins in mobile content can help marketers gain new subscribers.

The main drivers for engaging in email marketing were boosting sales of products and services, increasing brand awareness, lead generation and higher website traffic. A small number of marketers use email to gain insights on their customers, despite the fact that this was found to be a useful purpose for this channel.

How to acquire new email subscriptions

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective and efficient B2B Internet lead generation techniques. Business 2 Community cited a statistic from the Direct Marketing Association, which found email has a return on investment of 40 to 1. The strength of this channel is the capacity to build and nurture relationships with prospects.

But before this can be done, marketers need to convince people to sign up to receive emails. Landing pages can help drive subscription rates as long as the content is related to the ad and there is a clear call to action. Visitors already took the time to click the ad, so it will not be as difficult to convince them to subscribe.

All content needs to be trustworthy. Prospects subscribe to email lists because they found the content useful and informative, and they expect to continue extracting value from e-newsletters and articles.

Once people have subscribed to a list, marketers need to hold their attention. One mistake some companies make is using email only to sell. Email marketing needs to act as a resource to maintain engagement throughout the sales cycle. B2B marketers sometimes make the error of using email exclusively to speed up the amount of time before a lead talks to a sales person. Examples include offering product demos, free consultations and product announcements. Instead of shortening the sales cycle, this can cause leads to unsubscribe from the email list. Not only does this decrease list size, but it can also teach leads to only buy when they can receive a deal.

There are a number of tools marketers can use to grow their email lists, but they need to ensure they are producing relevant content to maintain database size.