Email Marketing List Growth - Some tips! (2/2)

In the previous post we looked at 2 simple tips for improving your list growth, today we look at 2 further areas to consider:

  • Make your subscription process easier to use
  • Make sure you don't ask for too much information

Make it easy to use

The previous blog examples with Thomas Cook and Kaufhof are also good examples of a sign-up process that's easy to use - all you need to do is enter your email address and follow the instructions sent to your mail box. Best practice reveals that - certainly at the initial stage - the less information the customer has to provide the better. All this extra valuable information can be gathered at a separate stage in the process.

Another important point on usability is to educate the customer on how the subscription process is going to work. In the below example from German electronics retailer Saturn, clicking on the newsletter icon on the homepage outlines a simple 3 step process on what you can expect to provide when signing on. So while entering a simple email address sign-up on the homepage is a good idea, it is also helpful to give customers visibility into the rest of the process.

Don't ask for too much information

Just as asking for too little information will prevent segmentation opportunities at a later point, requiring the customer to fill out too much information will impact on the user experience. You should only ask for information at the sign-up point that you are either legally required to have, or will use for a specific commercial purpose.

In the "2011 Email Benchmarking Report" Marketing Sherpa got the below feedback on what data was collected and used for email personalization, outside of an email address. Unsurprisingly, personal name, company name (particularly in B2B) and lead source were the most important. However personal/company addresses and personal/company phone were two areas where most frequently, information was collected, but not used. In this case you should consider the benefit to your business of having this information versus the cost of potentially impacting on the customer experience.

Follow up with information after subscribing

As a final point, you have now taken the time to design an attractive on-boarding process. It would be a waste of your efforts and resources if the follow up was slow or non-existent! With this in mind you should ensure that the following procedures are in place:

  • Check the delivery settings of your email programme. Confirmation emails should reach subscribers within 10 minutes.
  • Ensure subsequent information follows the first email as soon as possible. The registration process should be completed within one week of initial contact with the customer and the customer should have already received information such as the current newsletter.
  • Design welcome or confirmation programmes which familiarise the new customers with your offers.