Your mailing list isn’t a static, unchanging thing. It can be too easy to forget sometimes that it can deplete due to attrition or the changing needs and circumstances of your audience, all while it quietly chugs away in the background of your outreach operations week over week.
Hubspot ran the numbers and discovered that your mailing list decays by about 22.5% year over year, due to a whole list of factors. Subscribers move to new jobs and new email address, companies rebrand or shift focus, interest wanes, and so on. It’s up to you and your business to renew, rebuild, and expand your mailing list to keep your subscribership robust while increasing your leads and outreach.
Remember, email isn’t trivial. Email marketing still boasts the highest ROI of any marketing channel. There are hundreds of different ways we’ve discovered over the years that have helped us, and that can help you grow your mailing list, too! These all seem to group under three major strategies, and we hope they’ll serve you as well as they’ve served us over the years.
1. Give the People What They Want
Or, put in another way, incentivize! People are already swamped by emails, dozens or hundreds a day, many of which they don’t recognize and certainly don’t remember signing up for. The last thing anyone wants is a higher number ghosting over their inbox, so it’s your first priority to make sure that your emails are worth your audience’s time.
Maybe that’s as simple as offering an ebook or a webinar free with signups. Depending on your business, you might offer discounts, coupons, referral bonuses, or some other sort of incentive.
Now, don’t get us wrong: we’re not suggesting that you buy your way into an inbox.
Your content, especially in your emails and newsletters, should be valuable enough to stand on its own but at the outset, your first goal is to get their attention. You need to be willing to stand out from the crowd, and you need to make it clear that you’re willing to earn your place in their ever-crowded inbox.
2. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
What emails do you like to read, week over week? Are there any newsletters or subscriptions that you find yourself looking forward to? Do you ever find yourself forwarding them to your friends and colleagues, or talking about the content the next day?
Well, what is it that sets them apart?
Take the time to evaluate them, to discover what makes them particularly valuable to you. There’s a very good chance that what works for you, personally, will work for your audience, industry, or niche, too.
Are the articles especially funny, or the coupons particularly relevant? Do you like to watch the embedded video presentations over your morning coffee, or do you find the layout particularly easy to read on the bus?
All too often, we see the clamor for originality getting in the way of a willingness to follow the footsteps of really excellent content creators, and if you can produce content that people like, you might be able to grow your mailing list organically, through referrals and shares.
3. It Takes a Village
You’re trying to grow your mailing list, but so is everyone else. Collaborators and partners, but also potential competitors. That can be your biggest opportunity, depending on how you look at it. Subscriptions aren’t a zero-sum game.
Here’s a quick bit on game theory. Imagine that there are three mailing lists, and just one subscriber. If that subscriber can only sign up to a single list, say for instance to sign up for B’s list, then A and C will have to lose out. That’s a zero-sum game where the overall total (of subscriptions) doesn’t increase.
But that’s not how it is.
Your subscribers can sign up for all three lists if they choose to. That’s a positive-sum game, where the total can increase without a cap.
So, you and others can work together, sharing mailing lists or hosting guest content, and everybody wins. You and your collaborators gain subscribers, and, since you’re all putting out strong content, your audience gets more valuable services and content in his or her inbox.
Combining resources smartly can grow your mailing list, and can give you a chance to establish yourself as a thought-leader and influencer in your industry.
Start Grow Your Mailing List with These Tips!
Whether your mailing list is just getting started, or whether it’s a major arm of your digital marketing outreach, these techniques will help you grow your email audience.