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How to Grow Your Subscriber Database


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Melanie Sims, support manager at Blue Sky Factory, talks about how to build your email subscriber database organically, making the most of relationships with existing subscribers, and strategies for making your emails viral.

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How to Grow Your Subscriber Database

  1. 1. Blue Sky Factory Driving Email Marketing Performance How to Grow Your Subscriber Database Thursday, May 28 2009 3:00 PM Baltimore, Maryland
  2. 2. Agenda • The Importance of List Growth • The Opt-In Process • Subscriber Preferences • Viral Emails and Social Media 2
  3. 3. The Importance of List Growth 3
  4. 4. The Importance of List Growth • Highest ROI – Email has the highest ROI (return on investment) for all online media • For every dollar spent on email marketing, marketers can expect an estimated $45.06 ROI. – DMA, 2008 • Increase in Sales – Increase in subscribers can mean an increase in sales • Consumers who subscribed to email newsletters generated 34.25% more product sales. - MarketingSherpa • Email presently generates 21.6% of total revenue from [marketing] campaigns. – DMA, 2008 • Customers Prefer Email – Email is widely used and preferred by your customers • Over 90% of internet users between age 18 and 72 and 74% of internet users age 64 and older send and receive email, making it the most popular online activity for all age groups. - Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2009 4
  5. 5. Email is Different • Direct • Highly personal • Email users are picky • Anything can be considered SPAM 5
  6. 6. The Opt-In Process 6
  7. 7. Getting them to your Website • Organic Search • Paid Search • Online Advertising • Cross Promotion with other media • Direct Mail and Collateral • Blogging • Tweeting 7
  8. 8. Getting the Opt-In • Permission-Based Email – A list of true opt-in subscribers will garner the best results • No pre-checked boxes or tricks • Consider using incentives 8
  9. 9. Email Offerings • Tell them what they will receive • Include newsletter titles and a brief description of what you offer • Show the frequency at which they are sent • Include other email offerings – Specials, Press Releases, etc. 9
  10. 10. Email Offerings (cont’d) • Show preview of an email • Give them access to see previous emails also • Example: Charlotte- Mecklenburg Schools 10
  11. 11. Signing up on your Website • Make the sign-up easy • Provide sign-up on every page and/or prominent on homepage • Example: Active Junky 11
  12. 12. Signing up on your Website (cont’d) • Include a dedicated Thank You page • Example: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools 12
  13. 13. Signing Up Offline • Capture opt-ins offline as well – Trade Shows – Seminars – Networking Events • Make it clear that they will receive email • If you receive email addresses from hosts, use an engagement campaign • Follow up quickly • Personalize a welcome email 13
  14. 14. Welcome Email • Send a Welcome Email as soon as possible • Confirm the benefits of your mailings – 78% of welcome emails explained the benefits of signing up. - Email Experience Council • Confirm frequency/type of email • Use Branding • Provide whitelisting information 14
  15. 15. Welcome Email (cont’d) • Link to your website and/or email archive • Opportunity to unsubscribe and update preferences • Example: Active Junky 15
  16. 16. Subscriber Preferences 16
  17. 17. Contact Updates • Subscribers can edit or add to their contact information • Allow them to add data that you did not acquire during their initial sign-up – Name – Demographic Information – Geographic Information – Areas of Interest • Use data for personalization 17
  18. 18. Cross Promotion • Allow users to update email communications that they receive from you • Current subscriptions should be checked by default • Example: BSF 18
  19. 19. Format • Multi-part emails: HTML & Text – Allow subscribers that read email on a PDA to receive a plain text only version • 64% of key decision makers are viewing your carefully crafted email on their Blackberry's and other mobile devices, according to new data. – Marketing Sherpa • Always include a View In Browser link 19
  20. 20. Frequency • Do not over email! • Frequency should be determined on a list-by-list basis • Allow subscribers to choose the amount of email they receive from you – 37.4% say they receive more email than they expected when they signed up. - Return Path • Compile data from daily emails into a weekly email, or weeklies into a monthly 20
  21. 21. Test Frequency • Test frequency to find the right formula for your subscribers – Do they want your email daily, weekly, or monthly? – Do they prefer a certain day or a certain time of month? – Find the right balance or you will lose your audience • Track results in opens, clicks, opt-outs 21
  22. 22. Viral Emails and Social Media 22
  23. 23. Viral Marketing • Most successful viral campaigns are unique, interactive or humorous • Make your content “forwardable” • Include a Forward to a Friend link 23
  24. 24. Social Media Sharing • Subscribers are increasingly savvy in social media usage • Give the option to share the email with networks • Include a Subscribe link to entice new subscribers • Example: BSF 24
  25. 25. Q&A Thank You! Melanie Sims Blue Sky Factory, Inc Please visit us online: Our blog: