The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

What's the quickest way to grow your lists?

Asked by Colleen Coler, HumanFerret
"I am just starting my business. I know that my best chances for success are in building a list quickly. What are your top three strategies for building a list quickly that does not cost a lot and will bring in a targeted audience?"


I think the paradox in your question is “building a list” and “quickly.” Building a quality, true opt-in list takes time and patience. The simple fact is that the quicker the method, the less valuable the subscribers will be. According to the Relevancy Group a market research firm on email marketing, the top four most widely used email acquisition tactics are a corporate website, social sites, in-store or point of sale, email address appending. Since you’re first starting out, I am very partial to the methodology of co-registration but it needs to be done prudently by a credible intermediary. Co-registration will yield you the fastest, true opt-in list growth if the following criteria are met:

  • Make sure the co-registration intermediary you’re dealing with is reputable and will only sell you leads relevant to your offer. Generic or third party offers are not acceptable.
  • Your co-registration offers must be accurate. If you say you will send email once a week make sure these subscribers don’t end up on your daily list.
  • Know where your opt-in email addresses are coming from so that you can reference the source in your introductory email. This will minimize list attrition and remind the person that they opted into your list. For example, if a lead came from state this reference in your initial correspondence.
  • Send the introductory email as soon as possible. “Out of site, out of mind” and people will forget that they opted-in or will lose interest.
  • Do not have the opt-in checkbox pre-marked and don’t use service that engages in this practice. If someone doesn’t discriminately indicate that they want to hear from you, then they probably don’t. It’s simply wasted money.

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Games Rise In Importance To Keep Consumers And Prospects Engaged

Trend: Smart marketers are leveraging interactive games to overcome short attention spans.

Marketing Automation PuzzleWith the anticipation of Zynga’s upcoming IPO, interactive gaming has been getting a lot of attention lately.  Unfortunately, according to Forrester Research, this attention has yet to transpire to mainstream marketing, as 84% of marketers have no plans to incorporate games into their promotional mix.  For the remaining 16%, their efforts are sparking a revolution in marketing, influencing the proliferation of gaming technologies resulting in its access by marketers and agencies of all sizes.  More importantly, games are providing the much-needed content to hold consumer and prospect attention – an extension of the bilateral conversation brands strive for.
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Visual Descriptions Are A Must For Complex Selling

Trend: Infographics - Helping Marketers Cut Through The Clutter

infographic exampleMarketing in the 21st century has become immensely complex due to channel fragmentation and an avalanche of data creation. On any given day, Internet users will create 1.5 billion pieces of content on Facebook, tweet 140 million times on Twitter and upload 2 million videos to YouTube. According to a joint study conducted by IDC and EMC, it is estimated that the general public will create 1.8 zettabytes of data in 2011, with that number expected to double within the next two years. To put 1.8 zettabytes into perspective, the number is equivalent to 200 billion high definition movies each 120 minutes long. These new data complexities are the result of convoluted digital relationships, advances in scientific discoveries and the speed of new media.

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Trend: The Second Wave of Social Email Is Coming

Will Google+ Change the Face of Social Email?

predictions for google+Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you’re probably well aware of Google+, Google’s initiative to dethrone Facebook as the Web’s premiere social destination.    The socialsphere is buzzing about what changes Google+ will bring and early adopters are offering everything from concert tickets to iTunes’ gift cards for a sneak peak at the new network.  To combat a potential mass exodus to Google+, Facebook has already blocked a Chrome plugin that allows Google+ users to transfer their friends’ information from one network to another.  Watch for major battles between these two behemoths over the next six months as Google tries mainstream Google+. 


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Trend: Marketing Automation Spurs Demand for List Purchases

Really Dumb Moves By B2B Marketers

Mr. T - He Pity's Fools Like You!The B2B marketers who didn’t learn their lessons with traditional email marketing systems are making the same mistakes with marketing automation.  “Dripping out text messages to purchased lists from marketing automation systems will yield the same sub-par results” says Michael Weisel, Chief Technical Officer of Gold Lasso.  As a veteran in the email deliverability space, Michael thinks investing more money in better technology will have no effect on email deliverability and conversion rates for the long run.  By purchasing lists, B2B marketing executives are attempting to justify their latest technology purchases quickly.  This tactic often results in dire consequences that no business can afford such as email blocking, loss of software licensing and the squandering of a marketing budget.

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