Two Very Effective Ways to Grow Your Email List

We’re aggressively growing our email newsletter program and I have a confession to make… I add people to our MarTech Blog newsletter every single day. In fact, we’ve grown to almost 3,000 subscribers in the past few months! More importantly, that traffic continues to drive subscribers back to our blog and to our advertisers and sponsors. If you don’t have an email program to capture folks and return them to your site, blog or brand… you’re losing a lot of potential customers.

The two fastest means of growing our marketing newsletter list has been:

  1. Adding every relevant contact that has reached us through our site or email. This even includes public relations professionals that contact us to pitch blog post ideas (about every hour).
  2. Adding everyone in my network – from my address book and even LinkedIn. Interestingly, I caught some flack from an email deliverability guy that I added about 6 months ago… but he actually didn’t add the email to the Junk folder, he just wined a lot, called me names online, and then went away (thankfully).

It works so well that I wish I had an automated means of getting it to work. I wish that I had a tool that harvested all inbound emails and automatically added the person to my newsletter list. Interestingly enough, I saw that GetResponse has added an integration similar to this within their email platform. To the right are all of the sources that GetResponse users can pull in subscribers from.

If my new subscribers receive the email and don’t like it? No worries – they can simply unsubscribe. This is an accepted practice in the industry… but not always advised. If you think this is horrifying (as most email deliverability professionals will), I don’t care. I’m both growing our newsletter, growing my traffic to the site AND I’m still maintaining incredible open and click through rates. As well, I continue to have a 0% complaint ratio and my unsubscribe rate was 0.41% on the last newsletter I sent out.

The key to all of this, of course, is two-fold:

  1. The quality of the content in our newsletter. It’s relevant. It’s timely. And it’s informative and professionally designed. This latest email even promoted an event. Not only did I NOT receive a single complaint, a couple folks converted!
  2. The volume of new subscribers I’m adding each week is very small. I’m not throwing 10,000 subscribers I ‘found’ into my newsletter list… I’m adding 20 to 50 subscribers weekly to it… about the same volume that the newsletter is naturally adding.

It’s really changed my entire attitude towards email marketing. I no longer have a double opt-in and I add every email I come in contact with professionally. It’s even making me wonder whether or not it’s time for me to get a list of marketing professionals. If I do that, I will send an invitation letter so that I don’t risk hurting my list.

I’m not sure why every email vendor doesn’t add this to their collection of tools. Kudos to GetResponse… I thought I was being somewhat original growing my list. It appears they’re ahead of the game.

3 Comments

  1. 1

    It’s a very bold idea! But the flip side – if every professional contact I have added me to their newsletter without me asking/giving permission – I’d be highly annoyed.

    Add to that – your topic – your content is something that most everyone would enjoy. I don’t think this advice could apply to all industries.

  2. 3

    Doug, often I just read posts in my RSS reader, but this one was awesome enough to warrant a stop in and comment. I agree 100% and am getting sick of the email nazi’s trying to make their product difficult when all other mediums are getting more integrated.

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