The “Why” of Email Acquisition
Andrew Kordek | September 5, 2012
As we wind down the 3rd quarter and preparations for the large Q4 push (either Holiday or the final sales for year) really start to heat up, one thing on the minds of many companies these days is email acquisition. Not only is Q4 a time for selling, but it’s also a time for companies to acquire new names for 2013 email campaigns. There have been (and will continue to be) many posts about how to optimize your email acquisition flow. At Trendline we have  strategized with some of the largest brands in the world about optimizing their acquisition efforts. There are many ways to increase the size of your list and unfortunately, there is no silver bullet or any magic way to do so.  Different methods work for different companies and even competitors in the same industry may need to use distinct approaches.  At Trendline, we don’t produce any documents or white papers that talk about the top 25 or 37 ways to acquire new subscribers not because we don’t think those documents carry any weight.  We don’t produce them because anyone can go out and find those documents and we pride ourselves on building world-class, sustainable, unique email programs that a best practices document simply won’t fufill.  Often, the blood, sweat and tears that goes into building out a world class program can’t be found in a manual or set of generic acquisition documents. Don’t get me wrong, those documents are produced for a reason and they tend to work really well, if you are interested in building a list.  However, there is a distinct difference in building a list vs. acquiring a sustainable subscriber base.  Doing the latter requires extra work, resources and a keen sense for long term vision vs. short term list pumping.  There is, however, one question we love to begin with every one of our clients.  We ask this to determine what the true goal of the program is and almost always hear the same answer before we dig a little deeper.  This starts the flow of other questions that we probe deeper on before we even begin to talk about subscriber acquisition strategies. The question is:  Why should we sign up for your email program? It’s a simple question, but yet it’s hard to answer.  Most will answer the same way “To get deals and news about upcoming sales or new products”.  Great….that is a given..but why?  Why should someone sign up and be interested 6 months from now?  Why should I be interested in your deals 4X a week for the next 4 years? After we probe and talk through this concept for upwards of an hour (yes…we once spent 60 min talking about this question with someone), we then launch into a series of other questions to really get to the root of sustainable subscriber acquisition.  Again, this exercise is not for everyone, but it’s often necessary. If you are tired of reading about the top 25 ways to get people on your list and are serious about acquiring customers, drop us a line.  We would love to chat.  
Andrew Kordek
Andrew Kordek
Chief Strategist & Co-Founder
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