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The first email program I worked on in 1999 attracted over 4 million subscribers in the first year. Getting people to sign up for email promotions and newsletters used to be easy. Start with a Web site, add some decent content, a “Sign up for our free newsletter” banner, and a form — and voila! Subscribers!
Things have changed. It’s gotten more difficult. Still, many brands are driving considerable growth in the channel and consumers report using email more and more despite recurring speculation about email’s looming demise by misinformed pundits. It’s simply that the bar is always rising. Consumers understand how to play the email game. They know that brands can deliver really good content tailored to their personal interests, and they seek out those programs.
The list growth challenge is solved through a combination of creativity and deep customer insight. In March and April, I directed an extensive series of focus groups, interviews, and surveys to understand the motivations behind consumers’ engagement with brands online. A new report, Email X-Factors, addresses why consumers engage with companies through email. Three important rules for list growth emerged from our findings:
1) You must overcome hesitation. If consumers don’t trust you, they won’t subscribe. At best, they’ll give you their “spam address.” To build trust, you must address two questions consumers ask themselves before supplying their email address to a company:
“Will my email be shared?” Consumers know some companies will sell or share their email address and they believe this is the primary source of spam. If they suspect you are one of those companies, you won’t get a good email address no matter how tempting the incentive.
Originally From ‘Three Rules For Email List Growth’| Published June 23, 2010