Email marketing databases naturally degrade by about 22.5% every year – HubSpot
Database decay is an inevitable part of life as a marketer. Even if you improve your unsubscribe rates, people change email addresses and move jobs frequently. With 22.5% of contacts dropping off annually, marketers need to consider ways to generate more leads to recover these losses and continue to build up your email list.
An email list is a collection of email addresses that a business can create by engaging with potential customers through lead-generating campaigns. Email lists can shrink as members opt out of email subscriptions, and grow as the business solicits contact information from website visitors – Hubspot
However, it is not all bad news. When people choose to opt-out of email communications, they are merely telling your business that they are not interested in what you have to offer. This not only gives your business a more credible and qualified database, but it also incentivises and motivates companies to consider more innovative ways to connect with people to grow their list. While losing subscribers is inevitable, there are things your business can do to keep your current subscribers and opportunities to market yourself to build your database further.
1. A/B test different campaign copy
A/B testing, otherwise referred to as ‘split testing’, is a method of comparing two versions of content against each other to determine which works better. It allows your business to statistically access which variation has a higher conversion rate while giving you an insight into consumer behaviours. You can perform split tests on headlines, body copy, call-to-actions and also with colours and design.
2. Consistently provide interesting email content
Unsurprisingly, the more interesting and topical your content is, the more people are going to read it and engage with it. Ensure you are on top of industry insights, incorporating blogging and are sharing valuable information to your customers. This is an important approach when looking to maintain your current databases.
3. Segment your email lists
Segmenting your email databases by accessing individual buyer personas is an excellent way of keeping your customers engaged by providing them relevant and interesting content.
Email recipients are more likely to click through emails that cater to their specific interests. In fact, targeting emails by persona increases clickthrough rates by 16% – Hubspot
While this is ultimately a strategy to reduce opt-out rates, it can also give your business further insight into your customers and how they behave. Consider demographics, goals, challenges or pain points, and the industry they work in – the more information you have, the better informed your business can be to provide your list with relevant content.
4. Create a blog page that people can subscribe to
Blogs are a great way to build up a subscriber list. In fact, businesses that blog see 126% more monthly leads than those that don’t. Further, blogging positions your business as an expert in your industry and people will begin to look to your blogs for advice, opinions, insights and tips. Blogs are also a great way to increase your ranking on search engines, like Google, so if possible, try to incorporate blogging into your overall content marketing strategy.
5. Create gated content
Gated content is online materials, such as white papers, articles and videos, that require that users fill out a form before they can access them – TechTarget.
Gated content is a great way to build your email databases; however, it is only effective if what you are offering is of value to the individual. A great way to encourage visitors that your downloadable content is of value is to provide some of that content for free. For example, if you have a whitepaper that you want to leverage as part of your gated content strategy, write a blog article to summarise a few pages. At the end of the blog, have your call-to-action say ‘want to learn more? Provide your email address, and we will send the complete Whitepaper analysis to your inbox’. This way, you have engaged the prospect enough through the short blog article to encourage them to read the whole paper.
6. Shorten the length of lead-capturing forms
It is crucial to make it as easy as possible for individuals to sign up to your database. We tend to recommend asking for a first name, last name and email address. Shorter forms ensure you won’t drive people away. As you learn more information about the prospect, you can start to populate their profile within your email CRM so you can continue to provide content that is relevant to them.
7. Use social media
Social media is an inexpensive and expansive platform to reach broad audiences to build brand awareness and lead generation. Depending on the platforms that your clients and prospects on, post relevant content across these channels, be active and consistent and use the enquiry forms that both Facebook and LinkedIn offer to build up your email databases. You can even post your gated content on there to build up your subscribers. There are so many opportunities through social media, so ensure you remain active across your platforms.
The key to maintaining your current database is to continue to provide relevant and valuable content. Consider sifting through your list and segmenting individuals into different buyer personas and then strategically assess how you can reach those people. Conduct A/B testing to get additional insight into these individuals and leverage that data further by updating their profiles when you have worked out their preferred messaging or key information. To ensure the continued growth of your database, leverage social media channels and promote the blog content you are creating, use gated content to obtain more email addresses and make it as easy as possible for people to sign-up by shortening your lead generation forms.