It may seem like everyone who wants an email address already has one, but that's not true. The number of email accounts is still growing rapidly.
According to the Radicati Group:
The total number of worldwide email accounts is expected to increase from nearly 3.9 billion accounts in 2013 to over 4.9 billion accounts by the end of 2017. This represents an average annual growth rate of about 6% over the next four years (tweet this!).
You can grow your mailing list by at least that much. Here are five tips for an email campaign that will grow your customer subscription list.
1. Get Your Reader's Attention
Everybody gets too much email. People often delete emails without even opening them. You have to give your readers a reason to open the email in the subject line. To increase the odds your email gets looked at:
- Keep the subject line short -- 50 characters or fewer. There are only so many words you can see in an inbox window. Every word must count.
- Don't use ALL CAPS or exclamation marks!!! Questions, however, can provoke interest and increase open rates.
- Provide timely and useful information. "Announcing a new product" tells the story. So does "Product preview." "Look inside" doesn't say why anyone should look inside, but "10% coupon" does.
- Avoid phrases in the subject line that cause email messages to be tagged as spam. Such phrases include "compares rates" and "Free preview." Before you settle on a subject line, take a look at this list of spam phrases to avoid.
2. Make Your Newsletter Look Better
Good graphics are just as important as good words. An effective design is not only eye-catching, it is consistent with your brand identity, website, and sales collateral.
Always check how long the graphics take to load in an email. If it's taking too long, chances are the email will be ignored, or opened before the graphic loads, which defeats the whole purpose of the design.
Reducing the pixel size may fix this -- generally, graphics less than 600 pixels wide display best in email.
3. Personalize Email Newsletters
Nobody is impressed when an email comes addressed by name. Everyone knows how easy that is to do. But people are interested in things that, well, appeal to their interests. Guitar players want to know about guitars; owners of Ford cars want to know about recalls.
Sort your email list so that it segments your audience by specific interests, geographic locations, or past spending patterns; this way you only send out only what is most pertinent and therefore most likely to be read.
4. Reward Your Readers
Why should someone sign up for you email list, just to get news from about your company or product? For a certain portion of your target audience, that may be enough. But to grow your list, add some value returned for signing up, consider these incentives:
- A welcome discount, e.g., 10 percent off the first online order
- Entry into a contest to win prizes or special promotions
- Eligibility for email only discounts that aren't offered to the general public, but exclusively to email subscribers
- Free access to downloadable files, such as music or white papers
- Members-only website access to view new product prototypes, comment on blogs, or get early bird tickets to special events
5. Don't Mail Too Much or Too Often
No on likes to be bombarded. Once you've built a good mailing list, let your audience choose how frequently updates will be received (quarterly, monthly, for certain news only). The general rule is that rate of opening drops if you send email too frequently.