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Is Your Email List Holding Your Business Back?

When you think about how to improve your company’s email marketing strategy, you probably focus on things like frequency, subject lines and offers. But perhaps the problem lies with the quality of your email list itself. The Email List Strategy Survey Summary Report polled more than 50,000 professionals, most of them from small businesses, about their biggest email list challenges and goals. Here’s what these business owners had to say:

Increasing email list quality is the number-one goal of respondents, cited by 70 percent. Close behind is increasing lead conversion rates (56 percent). While almost half say their email list quality is increasing, it’s not easy to get there; however, better list quality clearly pays off in better conversion rates.

What’s holding businesses back from email list success? Lack of an effective list strategy is the biggest issue, cited by 49 percent of respondents, while 39 percent say poor subscriber quality is a problem. The majority of respondents say their email lists are growing, but growing lists of poor-quality subscribers clearly aren’t the answer.

So how can you attract more high-quality email list subscribers? The most effective tactics businesses in the survey use are:

  • Email-specific landing pages (cited by 53 percent of respondents). For best results, make sure that these landing pages are mobile-optimized, since the majority of emails are now viewed on mobile devices.
  • Requiring registration for content downloads (cited by 46 percent of respondents). Requiring registration for specific, desirable pieces of content is more effective than requiring registration to access your entire website. While 31 percent of respondents say the latter tactic works for them, there’s always the risk that it will turn off more visitors than it attracts.
  • Integrating email and social media (cited by 41 percent of respondents). Try sharing valuable content on your social media sites, then encouraging social media users to sign up for your email list and include a link.
  • Subscriber-only offers (29 percent). While this isn’t the most effective method, it still works for a significant percentage of respondents. Be sure, however, that you’re actually offering something of value, or subscribers may decide your emails aren’t worth the space in their inbox.

Meanwhile, don’t forget about the basics. Poor list hygiene and inadequate list segmentation are mentioned as barriers to success by about one-third of respondents. However, these are simple problems to solve, and can make a huge difference in your email list’s success or failure. Don’t have time to handle it all? Outsourcing some or all of your email marketing can be a good solution: Almost half of companies in the survey do so.