by D&E Staff

April 5, 2017

Email marketing is continually named one of the most effective ways to communicate directly to customers – and it’s no surprise. According to recent surveys, 75 percent of companies agree email delivers “excellent” ROI, and time spent checking email among white-collar workers in the United States increased 17 percent year-over-year in 2016.

So how does a B2B marketer capitalize on this? Whether you have already established an email newsletter program or are just getting started, developing a sound subscriber growth strategy can be the best place to start.

Strategically growing your organization’s email list ensures that you are reaching a wider audience with your direct communications and that this wider audience is relevant to your business objectives.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when developing an email subscriber growth strategy:

1. Do these new email contacts help reach our organization’s business goals? 

Tying your email subscriber growth strategy to overarching corporate business goals is smart on multiple levels. First, it helps validate your efforts with management. Second, it allows your email efforts to better support those overarching business goals. Be sure to target new subscribers that will help you meet those goals by increasing brand awareness among millennials, for example, or increasing sales with your core customers.

2. How can I capitalize on current sales and marketing initiatives? 

Capturing email information at a trade show booth or company-sponsored event, creating gated content on your website, promoting on social channels and including sign-up forms on your blog are just a handful of ways to gather more email addresses.

3. Are the right opt-in protocols in place? 

Ensuring that you are following privacy laws is essential in the world of email. Whether you need to comply with only the United States’ CAN-SPAM law or also the more complex anti-spam laws in countries such as Canada and Germany, it’s important to factor in ways for people to provide consent or opt-in to receiving your emails.

4. How can I segment new subscribers from the start? 

Prospective customers, current customers and lapsed customers have very different needs. Your communications to these groups will vary in messaging, tone and content. By categorizing the new email information you receive into appropriate segments, you will be better able to use these lists in the future.

5. Are we validating email addresses along the way? 

It happens. People enter fake email addresses into form fills. They sloppily write down email addresses on event sign-up forms. They even give businesses email addresses they haven’t used since the third grade. Validating email addresses via your email sending tool and via third-party services helps verify that you are growing your list with email addresses that are actually in use.

6. What should the first email we send look like? 

MarketingSherpa recently found that welcome emails are 86 percent more effective than email newsletters, in terms of average open rate. Creating an automated welcome email that is sent to new subscribers keeps them actively engaged with your email content from the start.

7. Now that I have them, how do I keep them?

According to research, emails containing relevant content drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails. Listen to your email list and provide them with emails at the cadence they prefer with the content they find valuable. Be sure to also regularly analyze your emails to repeat successful content types and email features and to discontinue subject lines and send times that just aren’t working.