At a time of 'digital transformation' in big corporates, one of the measures that senior leaders look to in order to benchmark digital maturity is the amount of email consents that are captured into their owned database for target customers. There are many good reasons as to why this is important, but somewhere along the way there seems to be a disconnect between knowing this value across all levels and therefore driving towards it in a strategic and logical manner, without doing long-term damage for short-term gain.
Why is it good to grow your email database?
Save money - put simply, you can reach your loyal customer base almost instantly without spending money in paid channels
Personalisation - you can use the data you collect on individuals across your channel mix to deliver tailored content relevant to each individual at the right time in their journey
Conversion - people have gone through a form to give your their details because they want to hear from you. When you have something new to offer (maybe an event or a podcast), this channel is likely to give you the quickest and highest conversion rate
Feedback - if you're doing something wrong or doing something right, this group of individuals will give you fast feedback; either through their engagement with the content itself, through surveys or in the worst-case senior, unsubscribes
What is the best way to do it?
Make sure it's easy for someone to join your list - keep the capture form fields as minimal as possible. They've landed here because they want to join, so don't waste their time by asking them to fill out lots of information. In essence, don't spend money driving people here before you have tested and optimised the conversion rate of your capture form, otherwise you may have lost your one and only shot with them
Create compelling content that speaks for itself - this content should create that need in its audience to join your database as they are immediately getting something in return and know there's more to come in the future (e.g. an exclusive download).
Around your high value content, have a prominent presence of your 'subscribe' button to ensure you are making the most of it
Finally, spend money in paid channels to drive those prospects to that compelling content and watch your audience grow
A couple of watch outs:
Ensure you have an on-boarding journey once someone does subscribe. A welcome email at the very least, or a short series before they slip into your ongoing schedule
Don't just overtly sell your products telling your audience why they are the best (features); quite frankly no on cares and this is also likely to increase unsubscribe rates, undoing all of the great work you've done up until this point. Do talk about the impact (benefits) your product can make from time to time though
How long does it take?
Sorry, there is no quick-fix or overnight solutions to this. Your email database growth is only as good as what you provide in return, i.e. value
So instead of focusing on asking for subscriptions with no substance, focus your efforts on creating a steady stream of relevant and valuable content, that will enrich the lives of your prospects. And remember to actually offer the subscribe button, instead of giving content away for nothing all the time.
Contact me if you'd like to discuss this topic more.