According to MarketingSherpa’s B2B Benchmark Report 2012, marketers are continuing to invest and allocate their marketing budgets in “tried-and-true” channels with email marketing being one of the most popular marketing tools, accounting for 13% of the average total marketing budget.

At the center of every email marketing campaign is a company’s mailing list, which should always be kept up-to-date and clean so that email delivery rates remain high. One challenge many email marketers face is how to effectively build and grow their mailing lists.

Marketing Research Chart: Capture subscribers with top list building tactics

One common mistake we often see done by rookie marketers is to rent a list of contacts and run an email marketing campaigns on that list. Most experienced email marketer agree that – in most cases – renting a list of contacts is a bad practice as the engagement and conversion rates of those contacts tend to be very low to non-existent.

In other words, even when you are doing everything legally and transparently (e.g. you obtained contacts from a service such as Data.com by SalesForce), the return is often disappointing.

There are other ways to effectively grow your email marketing list. They take more time and require more work on your side, but the return on the investment is substantially higher.

The Winning Tactic: Registration During Purchase

According to MarketingSherpa’s study, the most effective email list growth tactic is to allow your customers to register to your email communications at the time of purchase (this applies to both business to business and business to consumer scenarios). This technique consists of letting your customers sign up for your newsletter(s) during or immediately after placing an order. As these are customers that are already engaged (they’re purchasing from you!) and specifically requested to remain informed about your business, they tend to be engaged recipients of your email marketing campaigns and could become loyal followers of your brand if those campaigns are executed effectively.

Signing up for an online event (e.g. a webinar, a contest, etc.) was voted as the second most effective tactic, with 42% of respondents calling it “very effective”, followed by Web site registration with 37%.

At MailUp we agree that “sign up during checkout” is a very effective list building technique and are focusing our efforts to help businesses capitalize on it through ready-to-go ecommerce integrations. For example, Shopify merchants can take advantage of the MailUp Email Marketing App for Shopify, which automatically transfers to MailUp customers that opt-in during checkout:

The merchant can then run both manual and automated email marketing campaigns in MailUp leveraging the data transferred from Shopify.

We are also working on adding multi-list support to our Email Marketing Extension for Magento e-commerce platform, which will allow a merchant to let customers opt-in to multiple lists during checkout (e.g. the lists could be “Daily Specials” and “Monthly Promotions”).

In addition, developers can take advantage of the MailUp API and our detailed recommendations for e-commerce integration to add email list signups during or at the end of the checkout process of any customizable e-commerce system.

Which tactic do you use the most to grow your mailing list? Please comment below or post a comment on our Facebook page.

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