Supercharge Your List Growth

When I'm at social or networking events, one of the most commonly asked questions I get from small business owners and nonprofit groups is how to grow their membership or customer list. Even having the option to sign up for a newsletter or special offers on one's website can provide enough incentive to get prospective customers to sign up. 

Here are a few tips:

More is better.  As in adding more opt-in forms to your site. What you are aiming for with any mailing list is quality, not quantity. Many times I've seen the newsletter sign-up link below the fold (if you have to page-down to see content, it's below the fold) or buried under layers of content, like hidden where a company's press releases are. You want this web contact form to be found easily and not just by search engines, but by prospective customers.

Include mobile as an option. Should your customers check their email from web-capable phones, tablets, or other mobile devices, you may also want to add a SMS option to the newsletter sign-up form and optimize its accompanying landing pages for mobile. 
Examples: OfficeMax, Bed Bath & Beyond

Attract like honey. Give your subscribers a perk for signing up, thanking them for opting in. Types of perks vary by organizational type. For example:
  • Schools or PTAs: a discount card to be used at a local business
  • Retail: discount next purchase (online or in-store), free small item, free points on loyalty card program, early preview on upcoming sale items
  • Nonprofit Assn: inclusiveness messaging (news and events just for members)
  • B2B: actionable insight from industry news/trends
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