One of the easiest ways to quickly grow a targeted, opt-in email list for email marketing campaigns is to offer some kind of incentive to convince subscribers to sign up.
The basic process is this: the list builder will offer something for free, but it’s only available to email list subscribers. Anyone wanting the free item or information would then opt-in to the email list to receive the incentive.
There are many things that can be used as email list building incentives. Here are a few examples:
E-books – If the email list builder is an expert in an industry or niche, it’s likely that people will want to learn from him or her. By offering a broad collection of basic information to readers in an e-book for free, subscriptions can be built easily.
Reports – Generally shorter than e-books, reports can also be effective email list building incentives. Reports can be anything from an abbreviated e-book to original research and survey results in an industry.
Memberships – Offering even a limited free membership to the list builder’s site, or a partnering site, that’s relevant to the targeted subscribers can increase both subscriptions and potential membership upgrades or sales.
Exclusive Sales or Offers – Give special discounts to mailing list subscribers only (especially if the mailing list is for a retailer or service provider and the messages are designed to lead to direct sales).
Software – Offering a free software program or tool can be an effective way to build an email marketing list, and software exists that would interest just about any target group.
What incentives have you used to build your email list, which which have been the most successful for you? Share your ideas and experiences in the comments.
Note: This post was originally published on April 20, 2007. It was updated and re-published on its currently-listed publication date.