Home-grown email lists are far more valuable to marketers than lists bought from third parties. But what’s the best way to grow your email list organically?According to the executives surveyed for our Email Marketing Benchmark Report, lightbox overlays are the #1 tactic for gaining opt-in email addresses. In fact, 90% of respondents said overlays were somewhat to highly effective (see chart below).
On-page sign-up boxes and free downloads were rated equally as effective as overlays (90% for each, but a greater proportion – 61% – said overlays were highly effective). Limited access to content refers to sites like The Financial Times that require email login after one article before viewing a user’s eight free articles for that month. And Webinars were also effective.Interestingly, collecting business cards and adding known people to your list was seen as effective, especially by B2B sites whose sales people often call on potential subscribers. Some people may associate adding names to lists as spam, but if a potential subscriber has engaged with your company through phone or face-to-face contact, adding them should not be a problem unless your emails are overly promotional and/or you don’t offer an unsubscribe link.As we’ve already told you, third-party lists are a poor email list growing tactic. But our survey also found that Facebook logins were also ineffective. This was surprising, since the advantage of using Faceboook as a social media login as opposed to all other social media platforms is that they share email addresses. But clearly, consumers don’t seem to be happy about that.That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer prospects the ability to login and register your site with Facebook; it can significantly increase your conversion rate for free visitor to registered user. Facebook is best when used as an engagement tactic, not a sales tactic.