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All email marketing managers search for ways to grow their subscription files—this is a given—and many options and opportunities exist to grow subscription files organically.

Unfortunately, some email marketers still rely on purchasing permission-based lists as a means to increase their email file. By doing so, however, they settle for a quick fix that really does not result in a stable, viable, and cost-effective file.

The saying "Good things come to those who wait" applies to smart email marketing managers who appreciate the logic and process of growing their subscription file organically, over time, with well-developed marketing efforts.

The opportunities to grow a healthy subscription file comprising subscribers with true interests in your products, company, messaging... are only limited by the time you spend creating and implementing an effective email marketing acquisition plan.

Spend time developing these four critical elements to create a thorough email marketing acquisition plan:

1. Market Your Subscription Button

I often tell clients: "Don't hide the subscribe." Too many email marketers assume that subscribers know the marketer's site as well as the marketers do, and therefore miss many opportunities to capture new subscribers because the subscription link is "hidden."

For instance, one international lawnmower manufacturer hides the subscription button within the "contact us" link at the bottom of the site. This otherwise savvy retailer is making a tragic mistake by not providing the space that this pivotal acquisition tool deserves.

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Kimberly Snyder is an account manager with Bronto ( and works with clients to optimize their email marketing efforts.