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Your Three-Step Plan for Continual Email-List Growth and Engagement (Part 2 of 3)

by Karen Talavera  |  
April 6, 2010

It's been said before and it bears repeating: When it comes to those traditional three pillars of direct-response marketing, "The gold is in your list." So it pays to treat it like the treasure it is.

In Part 1 of this series, I explored ways to attract new prospects to your list. Still, the reality for many marketers and business owners is that the majority of their email-list subscribers are customers, not prospects. They are people with whom we have an existing (and hopefully, positive) business relationship—all the more reason to protect your treasure.

Yet that Achilles heel of email customer lists remains: It seems impossible to get the email addresses for 100% of your customers.

With few exceptions (say you sell only online and an email address is required on every sale), some customers are just never going to hand over their closely guarded email address (or the specific address you want).

Others now prefer to communicate with you via social media (largely Facebook and Twitter). Still more are happy to stay old school—they want phone and direct-mail communication: Send them their catalogs and coupons, and they're content.

Even though 100% coverage of customer email addresses might be unrealistic, we can certainly shoot for the high double digits—upwards of 60%.

And the good news is that acquiring the email addresses of customers—an audience that already knows and is engaged with you—is a lot easier than obtaining email addresses from prospects, who may be neither interested nor engaged.

Here are four customer email-address acquisition tactics you should put in place (if they're not already) to immediately grow your customer email list and, with it, your customer relationships.

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Karen Talavera heads Synchronicity Marketing and writes about how to successfully use email, social, and content marketing on the Enlightened Emarketing blog. You can also follow Karen on Twitter (@SyncMarketing) and Facebook for daily tips and links to emerging email and social media marketing trends, facts, and research.

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