In cooperation with Ball State University and the Email Marketers Club, ExactTarget studied 18 methods used by marketers to build an email list. Among the results published in its 2009 Email List Growth Study are these conclusions:

  • The best method for email list growth is onsite registration; invitations at inbound call centers, at the point of sale, and through social networking follow closely behind.
  • The least-effective tactics, meanwhile, include invitations through outbound call centers and offline advertising. Renting lists and appending email likewise deliver less impressive results.
  • B2B marketers find more success driving new subscriptions with "incentivized" registration; B2C marketers, however, achieve more with non-incentivized subscriptions.

The study also identifies trends like these for the coming year:

  • The use of mobile capture—which enables customers to subscribe via hand-held devices—will increase more than 500 percent.
  • The availability of functionality that allows subscribers to share email content with social networks is expected to increase more than 348 percent.

The Po!nt: Grow wise. According to ExactTarget, one-third of all email marketers rarely or never evaluate the performance of their list-growth sources. If you're in that category, it's time to take stock.

Source: Exact Target. Download the full study here.

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