1. List growth through opt-ins: This may seem obvious, but to some it isn't. Avoid renting or buying your lists because the users on those lists aren't true opt-ins and will likely unsubscribe or turn into a spam complaint if they didn't manually and intentionally sign up for your mailing list. Think about it... what would you do with a seemingly random newsletter from some company in your inbox? Delete it or mark it as spam. Fill your list with permission-based opt-ins from your site, an advertisement or special offer and hopefully watch your ROI increase.
2. RAF: Viral, or "Refer A Friend," links in mailings are an amazing and easy way to bulk up your lists and it takes next to no effort on your side! Just include a link somewhere in your mailing where users can send their friends an invitation to join your mailing list. People respond really favorably when something has been suggested to them by a friend... take advantage of this mentality and solicit the help of friends everywhere!
3. Advertisements: There are a couple ways you can utilize advertising to grow your lists. You can strike a deal with your partners where they advertise your brand/product on their site or in their mailings and provide a link to your newsletter signup to their lists and vice versa. You could also use social networking for this. I wrote pretty extensively on this not too long ago so I’ll spare you reading the details a second time :-). The process is similar to advertising with partners, only you can do this all on your own – sign up for a social networking site and start networking.
Be up front with your prospective subscribers and be respectful of their personal information and you should see an increase not only in list volume, but ROI, opens and all that good stuff. And don't forget to take care of the subscribers you already have!
Author: Courtney Dillsworth
Co-Editors: Roopal Rawani and Carolina Bonaparte