Five Ideas For Attracting Email Subscribers with Incentives

An email list is a nice asset to have it. With it, you have in your possession access to a group of people who could be instrumental in helping your business grow and become profitable. But as an email marketer, one of the biggest challenges you might face at almost any experience level is convincing people to sign up to that list.

Sure, an email address may appear to be a simple piece of property, but it is actually quite the big deal. When someone gives you this information, what they’re really giving you is the key to a door you can open at any time to send updates, offers, and the latest news about your brand. Some are reluctant to hand it over, which is why it has become common for email marketers to offer incentives as a way to facilitate an even exchange of sorts. It’s been proven time again that people are far more willing to part with personal information when they’re getting something worthy in exchange.

email subscribers

The incentive game can be highly effective, but email marketers should think long and hard about what they put on the table. Why the dedicated thought process? Because not all offerings inspire action. Here are some incentive ideas you can use to lure more consumers to your email list.

1. Time-Sensitive Offers

Creating a since of urgency can work wonders when it comes to composing subject lines that drive opens and copy that drives sales. The same approach works in creating incentives that drive new subscriptions. Operate a brick-and-mortar storefront? Promote a one-day sale that lets customers enjoy 30 percent off select products if they sign up to your list on the spot. If you’re able to generate steady traffic to your website or social networks, the same strategy can be effective with online offers.

2. Members Only Access

Believe it or not, but something as simple as a membership can be a very attractive incentive. You could either have people trade their information to become a member of your website, or to gain access to a certain area of your site, the latter of which is really ideal if you have a discussion forum. The exclusivity component is what enables this approach to be effective, so make sure you sell it as a prestigious offering only available to a special group.

3. Something That Complements Your Product

One of the best incentives you can put on the line will always be something that positively highlights your product or service. This is especially true if it makes your offering easier to buy. So if you’re selling an ebook on marketing, a free chapter with a few golden nuggets of wisdom could get the job done. Sell web hosting services? Hire a writer to produce a guide or tutorials you can offer to show potential clients how easy your administrative software is to use. This way, your giving away something of value and knocking down a purchasing barrier at the same time.

4. Sell Opportunities

Some marketers feel the need to put something directly in the subscribers hands – a white paper in a PDF, exclusive entrance to a webinar, an inexpensive free product. These are all great ideas, but opportunities can also make great incentives in the right scenario. For instance, you could host a contest that is only eligible to existing subscribers. If people want an opportunity to win, they have to sign-up to your list. Do this on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly schedule, and you have a method that could continue to reel in a new subscribers on a regular basis.

5. Retain Subscribers with Your Content

Incentives are great for attracting people to your list, but if you want to keep them in around, then you’re going to need to bring it strong in the content department. What some email marketers are coming to find is that subscribers who took the incentive bait tend to be less engaged than those who signed up without needing the extra butter. Whether you’re working with a monthly newsletter, daily sales offers, or weekly updates, make sure your content is engaging enough to excite anyone who joins your list.

If you’re looking for a way to build a bigger email list faster, clever use of incentives is the answer. Coupled with solid content, this strategy can ensure that you have a healthy list that is fully engaged with your email program.

Do you use incentives? What has or hasn’t worked for you?

Francis Santos is the Marketing Manager for Benchmark Email. He graduated from Cal State Long Beach and holds a degree in Journalism. In addition, he is also the executive editor for separate popular news blogs. Follow him on Twitter: @emailfrancis


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