Place Your Bet on the House (List)!

Everyone agrees that email marketing pays off.

A 2012 Direct Marketing Association survey found that email marketing had the strongest ROI of any marketing vehicle. Click here for more details.

Many marketers – particularly those starting up email programs – ask whether they should spend the time to build their “house” list or to rent lists from 3rd parties.

The data is clear: invest in your house list first.  And only consider renting lists (“prospect” lists) if you’ve maximized your “house” list.

Consider these metrics from a recent DMA study:

Some takeaways:

  • Email metrics are still strong and in many cases improving. Open and click through rates have increased over the 2 years. This is encouraging.
  • When comparing just the 2012 results, the above data highlights the following statistical advantages of leveraging a House List over a rented list:
    • Open rate: + 94% Lift
    • Click through rate: 12% lift
    • Conversion rate: 257% lift

It is clear that the “house” list performs better- which is not surprising since many of these people are customers or known prospects. Plus there is no rental cost when you use your own list.

How can you quickly scale your “house” list?

Now that we have focused on the big benefits of a “house” list, what are a few keys to build that list?

1. Make a compelling offer- provide something valuable in return for their email address.

Many people place value on their email address and will only provide it when they feel they are getting something valuable in return. So give some thought to what you can offer your audience that will entice them to trade.

Perhaps you offer a coupon for a future purchase or early access to future news of new products. Or a free eBook. Or a sample. Think about what is appealing for your customer and affordable to you  and then test.

 2. Let subscribers know what to expect — then deliver

Be clear with what or how often you will send emails. Is it daily, weekly, monthly? Be clear.

And what will they be getting? News, promotions, humor, etc.

 3. Create a focused opt-in signup page– a side-bar on your site form is not noticeable enough.

Studies show the more prominent and focused signup form and copy are, the more likely a person is to sign up. Create a landing page or even perhaps a pop-up box that suggests a subscription.

Example of a focused signup form with an offer.

So as you consider where to focus your marketing time in the coming months- consider focusing on email marketing and developing your house list as a big part of the effort.


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