Research by Marketing Sherpa proved that B2B mailing lists shrink at rate of 22.5% annually.

Your email database gets smaller as people change email addresses when moving companies, abandon old email addresses, or unsubscribe/opt-out due to a lack of interest or change in industry. Without new leads, your contact database will become smaller each year unless you do something about it.

You need to dedicate time and effort to adding new contacts to your mailing list all the time.

What Not to Do

Below is a list of things not to do when building your email database. It’s not a comprehensive list, but can be applied to all circumstances. Breaking these rules will result in email service providers, such as Google, marking you as a spammer, and lowering your email deliverability. There is also your IP reputation at stake, which is used to tell whether you are sending spam, viruses or unwanted bulk emails to people who are not interested. These lower your IP reputation and mark you as untrustworthy.

Remember; it is a violation of the law to sell or misuse any information that a subscriber provides, according to the Protection of Personal Information Act, Act No. 4 of 2013.

  • Don’t buy lists: Lists are both valuable and private. It’s a questionable practice for someone to sell a marketing list. How did they obtain the email addresses? Are they abusing the trust of their subscribers? How many others have bought that same list and are spamming the people on the list?
  • Don’t copy and paste from the internet: Has your dedicated research yielded a website with potential clients? Perhaps you’ve scoured the internet and found individual email addresses of your potential client on their respective websites. Ask yourself, do you have permission to email them? Have they opted-in?
  • Don’t sell your lists: Selling contact lists is just as big a no-no as buying lists. You are responsible for protecting your contact’s personal information. They’ve entrusted it to you.
  • Don’t add contacts who haven’t specifically opted in. A contact may give your support department their details, but that doesn’t mean they want to receive your marketing campaigns. Make sure you only send campaigns to people who have explicitly opted in for them.
Growing your Database

There are a number of ways to build a legal list of contacts, who actually want to hear from you:

Multiple Subscription Forms

Create multiple subscription forms across your media platforms, stating clearly what your subscribers are agreeing to.

  • A pop-up form on your website which prompts every visitor to subscribe to your list.
  • A subscribe button on your website that visitors can click. Make it visible yet not too obtrusive. If you have a blog or other media format where you have articles, tips and tricks, or other similar written works, you can have a link that encourages readers to sign up to your marketing list for more of the same content.
  • Competition Sign-Up: Run a competition where a person signs up to your email or SMS marketing list as an entry requirement.
New Content

Keep your current subscribers engaged with new content. If they enjoy it, they might share it with others.

  • Free Samples/Trials/Demos: Free stuff gets people talking. It also makes them more willing to sign up to a newsletter if they know they will benefit from it.
  • Contests/Competitions/Promotions: Competitions are common ways to build your email database. We all have a desire to win, and future contacts will be more prepared to submit an entry if it is as simple as filling in an email address.
  • Tips/Guides/Blog Posts/Whitepapers: People are always looking to improve their businesses and improve themselves. Providing content frequently on how they can get better will make your subscribers trust you and your emails, resulting in higher opens.
Social Media

Social Media gives you access to thousands of passive contacts. The right kind of content has the potential to turn their attention towards your business.

  • Good Content: Encourage downloading guides, free resources, etc. through social media platforms. People are on their phones constantly and are bound to see your posts.
  • Social Links: Add a CTA button on your social media sites, where visitors can sign up to exclusive content, or to receive your marketing campaigns.
  • Campaigns: Run a social media campaign providing content and encouraging contacts to sign up to your marketing list.

Build targeted campaigns for your new and existing contacts.

  • Opt-in campaign: Reach your current database and encourage them to opt-in again, making sure the people you’re sending to actually want to receive your content.
  • Build Interest: Interact with your new and current contacts by finding out what they’re interested in. This will provide a better understanding of your subscribers. Add a share button encouraging them to send your emails to others who may also be interested.
  • A/B Split Testing: See what email design and content works best with your audience by using A/B Split testing.
  • Welcome Campaign: Run a welcome campaign for new subscribers. Let them know what they can expect from you and find out what they are looking for specifically. As they interact with you, use personalisation from their responses to cater your marketing messages to them.
New Year, New Goals

It’s a new year for new opportunities and time to remove your stagnant subscribers for new, interested contacts. Reengage your remaining contacts with a fresh marketing strategy, and start the year off with a bang.