Kelly Lorenz from Bronto Software shared some very excellent advice in a follow up comment. It merits inclusion here. Kelly writes, "While I think Andrew and his advice is great, the one thing that stuck out to me from the original question is that this is a new business. The tactics Andrew outlines are must-haves and there are other methods new businesses can and should utilize to grow:
- Build a plan to promote your email program and business via, potentially aggressive, PPC (pay-per-click), SEO (search engine optimization), social, banner ads, direct mail, personal email connections, word of mouth, etc. If you have a brick and mortar presence, utilize POS (point of sale) and key areas of the store to promote your email program. Anticipate a larger budget to get you off the ground than you would typically spend on each medium.
- Think about strategic partnerships with like companies that are complementary to your business model. You could leverage their list through a proper list rental (getting them to promote you to their list), an opt-in co-registration or the like.
- See if you can find some bloggers/industry associations that are willing and able to promote your brand and email program to continue to get the word out.
Excellent advice, Kelly. Thanks for sharing!
If any of that sounds like greek to you, consider hiring an expert to help you develop a plan specific to your business needs. There is no one-size-fits all solution, and it is likely to your advantage to have an expert guide you through the process.. I can surely tell you which non-spammy list building methods you could use, but that doesn't tell you which ones are the right ones to use for your business.
But, if you're looking for more advice on things you can do on your own, there are multiple solid strategies that have been shared by various ESPs and marketers. Here are just a few of them.
- Amanda Gagnon from Aweber: explains "How to get 147% More Readers."
- Susan Wall from Bronto with "Top 5 List Growth Dos and Dont’s."
- James Wong from iContact on why you should “Avoid the Purchased List Email Marketing Trap”
- Aweber’s Rebecca Swayze shares the “Top 4 Reasons Your List Isn’t Growing.”
- Chip House from ExactTarget: shares "5 tips to grow your subscriber list the right way." (Disclaimer: Chip House is my boss.)
- Amy Garland from Blue Sky Factory with "50 Ways to Build Your Email Marketing List."