If you operate within the retail space – be it online or bricks-and-mortar – your email list will likely be one of your most treasured possessions.

Providing you’ve built it ethically, the people contained within will already be engaged with your brand and a prime target for any new lines you want to shout about or fresh offers you want to push.

But what if your list begins to stagnate or – worse – ceases to grow at all?

If this sounds eerily familiar, don’t give up, because we’ve got five tried-and-tested strategies that will ensure your email marketing list continues to grow.

1. Review your sign-up form

There may be a very simple reason people are less inclined to join your mailing list and it could be sat right under your nose.

Think about the number of times you’ve visited a website and decided to sign-up to a mailing list only to be put off by the size of the form you’re expected to fill out.

Frustrating, isn’t it?

Take a look at yours. Is it too big? Are you asking for details that you really don’t need?

If possible, simply ask for a name (vital for personalisation), an email address (obviously) and confirmation that the person is happy to receive marketing messages from you.

What more do you need?

2. Tempt customers to sign up in-store

It’s amazing how many retailers fail to take advantage of the time customers spend in their store when it comes to list building.

When people check out at the till, kindly ask if they’d be happy to receive special offers and news from you via email. If they agree, you can take their email address there and then.

3. Run a referral campaign

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but continues to work brilliantly.

Try running a referral campaign where existing subscribers receive points or some form of discount that can be applied in-store – if they refer friends to your mailing list.

Turn it up a notch by increasing the reward based on the number of referrals gained, and you’ll soon get people hitting that ‘forward’ button.

4. Use Twitter and Facebook to your advantage

The two stalwarts of social media can help immeasurably when it comes to email listing building.

Here’s how:

  • Twitter lead generation cards. Twitter’s advertising platform lets you create messages that promise special deals in return for email address submissions. To get involved, people simply click the ad within the tweet and submit a pre-filled form. Easy!
  • Facebook lead advert. Just like Twitter, you can tempt followers and strangers on Facebook to sign-up to your list directly by using engaging images, snappy text and a built-in, pre-filled form.

You can, of course, do it the old fashioned way on these platforms, too, by simply publishing a post occasionally that reminds your followers and ‘likers’ that they’ll be in with a chance to redeem special offers if they sign up to your mailing list.

5. Host an in-store event

Why not host an event at your store (for instance, a special sales day or signing from a designer) and ask people to register with their email address?

Providing you ask them to opt-in to your marketing list at the same time, you’ll likely bring in a fair few subscribers who may otherwise have looked past your website sign-up form.

Wrapping up

The above list is non-exhaustive, but represents the most common ways retailers can grow their email marketing lists in a way that’s sustainable.

About 

Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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