Mailing List Growth Strategies. A guide to increasing the size of your mailing list. November 2012 Version 0.2

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Mailing List Growth Strategies

A guide to increasing the size of your mailing list



Introduction ... 3 Lightboxes ... 4 Implementation advice ... 6 Social Media ... 8 Implementation advice ... 10 Google AdWords ... 11 In-store ... 12 Incentivised ... 12 Sign up points ... 12 EPOS ... 12 QR Codes ... 13 QR Code Examples ... 13 Use Cases ... 14 Text Messaging ... 15

Promoting your Keyword & Short Code ... 16



This document aims to provide strategies to increase the amount of email subscribers using various methods including the use of Lightboxes, Social Media, Text Messaging, QR Codes, Google



Lightboxes have been used for quite a while, but only quite recently have more companies started to make great use of these for data collection.

Email marketers now use them as a tool to encourage more email newsletter subscriptions. Without the use of a Lightbox, many companies rely on website call to action buttons, hoping visitors will find their sign up form, will click through and then signup to receive email communications.

Times and technology have changed and Lightboxes are commonly used on most websites and can be less intrusive if used in the right way.

Signup forms stored within a Lightbox don't 'pop up' in a new window or browser tab. They appear as a box that fades into view, usually overlaying a central part of the web page. The page initially being viewed is blurred or faded to bring attention to the Lightbox.


Typical visitor statistics for the average website is split between 35% new visitors and 65% returning visitors. This highlights the importance of getting those new visitors to subscribe to your email communications when they first visit your website. Normal subscription forms on websites can be easily missed whereas the "sudden" appearance of the Lightbox draws attention to the call to action to get visitors to subscribe straight away.

If relevant and timed correctly, Lightboxes can be a good interruption when a visitor lands on a homepage. It's also important to not push the sign-up too much and also highlight the X or Close option to exit the form should the visitor not wish to subscribe.

A typical implementation would see a Lightbox appear once per visit and repeated on subsequent visits if enough time has passed in the meantime. The definition of "enough time" depends on the frequency that the average visitor comes to the website. Ensure that the lightbox doesn't appear too often as this can as this may start annoying visitors.

Implementation advice

The below details further advice on the typical layout and copy that we recommend using in a Lightbox:

Form fields

Make form fields large as the overall theme for the form should be big, bold and obvious.

Having large input fields will provide an immediate visual cue to the visitor to show them that you are asking them to opt-in. Only ask for the bare minimum information. E.g. email address. Other data can be captured further into the customer journey. Ensure you provide a link to the privacy policy and that you asked them to tick a box to confirm their opt-in.

Large close/Exit button

Allow visitors to abandon your form quickly and easily if they want to. Remember that they are still on your website and could still purchase so all is not lost. In addition to the inflated size of the exit button, also make sure that the button is easy to click on a mobile device.

It is also important to add a "no thanks" link in the body of the form so it can be easily exited using this as an alternative too.


Keep the copy simple and get to the point quickly so visitors know what you are trying to


Clear call-to-action

The form should be quick to read, complete and submit. Readers should be informed that they are subscribing to email communications and the opt-in should be obvious so the subscriber has to take positive action to subscribe and is aware of what they are doing.

Submit button

Make the submit button stand out but don't use colours like red as they are physiologically viewed as a stop sign. Test out different colours to see what works best for your business and brand.

Thank you page


Social Media

With the recent rapid growth of social media, companies find themselves in the position of wanting to take advantage of the possible opportunities in the social media medium, but being unsure on how to do so.

Facebook is one of the most popular social media channels and can be used to capture new email subscribers by using the Communicator® Facebook app. The app allows seamless integration between Facebook and your existing mailing lists within the Communicator® platform.


Implementation advice

Follow the step by step instructions below to allow your customers to view and submit your Communicator® hosted data capture form directly within your Facebook page.

Create and activate your data capture form within the Communicator® platform. We recommend keeping the width of forms to be used on Facebook to be less than 600px.

Visit and then choose the page on which to add the form.

Return to your Facebook page and you should now see a new entry for the Communicator® app at the top of your timeline (or the left hand menu if you are yet to activate your timeline). When you click on the Communicator® app you will be prompted with a login screen, simply login with your standard Communicator® platform credentials. Select the form you wish to display on Facebook and click “Save”. If the form is in a sub account, simply change accounts and choose the desired form.

Click view form to view your form within Facebook.

The Communicator® Facebook app dynamically detects whether the Facebook user is an

administrator of your page or a standard Facebook user and automatically displays the appropriate content. So when you view the Communicator® app on your page as an admin, you will see the login screen but when your customers view the app they will see your chosen form. To see how your customers would view your form, simply log out of Facebook.


Google AdWords

In the last few months we have seen an increase in the number of companies using AdWords to collect email addresses directly in the ad unit within Google. Google commenced with its first trial of this new feature at the beginning of 2012. It has been a huge success and will be available to everyone late 2012.

These ads help businesses gather new email addresses from consumers who perhaps may not have visited your website or subscribed before. This data capture method would work well within the retail sector and other sectors looking to push their products and services. Please see below for an


Advertisers pay per lead collected and bid the same way the usual Google AdWords advertising works.

Communicator Corp's Connect and Connect+ Integration Solutions can potentially be used to

automate the data import into the platform in order to send out the all-important Welcome Email. The data will be held temporarily by Google before passing it to the Communicator® platform. More



There are multiple ways to collect email data in-store but some retailers are missing a trick. There are many retail staff members that gloss over prompts to capture email address or openly ask you to fill out feedback forms and tell you not to worry about filling in the email address which I'm sure their marketing department would agree is crazy.


A number of UK retailers are running incentivised data capture campaigns in their stores. The incentives vary from “Win £250 to spend in-store” to “Get a FREE £10 voucher” but they all encourage email registration using a combination of data capture approaches.

In terms of the execution, there are a wide range of different approaches including: Text Data Capture - e.g. Text KEYWORD and your email address to 60033 Take-away business cards emblazoned with a sign-up URL or QR code Receipts that contain a sign up URL or QR code

Cashiers asking for the email address at point of purchase

Some stores also provide loyalty card points or free access to store Wi-Fi in return for an email address. I think one of the great advantages of this type of data collection is that you are really targeting people who are already engaged with your brand and using mechanisms you are often already paying for or providing.

Sign up points

Some clients are now operating small touch screens (e.g. iPad) in store which will display their email subscription page. Data is then collected in store using this method which works better than asking people to write their email address down. The reason being that validation can be applied immediately meaning there is less room for data input error, the email address can also be instantly submitted to Communicator® meaning that the new subscriber can immediately enter the welcome journey, and costs are saved on admin too.



get home or even on their mobile device while they shop. For those customers that don't subscribe, a URL or QR code could be printed onto the till receipt prompting them to subscribe in their own time. A prompt to request email addresses could be 'would you like a copy of your receipt emailed to you'?

QR Codes

QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code). The QR code can be scanned by a mobile device which can automatically redirect the user to a web page or online form. The QR code is used by many retailers to push users through to their online email signup form to increase subscribers.

The QR code has fast readability and large storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes. The code typically consists of black modules (square dots) arranged in a square pattern on a white background. However here at Communicator Corp our expert Designers can create bespoke QR codes.

QR Code Examples

Custom QR Code

This QR code is designed using your brand colours and can be a simple mix or complex.

Branded QR Code


Ultimate QR Code

This QR code uses brand colours and logo, with the addition of incorporating brand assets/images.

Use Cases


Text Messaging

It is important that you make it easy and convenient for consumers to engage with your brand. Implementing Text Data Capture will allow your consumers to sign up to your communications on the move, exactly how and when it suits them. The potential for this channel is huge, from growing your database and adding value to your relationships through to revenue generation.

Why not ask consumers to send a text starting with your keyword followed by their email address and send to a short code to sign up for your latest newsletter or special offers (e.g. "start your text with MYSTORE followed by your email address and send to 60033"). This is a great way for collecting data from those 'on the go'. Not only does this allow for the collection of email addresses but mobile numbers too. Be sure to state what texters are opting into in your advertising (i.e. email and / or text messages.)


Promoting your Keyword & Short Code

There are many ways that companies can implement text data capture campaigns. Here are some ideas below:


Printed literature TV adverts

In-store / Outdoor advertising Sales receipts





Email Source

It is always a good idea to capture the data source when collecting data in order to obtain a record of where the data originated. This allows you to discover which marketing routes work well for new subscriber collection.


In today's busy world where consumers are inundated with email messages, it is always best to get the message across quickly with a good call to action. This is something clients should be mindful of when putting together a data capture form embedded in a lightbox or thinking of collecting data using Google AdWords or text messaging.


Our recommendation is to focus on growing your list organically as opposed to purchasing data lists. Organically grown data usually performs far better in terms of opens, clicks and conversions. This type of data often experiences less bounces, unsubscribes and complaints too. However, if you would like to purchase data, then please get in touch with your Account Manager who can put you in touch with trusted data partners.

Remember to focus on quality of data rather than the quantity. Engaging with those who are interested and who are interacting with your emails is key to getting a higher ROI from email marketing as well as better inbox delivery rates.

Get Inventive

Don't wait for people to visit your website and leave their email details. Broaden your search and get more inventive with Communicator®.

The Communicator® platform can integrate with many different platforms to gain maximum exposure while giving the ability to capture relevant data from people who are interested in your brand.

Social Media - Why not allow your subscribers to share their emails with friends on Facebook or Twitter and gain new subscribers by referral. You could even add in a promotional offer for new subscribers to sweeten the deal.



No matter how effective the current email marketing activity of your business is, a successful email strategy starts with the recipient offering up their email address and agreeing to receive your marketing emails. Making the most of the beginning of the process will help you grow your email database, and increase the conversion opportunity that email marketing presents. The DMA currently value the average email address at £9.11 so it's really important to ensure that when collecting new data, it is valid, opted in and is going make this return for your business too. Always have a strategy in place and contact your subscriber data wisely.




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