This is the first episode from a series of videos that will tackle commonly asked questions about marketing. David Meerman Scott, a Marketer in Residence at HubSpot , responds to frequent challenges marketers and business owners face and offers tips to solve these issues. We encourage you to submit a question and subscribe to our Weekly Marketing Cast !

In this episode, David Meerman Scott offers insights about growing your email marketing list. How do you grow the number of people who have given you permission to communicate with them?

Keep Track of Unsubscription Rates

A critical metric in email marketing, David notes, is not necessarily how the number of "net new people" increases, but if the number of existing subscribers decreases. "As soon as you start to send too many sales-related emails, as soon as you start to take advantage of people's valuable time, they are going to delete the subscription," David says.

Marketing takeaway: Don't focus on building new subscribers at the cost of losing existing ones.

Provide Value on an Ongoing Basis

To lower your unsubscription rates, you will need to be providing something of value in each message that you send to your leads and prospects. Though you can promote one of your products "once in a while," make sure you use the majority of your emails to offer valuable information such as reports, blog posts and engaging videos. "I would never promote a product more than once in every 10 emails," says David.

Marketing takeaway: Make sure your emails are dominated by valuable and informative information and less sales-centric offers.

Focus on Sharing Capabilities

When you provide value overtime, you will encourage recipients to forward these emails to others who might be interested in the same type of content. Such peer sharing will help you grow your list and nurture prospects into leads and potential customers.

Marketing takeaway: Include "Forward This Email" or/and social media buttons that facilitate the email sharing process.

No matter what your distinct approach to growing your email marketing list, you will certainly need to make one commitment - show respect for your recipients. As David says, "Don't abuse the trust people have given you by allowing you to be able to talk to them."

Originally published Nov 22, 2010 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016


Email Lists and Segmentation