Why Reciprocity Matters In Email Marketing

A healthy email list is critical for maximizing the return on investment of email, but a new study by digital marketing company Adestra suggests that few marketers are happy with the status of their email list strategy.

Only 9% of email marketers in a poll of 146 stated that their email list strategy was very successful. Fifty-five percent of respondents expressed that it was somewhat successful, while 36% expressed that it was completely unsuccessful, according to the report.  

Setting expectations for subscribers at the outset and offering them relevant content in return for their email relationship ranked as the most effective tactics to achieving email list success.



Fifty-five percent of respondents said email-specific landing pages were the most effective tactic in a successful email list subscription campaign, while 51% said content download registrations were the key to their success.

The recent success of HealthiNation’s email list growth confirms that reciprocity is an important ingredient for a healthy and engaged email audience.

Health and lifestyle publisher HealthiNation boosted its email list by 68% in collaboration with PostUp by offering a free holiday cookbook in exchange for contact information.

HealthiNation says that the campaign -- which occurred between Thanksgiving 2015 and New Year’s -- saw the greatest interest from parents. The company wisely began to segment its new subscribers according to their content interests, with 58% of subscribers expressing interest in parenting, 15% in men’s health and 7% in women’s health. 

"We’ve seen that giving away some free, valuable, relevant content always performs better than simply asking the user to sign up for your newsletter,” says Andrea Bridges-Smith, product marketing manager at PostUp.

She says that this process helps set expectations for the reader.

“With a piece of content like this cookbook, the user understands exactly what they’re getting (a healthy cookbook) and how (one time) and when (right away),” she says. “The value proposition is much clearer and much more immediate, and it builds trust with the user right away.”

Bridges-Smith recommends that marketers think about what the most relevant piece of content would be for each user -- advice that crosses any vertical. Content should inform, educate and entertain, she says. 

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