Social Media, Content Marketing Most Effective For Growing Email Lists

Email marketing is still the highest-grossing marketing channel per dollar spent, but return on investment is impossible without a list of subscribers to send marketing messages to.

Ascend2, a marketing research firm, investigated the most effective email list acquisition tactics in its latest monthly report by polling 255 B2B and B2C marketers on the list growth strategies that result in the greatest benefits with minimum effort. 

Social media advertising was the top-ranking email list growth strategy, according to the study -- with 45% of respondents selecting it as an effective tactic. Social media presents an opportunity for marketers to acquire customer data and curate email lists on a channel where consumers spend a large amount of time, and it does so limited effort on the part of the marketer.

Just 37% of marketers selected social media as a channel requiring the most effort to be successful, likely because Facebook has made people-based marketing a straightforward process for marketers that can afford the ad spend.

Content marketing presents brands with an opportunity to share news and thought leadership, and was selected as the second-most effective list growth strategy according to Ascend2’s report. Following closely behind social media, 42% of respondents indicated that content marketing was a fruitful email acquisition tool.

The problem with content marketing, however, is the large amount of resources that need to be funneled into the channel to create fresh content.

Content marketing was actually selected as the email acquisition strategy that required the most effort, according to Ascend2, garnering 50% of respondents selecting it as a resource-draining solution.

Not surprisingly, many marketers are turning to user-generated content (UGC) to bridge the divide between providing consumers with new material with minimal effort. Stackla, a popular UGC marketing platform, recently launched an email plugin to help email marketers curate content created by fan.

Search engine optimization (SEO) was selected by 38% respondents as the third-most effective email acquisition tactic, but 45% of respondents asserted that it required the most effort. Social logins and sign-up forms were a productive strategy for 36% of respondents, while 30% asserted it drained resources.

Contests and giveaways require the least amount of effort, according to Ascend2, but only 34% of respondents believed they were an effective acquisition tactic.

However, contest and giveaways were viewed as more successful than partnerships or paid search/remarketing campaigns while also requiring less effort. 

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