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Survey Report: Most Effective Methods for Building a Contact List

There are many methods to build a list. This chart from Marketing Sherpa outlines the options and trends.  

You can build a list with:

      • A website registration page. (Landing page)
      • Social media sharing buttons in email.
      • Offline events.
      • Registration during a purchase.
      • Online events.
      • Facebook registration page.
      • Email to a friend.
      • Paid search.
      • Blog registration page. 
      • Co-registration programs.
      • What is not list is Linkedin or other social media places.  Each contact made on Linkedin may not give instant permission to send automated emails but they are still new contacts which includes potential buyers.

If you are interested in how marketers are growing their opt-in lists, the benchmark survey from Marketing Sherpa asked this question: 

Please indicate the level of EFFECTIVENESS for each of the email list growth tactics your organization employs."

The following chart shows the results of the survey: Chart of the Week

Source:  MarketingSherpa

Finally, people are not open to being on a "list".  The last thing a human wants to be is on a list to be targeted for a sales campaign.  They don't exclaim "Stop wasting my time." Instead they silently click delete and unsubscribe. 

In the new world of technology and media, inbound marketing pros do what is necessary to stay relevant and helpful.  With each list, the inbound marketing pro will segment the contacts by interests, geography and offer resources which are beneficial to the recipient.


A big take away from the chart:  

    • Only 17% of email marketers report a very positive list growth trend for rapidly growing email lists. 


    • 63% say registration during purchase is more effective for list building

Is it is time to consider how to change a "free" download registration into something that is "purchased"?  If a special code for a 100% discount is offered, will this change the context of a website registration?  The visitor still gets an offer "free" but with a discount code during a purchase vs. a simple registration form.

If you are not using any of these methods to add contacts to your list, then your strategy might include cold calling, knocking on doors, mail or networking. These methods along with attending events and collecting business cards are methods to grow a contact list.

The other option is to "buy leads". If you have more money than time, you will pay for contact information. 

As you decide the best method to acquire contact information (build a list) of potential buyers, please consider what Guy says:

If you have more money than brains you should focus on outbound marketing.  If you have more brains than money you should focus on inbound marketing.  - Guy Kawasaki

Topics: List Building Analytics Inbound Marketing Conversion Marketing Chart