Silverpop - Marketing Lists: Are You Growing or Just Treading Water?
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Marketing Lists: Are You Growing or Just Treading Water?

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by: Ellen Valentine (@EllenValentine)
05 September 2012

When planning fall marketing initiatives, how much emphasis are you putting on growing your target list? Many marketers get caught up in coming up with creative offers, designing nurture campaigns and worrying about trade show logistics.

These are all important objectives, but make sure you’re also focusing on growing your marketing lists. The reason? In most instances, if contacts from prospective companies aren’t on your list, you’re never going to get to market to them. Before you know it, you’re just treading water, repeatedly sending out marketing messages to the same names.

To help avoid this scenario, review the suggestions in the list below and see what tactics you might incorporate to add new names to your database.

  • Include a prominent opt-in on your website. Give your opt-in prime real estate, above the fold, and consider adding it to a number of pages, not just the home page. Quite frankly, it’s shocking how many companies’ websites don’t include a prominent opt-in call to action. Don’t be included among these firms. Even better: Add Web tracking code to your site so that as soon as a visitor opts in, you can “knit together” the visitor’s anonymous website behavior with his or her behavior as an identified member of your database. This will enable you to send more relevant messages right out of the gate.
  • Consider a “lightbox” opt-in on your home page. Used strategically, a lightbox call-to-action that hovers over your website for a specified number of seconds can exponentially increase opt-ins. Within this form, consider asking two to four additional questions focused around clarifying or discovering page visitors’ problems. You can then store these responses in your marketing database and use them to drive dynamic content and automated programs, instantly boosting relevance. We have a Silverpop client that implemented this “lightbox” strategy using a Silverpop Web form, and it increased opt-ins by 400 percent. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have four times as many prospective clients to engage?
  • Include offers for great content on your corporate Facebook page. Prior to receiving the content, have clients fill out a Web form with their information. Even if you’re not a Silverpop client, it’s easy to make this happen. Just visit to find out how to implement Web forms on your Facebook page.
  • Share great content offers on Twitter. These content offers should include a shortened URL link that drives visitors to a download page where you can ask for information. When you share this link, include source parameters that allow you to track that Twitter was the originating source of the lead. You can then track the originating lead source in your CRM system. (Read more on social measurement from demand to revenue.)
  • Continue to remind all content creators about your SEO keywords. Keywords are important to everyone responsible for creating digital content, not just the SEO staff or agency. Make sure that your content continues to reference your agreed-upon keywords. This will vastly help your organic search results, which in turn should direct visitors to your website opt-in options, either via the home page, microsite or landing page.
  • Get every trade show and conference lead into your database. Use iPad applications such as Silverpop’s Pop-in app to collect more than just the name and address that the trade show scanners provide. If a show rep insists on keeping a business card, ask him or her to type in the card details while at the show booth. Trade shows and conferences are such expensive marketing initiatives that you can’t afford to lose one contact. (Bonus tip: Use location-based marketing to generate leads at events.)

Use this list to jump start your list-growth planning efforts, and with a little effort you should be well on your way to building your database. Of course, once you’ve added a prospective customer to your list, the next step is to do a great job with your nurture programs. Don’t “jump all over” your prospects, asking them to buy immediately. You’ll only frustrate them, and they’ll become unresponsive. Instead, continue to educate them on the market, the problems they’re facing and how others in a similar capacity are responding. Eventually, your marketing patience will be rewarded with a qualified lead.

Related Resources:
1) Blog: “Opt-Intelligence on Using Ads for Email List Growth and Increasing Facebook ‘Likes’
2) Infographic: “Using Email, Social and Mobile to Build Your Email Database
3) Blog: “Building Your List: Challenges and Solutions


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