The average churn rate (people who unsubscribe plus email addresses that hard-bounce over a 12-month period) for email lists in public media is currently 14% (MailChimp). For your station to be effective at email marketing and fundraising, you must make a concerted effort to grow your email list year-round. Below are three of the easiest, most effective ways to do that.
1. Prominently feature an email opt-in on your website.
Email marketing services provide email opt-forms that can be copied, pasted, and embedded inside your station’s website. At the most, require an email address and first name to subscribe and position the email opt-in prominently on your website, not just on the homepage but on every page of your website. To clarify, the email opt-in should be located above the fold on your homepage and embedded in the top of the right/left column of your news stories and/or blog pages.
2. Create an email opt-in landing page and share it on social media.
In addition to having an embedded email opt-in form on your website, your station should also create a separate, stand-alone web page with an embedded email opt-in form that you can share directly on social media. At the top of the page, provide a call-to-subscribe and list how often subscribers can expect to receive emails from your station (weekly news updates and event announcements, special programming and/or breaking news alerts, etc.)
3. Require an email opt-in to enter giveaways.
To quickly grow your email list, launch a monthly – or even weekly – giveaway program. To begin, create a landing page (callletters.org/giveaways) and list your giveaways, such as movie tickets, branded merchandise, or gift cards. Then promote the program on social media, on-air, and feature an ad for the program on your website. You’ll need to publish contest rules on the page as well. See wamu.org/giveaways for an example.