Ready! Acquire! Aim?

One of the biggest topics in organizations today is the need
and desire to grow their subscriber list. 
Most companies believe that the bigger the list they have, the greater
chance they have to sell more stuff. 
More stuff sold + more revenue = happy companies.

Some organizations take the hard road and build their list
organically and spend money and resources on properly activating and creating
brand advocates in their subscriber base. 
They recognize that the size of their list is not as important as the
overall lifetime value of their subscriber.  These organizations often have pressure internally to grow
faster by out of touch executives with unrealistic expectations on subscriber
growth.  In most cases though,
these companies follow the good path to growth and are prosperous in the long

Then, every once in awhile there are organizations that take
the easy road.  They use so many
different channels, spend a ton of money on third parties that promise the
world who often are using the same 50 Million Opt In, Can-Spam compliant list
to try and bring in as many subscribers as they can.  These organizations say they are interested in quality, but
often mask that with a “yea butt” statement of “we still need to get to X
million subscribers by X date”.  Activation, welcome and engagement strategies are
thrown out the window and the focus becomes on getting their X subscribers to
buy stuff so their investment is not wasted. 

Sit back for a minute and think of acquiring a single or 5
million new subscribers as a party that you are hosting.  You certainly would not invite anyone
over to your party unless you had cleaned up your house, got the hors d'oeuvres,
the drinks, music etc.   When your guests arrive, do you open the
door and let them stand there or do you give the tour of where everything is so
that they can enjoy themselves.  As
more and more people hear about how great your party is, folks will want a
piece of the action and convince you to invite their friends.  Eventually it will lead to a bunch of
riff raffs wanting in which will eventually ruin it for everyone.

Before you put some super aggressive acquisition plan
together, ensure that your house is in order and you are ready to greet your
guests. One of my colleagues and fellow bloggers here, Matt Vernhount says is
beautifully: “It’s not the size of your list, its what you do with it”

Invest time and money to the more important part of
acquisition.  You and your
subscribers will be glad you did.

Andrew Kordek

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Trendline Interactive

Chief Strategist and Co-Founder at Trendline Interactive.

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2 Responses to “Ready! Acquire! Aim?”

  1. Jordan Cohen
    June 17, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Nice post Andrew, I agree with almost all of it, except for the quote from Matt V (hi Matt :-)

    I'd say that "It IS the size of your list, and what you do with it."

    Aggressive list growth is a legitimate goal, so long as marketers don't "take the easy road," to achieve it, as you said.

    The most successful marketers will seek out and leverage every option they have to continuously acquire new, engaged subscribers–the right way.

  2. Matt V - @EmailKarma
    June 17, 2010 at 11:21 am #


    Many people focus on Quantity vs Quality, and they spend too much time focusing on MORE names not BETTER names.

    This type of discussion always makes me think of the SOI vs COI argument – so many people don't confirm so we don't do it. I've seen Stats time and time again of 80-90% opt-in confirmation rates – thus Quality names in Quantity vs straight Quantity of names.

    I'd never discount the idea of more names is better – but how you interact and nurture those subscribers. Ultimately it is the idea of being an individual vs. being a number – and what you DO with the lists.

    Smarter marketing to lists with segmented offers, on topic information and easy to manage preferences is the true meaning behind's slogan "It's not the size of your list, it's how you use it."