CONSUMER LIST MANAGEMENT Overcoming Challenges To Growing & Maintaining Your List CONSUMER LIST MANAGEMENT

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1 CONSUMER LIST MANAGEMENT Overcoming Challenges To Growing & Maintaining Your List 1

2 Consumer List Management Ascend2 Research Conducted in Partnership with BlueHornet. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. You may adapt, copy, distribute and transmit this work. However, you must attribute the work as produced by Ascend2 and its Research Partners but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work. 2

3 Table of Contents Growing & Maintaining Consumer Lists 4 Most Important Marketing Objectives 5 How Successful is Your Marketing? 6 Most Challenging Obstacles to Success 7 The Importance of Consumer List Growth 8 How is List Size Changing? 9 Most Effective List Growth Tactics Used 10 Most Difficult List Growth Tactics to Execute 11 Resources Used to Execute Tactics 12 Tactical Effectiveness Versus Executional Difficulty 13 Form Fields Used for List Growth 14 Survey Methodology and Demographics 15 About the Research Partners 16 3

4 Growing & Maintaining Consumer Lists Growing and maintaining consumer lists is very important to the overall success of marketing programs for 68% of business-to-consumer companies surveyed. But how will consumer marketers overcome new challenges to list growth in the year ahead? To find out, Ascend2 and BlueHornet fielded the List Growth Survey and completed interviews with 251 marketing, sales and business professionals from around the world. The data in this edition of the study titled Consumer List Management represents the opinions of the 106 B2C companies participating in the survey. We thank these busy professionals for sharing their insights with you. This research has been produced for your use. Put it to work in your own marketing strategy planning and presentation materials. Clip the charts and write about them in your blog or post them on social media. Please share this research credited as published. Best regards, Kim Tucker Marketing Director 4

5 Most Important Marketing Objectives The only thing B2C marketers want more than list growth is to increase conversion rates. Whether a conversion means capturing subscriber information or transacting an online sale, it is the most important objective for marketing in the year ahead. 5

6 How Successful is Your Marketing? Seven out of ten B2C marketers rate their marketing strategy successful to some extent. However, only 17% consider it very successful and nearly as many (12%) consider their marketing very unsuccessful. <<Suggest including the at left graph on slide 7 as lead in to challenges. If the same question was asked last year, comparing results YOY would be interesting>> 6

7 Most Challenging Obstacles to Success Achieving list growth success requires that B2C marketers overcome a number of challenging and often overwhelming obstacles. These obstacles include a lack of list hygiene practices, content relevancy, strategy effectiveness and in-house list growth expertise. Considerations: Quality over quantity is hard to accept when you re trying to grow your list, but remember, invalid subscribers don t contribute to meaningful list growth and high subscriber lifetime value. Filter addresses through a welcome program to weed out invalids before sending any offers. Even better, scrub your data through a validation service to ensure clean lists. 7

8 The Importance of Consumer List Growth More than two-thirds (68%) of B2C companies consider list growth very important to the overall success of their marketing program. list growth is not important to only 5% of consumer marketing programs. Considerations: According to industry experts, your list will actually shrink 30% annually due to subscribers changing their address alone. Remember to factor in this natural attrition when you set your target list growth goals. 8

9 How is List Size Changing? Despite the challenges, consumer lists are growing rapidly for 20% of companies and growing slowly for another 54%. list size is not changing or worse shrinking for the remaining 26%. Considerations: If your list is growing slowly or shrinking first understand why: 1. What is the ratio of new subscribers to opt outs and hard bounces? 2. Which acquisition source is most effective? Least effective? 3. Do you have a preference center or opt-down page to help prevent opt-outs? Once you understand the above, you can begin to identify opportunities for list improvement and growth. 9

10 Most Effective List Growth Tactics Used Providing access to private, value-added sections of a website barely tops social media sharing as the most effective tactic used for growing consumer lists. At the bottom of the list are offline tactics such as capturing information in-store or in call center conversations. Optimize your website for subscriber acquisition: 1. Include homepage and additional page opt-ins in visible, easy to access locations. 2. Test interstitial or pop-up opt-ins. Your consumers may respond well -- or find them intrusive. 3. Validate subscribers at every point of acquisition to ensure quality of data 10

11 Most Difficult List Growth Tactics to Execute Considerations: Determining the degree of difficulty to execute a tactic often includes the time, effort and expense required. Social media sharing requires significant time and effort, but little direct expense. However, it is still ranked as the most difficult tactic to execute for consumer list growth purposes. Increase your social acquisition by offering incentives to subscribers for sharing content. Make it easy for subscribers to share your content socially by including share links with pre-populated content you provide. Track social sharing data and reward your brand loyalists when they encourage others to engage with your brand. 11

12 Resources Used to Execute Tactics While most (58%) of B2C companies use in-house resources exclusively to execute list growth tactics, 42% outsource all or part of these tactics to access the specialized skills and expertise not available in-house, and to improve marketing program performance. 12

13 Tactical Effectiveness Versus Executional Difficulty Providing access to private, added-value sections of a website is a far more effective list growth tactic to use than it is difficult to execute. As opposed to engaging consumers with social media sharing which is almost equally effective and difficult for consumer marketers. 13

14 Form Fields Used for List Growth Most list growth tactics require a form to capture subscriber information. The number of fields in a form may vary, but the optimization principles remain the same: Fewer fields generate more, less qualified subscribers. More fields generate fewer, more qualified subscribers. Considerations: It s important to only collect mandatory fields. Tactics such as a preference center or progressive profiling can be used to acquire more data if you need it. For website opt-in, blog or newsletter subscription, it is optimal to collect only address. For a my account page, more fields such as first and last name are acceptable. 14

15 Survey Methodology and Demographics Ascend2 benchmarks the performance of popular digital marketing strategies and practices using a standardized questionnaire, research methodology and proprietary 3-Minute Survey format. Findings are examined in a quantitative context by experienced analysts and reported objectively. This survey was conducted online from a panel of more than 50,000 US and international marketing, sales and business professionals representing a range of company sizes and roles. The segment of survey responses used for this report is as follows: Number of Employees More than 500 (Large) 16% 50 to 500 (Medium) 30% Fewer than 50 (Small) 54% Role in the Company CEO / COO / CMO / CSO etc 27% Marketing VP / Director / Manager 34% Sales VP / Director / Manager 5% Marketing or Sales Staff 25% Other 9% 15

16 About the Research Partners We Are Marketing. As channel experts, we deliver powerful technology and 360 Support to ensure your success. BlueHornet extends your marketing team s expertise with our intuitive, all-inclusive -marketing software platform and services. With BlueHornet, you can quickly and efficiently implement sophisticated, data-driven lifecycle messaging programs for rapid return on investment. Learn more at Research-Based Demand Generation for Marketing Solution Providers If marketing professionals are your ideal prospects, we can help you find more of them. Marketing software, data and media companies, and digital marketing agencies partner with Ascend2 to reliably generate demand and supplement marketing content for their firms. Our Research Partner Programs are transparent spotlighting your brand and the interests of your market. Learn more at 16

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