Email Acquisition Best Practices 101


Email is one of the most powerful marketing channels in your arsenal. However, according to Hubspot, “email marketing databases naturally degrade by about 22.5% every year.” 

Data decay could be affecting your deliverability rates. It could also be cannibalizing your email list. That’s why it’s crucial to grow your list. (And, no, growing your email list does not mean purchasing lists.)

Just as important as growing your list is managing your existing subscribers. You’ve got to keep them engaged and deliver to them only the content they’d like to see. 

So, how can you acquire new subscribers without neglecting your loyal subscribers? 

Download this Pre-Send Email Checklist before your next email campaign.

Manage your existing contacts:

Take the time to get a handle on how many of your subscribers are actively engaged. Pay attention to your click-through rates and conversion rates. These metrics will help you determine how many people read your emails and then go on to convert. 

Run an opt-in campaign. 

Run an opt-in campaign to help you figure out who in your email list is actively engaged with your content. 

  • Ask your subscribers if the content you’re delivering is still relevant to them. 
  • Give them an option to manage their email preferences with you. 
  • Give them the chance to select email frequency and tell you which subjects or services they’d like to hear about. 

Verify and clean your email list. 

Double opt-in, ReCaptcha, and Lead Validation are all great ways to protect your lead capture forms. Even with those, you could still have threats like temporary email addresses and spam traps hiding in your email list. How? 

When email IDs degrade, that means they’re usually abandoned and could then be repurposed as spam traps or honeypots. A former valid subscriber could become a high-level threat, one that could do severe damage to your email sender reputation and land you in the spam folder. 

You could also have disposable domains in your email address. Individuals often use these temporary email addresses to access a limited-time offer or promotion. They use the address to open your email, click on the link, and convert to a sale. Then the email address times out. You have no idea and keep sending to it, increasing your chances of damaging your sender reputation. 

Use an email verification and hygiene service to check your email list and identify any lingering threats in your email database.  Email marketers should practice database verification and hygiene checks every 2-4 months to maintain database integrity.

The Complete Guide to Email Hygiene

Take another look at your segmentation strategy. 

According to HubSpot, “marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue.” 

Segment your lists with these three steps.

  1. Create buyer personas to send personalized emails based on demographic or content and product preferences.
  2. Create behavioral triggers. For example, when a subscriber visits a page on your website, send an automated follow-up email with a relevant content offer or promotion. 
  3. A/B test your segments to determine which messaging, content and lead magnets are most effective for eliciting clicks and conversions. 
  4. Leverage both regular emails and automated emails in your email marketing strategy.

Free ebook: Maximize Revenue with Data Enhancement and Segmentation

In addition to ongoing maintenance on your existing email list, you should be actively campaigning for NEW subscribers and focused on delivering the right message, to the right audience, at the right time to mitigate list churn. 

Here are 11 ways to acquire new email subscribers:

  1. Share the love: Encourage subscribers to share and forward your emails.
  2. Gated Assets: Generate a relevant and enticing gated asset or lead magnet, such as an ebook or guide that solves a typical buyer persona problem to attract new subscribers. 
  3. Email Signatures: Add an opt-in link to employees’ signatures.
  4. Free Tools: Create a free online tool that requires an email address to access. These could include a checklist, SlideShare, or content mapping Google Doc.
  5. Subscription-based content marketing: Create bonus blog, video, or other content that provides additional value to your target audience and requires an email subscription.
  6. Social Channels: Promote gated assets on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  7. Facebook Cover Photo: Add your email newsletter to your Facebook page cover photo.
  8. Facebook Call to Action: Add Subscribe or Sign up to your Facebook as your page’s call to action.
  9. Newsletter Previews: Share newsletter previews on your social channels.
  10. Website: Your website can be a lead-generating machine if it’s optimized well.
    • Utilize well-timed pop-up forms encouraging visitors to subscribe to your newsletter or blog.
    • Shorten the length of your lead-capture forms to encourage more visitors to fill them out.
    • Include a relevant call to action on each page. One that requires an email address to access.
    • A/B test call to action copy to determine the most effective for your audience.
    • Create an outstanding blog
  11. Thought Leadership Partnerships: Leverage thought leadership partnerships to broaden your reach.
    • Include guest posts in your blog strategy. 
    • Guest blog on other relevant sites.
    • Partner to feature other email subscriptions in your newsletter. 
    • Ask partners to feature your email newsletter in their newsletters.
    • Create co-marketing offers as part of your blog or webinar series.
    • If you have some budget available, look into banner ad sponsorships on industry publication websites. 

Email acquisition is all about providing value to each one of your subscribers. 

Ultimately, you should be providing relevant content to new and existing subscribers. The best way to grow your list is to use multi-channel opt-in campaigns and ask your existing subscribers to spread the word.

Enlist the above methods to get started managing and growing your email database. 


Melissa McGaughey, Director of Marketing at Webbula 

Melissa McGaughey is an SEO Strategist and Inbound Content Marketer with a decade of experience in B2B spaces. With a background in Agile Scrum methodology, developing processes and systems to streamline workflows, enhance productivity, and drive ROI is her jam. 

Webbula is the undisputed industry leader in Email Hygiene, Data Enhancement, and Audience Targeting services. Check out to see what Webbula has to offer.

Verify, Protect and Grow Your Database