List Acquisition and Email Validation – 10 Examples for Organic List Growth

Posted by Sebastian Kluth on

As previously mentioned in the first blog post of this series—Fundamentals and Strategic Background–an organic list growth strategy will ensure long-term email performance and a better overall email list quality.

All senders should focus on organic list growth and making use of all possible touch points the brand environment provides. The closer an email subscriber is aligned to the brand values and brand experience, the higher the probability to get the primary account email with a high user engagement and long term participation in your email program.

To maximize the efficiency of organic list growth, every email marketer should consider that subscribers prefer different touch points based on their personal preferences. For some, it is just enough to provide the text link in the footer, some are looking for incentives to sign up, and others are signing up while already interacting with the website or online shop, such as the purchase process. By taking advantage of all the different touch points where customers interact with your brand, you can increase your acquisition of quality email addresses.

The following 10 touch points to acquire email address through organic sources and may help you to update or expand your acquisition strategy.

  1. Quite obvious, but still a lot of missing potential for most senders – the homepage. It is still an ongoing competition in online marketing departments to place promotion and display boxes or newsletter promotions because of being afraid to lose sales because of the prominent newsletter sign up box. But the sender medimops.de shows a nice way to combine both:
  2. Still staying on the homepage, the header navigation elements also gets a lot of subscriber awareness, so is a great opportunity to win newsletter subscribers. From a usability and reader perspective, all users begin at the very top left corner to enter a website. The Peter Hahn fashion brand is using this approach:
  3. Another common position to place the newsletter sign up form is the footer section as seen at C&A fashion brand. Just the email address and two button for either female or male gender sign up:
  4. A more aggressive way to get the users attention for the subscription process is using lightboxes or popups. HSE24 is using this after a user reaches the website’s homepage:

  5. Most websites or online shops provide an account registration service that can also be used for winning newsletter subscriber, like Zalando is doing:

  6. The highest involvement of users in online shops comes along with the purchase process which also provides the best brand connection and awareness to also ask for the email permission as JAKO-O is doing below the postal address submission for shipping:


  7. Everyone thinks sweepstakes are a typical third party acquisition source, but it isn’t and can be used as well by a brand itself. Every brand is doing search engine optimization or advertising, why not using this way to promote a brand owned sweepstake like Mueller.de does:
  8. Once the internet user is surfing and clicking through your website, you can also provide newsletter CTA’s with your content pages for sign up touch points. The news pages stern.de is using this organic touchpoint to win newsletter subscribers:
  9. You can also take advantage of your other marketing channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest as a promotional source for new subscribers. The Swiss brand Coop is using Facebook to collect new subscriber:
  10. For senders who are doing business online as well as in store, Loyalty Cards or Service Cards also provide a great opportunity to win high quality and engaged email subscribers. Tchibo.de is acquiring newsletter subscribers through the card registration process at their shops:

Additional Guidelines and Recommendations

It doesn’t matter which way you choose to acquire new subscribers through your organic touchpoints, it is important to use double opt in and be compliant with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations)

Ask for the minimum of data first and follow up with further communications to provide additional profile data information–progressive profiling is a smart way to enrich new subscribed email addresses.

We also recommend providing easy access for the subscriber to the submitted data. An account and preference center ensures that subscriber can update, change or submit preferences and additional data.

Trust and transparency is key for a long term brand subscriber relationship and this is the factor every sender can influence directly. Looking for more ways to obtain quality subscribers. Download our guide—50+ Ways to Grow Your Email List

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About Sebastian Kluth

Sebastian Kluth is an Email Strategist at Return Path. He has been with Return Path since July 2014. He uses email intelligence data to provide customized solutions for deliverability and email optimization. He built his experience as a Senior Key Account Manager and Project Manager working for major German brands, agencies, and an email service provider and was responsible for implementing e-mail marketing campaigns as well as consulting and project management. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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