Email List Growth Trends Trends [Research]

Email List Growth Trends

Email is consistently one of the highest converting marketing channels available.

But what strategies and tactics are marketers using to increase the number of those receiving their email?

To find out, Ascend2 and our Research Partners fielded the Email List Growth Trends Survey. We thank the marketing influencers responding to this survey for sharing their valuable insights with us, and you.

The data in this edition of the study titled the Email List Growth Trends Survey Summary Report represents the average of all market segments responding to the survey. Specific segments from the survey are reported on separately and exclusively by our participating Research Partners.

This research has been produced for your use. Put it to work in your own marketing strategy. Clip the charts and write about them in your blog or post them on social media. Please share this research credited as published.

View the entire report and charts here!

Table of Contents

  • Strategic Objectives
  • Rating Strategic Success
  • Critical Challenges
  • Sales Cycle Encountered
  • Objectives Versus Challenges
  • Tactical Effectiveness
  • How Effectiveness is Changing
  • Effort Required to Perform
  • Tactical Resources Used
  • Effectiveness Versus Effort

Increasing the rate at which visitors opt-in to receive email is an important objective for more than half (55%) of marketing influencers. This rate of conversion is often driven by the level of relevancy and/or value of the content offered, an important objective for (52%) of marketing influencers.

A total of 82% of marketing influencers consider their email list growth strategy successful to some extent with three-out-of-ten of the total (31%) referring to it as best-in-class. The remaining 18% are still struggling to achieve the important objectives of their strategy.

Increasing sign-up conversion rates and improving content relevancy/value are not only most important objectives, but for 46% and 45% of marketing influencers respectively, they are also critical challenges to achieving email list growth success.

Regardless of the type of sales cycle encountered, it is imperative that an achievable strategy for the continuous growth of a quality email list is applied.

Analyzing the importance of objectives in comparison to the challenge of achieving them provides a unique perspective on developing a successful email list growth strategy.

Social media advertising, content marketing and SEO are effective email list growth tactics used by the most marketing influencers. Adding social login/sign-up capabilities to web forms has become an effective method for making the opt-in process simpler and easier for email list subscribers.

The trend shows an increase in the effectiveness of email list growth tactics for nearly nine-out-of-ten marketing influencers (89%). This trend is likely due to the increasing maturity of both email marketing experience and technology. Regrettably, effectiveness is decreasing for the remaining 11%.

The skill, time and expense required to perform tactics is an important consideration when developing a plan to achieve email list growth objectives. Creating and distributing relevant content of value to the target audience is a tactic requiring significant effort for half (50%) of marketers.

To perform content marketing and other tactics requiring significant effort, 85% of companies are outsourcing all or part of their email list growth strategy to gain capabilities and skills not available in-house. Only 15% are relying on in-house resources only.

Tactics that are much more effective than they are difficult to perform
(social media advertising, social login/sign-up, and contests and giveaways, for example), are more likely to be included in a successful email list growth strategy and less likely to require outsourcing to a specialist.


Ascend2 benchmarks the performance of popular digital marketing technologies and strategies using a standardized questionnaire and proprietary 3-Minute Survey format.

The 255 respondents are representative of the following:

Number of Employees

  • More than 500: 46%
  • 50 to 500: 36%
  • Fewer than 50: 18%

Role in the Company

  • Owner / Partner / CXO: 32%
  • VP / Director / Manager: 56%
  • Non-Management: 12%

Primary Marketing Channel

  • B2B: 36%
  • B2C: 39%
  • B2B and B2C Equally: 25%

View the entire report and charts here!