How to build, grow and maintain an email database


Staying on top of your email database is the most important of email marketing.

Statistics show that your database will degrade by an average of 23 per cent each year as people move companies, opt-out and abandon old email addresses.

Professional marketers have to constantly add fresh contacts to maintain their open rate numbers.

While you might not have the luxury of a marketing manager, here are some things that you can do to grow your email list for free.


Using email

  • Create useful email content - it sounds obvious, but if your email content is relevant and interesting, people will stay subscribed and forward your emails to colleagues, family and friends
  • Encourage sharing - Add social sharing buttons and ‘Email to a friend’ buttons prominently to your designs. Keep a simple subscribe Call To Action link at the bottom of your email for those who have been forwarded it to sign up really easily
  • Collect data at every opportunity - Make sure you collect email addresses whenever you get the chance. This could include when they are: signing in to use your WiFi, booking a table online, signing up for an event, entering a raffle/competition/giveaway, filling in feedback forms. See Data Protection Act
  • Create multiple email subscription types - segment your audience into different categories, so that you can send targeted emails - this will improve open rates
  • Reinvigorate a stale list - If you have old data that you suspect may be largely out of date, send out an engaging/incentivised opt-in campaign promising to remove contacts who don’t respond. Cleaning up old or dead contacts will increase engagement levels and open rates
  • Add a subscribe link to the signature of your pub’s email address


Using other channels

  • Make sure you mention your newsletter and add a subscribe link to your website
  • Promote your subscribe and data capture promotions via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. If you can spare the budget, it might be worth putting some budget behind advertising to a targeted audience in your local area on Facebook and Twitter. The costs for this would be fairly reasonable.
  • Add a ‘Sign Up’ Call To Action button to the top of your Facebook Page, which can link to your email subscription page.
  • Include a short link or QR code that links to your subscribe page to all promotional material in the pub, including your menus, posters, table talkers etc