Report finds more emailers using discounts, incentives to grow lists

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Email has been around since the beginning of the internet, with brands creating and building lists for decades. Still, consumers’ renewed interest in email to get product and brand news and at the same time opting out of data tracking on many platforms has pushed many to renew their efforts to grow email lists.

“Over the past year and a half, email marketing has significantly grown in importance as “Big Tech’s” crackdown on the use of third-party cookies for ad targeting continues to diminish online display and social newsfeed ad efficiency and effectiveness,” said Jonathan Treiber, CEO, RevTrax. “Marketers have been shifting to the use of alternative digital identifiers for targeting across channels, and email addresses have emerged as the primary “digital ID” to deliver personalized marketing to consumers. This is both for traditional email marketing, as well as for targeting beyond the confines of the inbox. As such, the urgency around acquiring consumers’ email addresses using a privacy-by-design approach has never been greater.”

To build their lists, a growing number of marketers are using discounts to incentivize opt-ins. About one-quarter of retail marketers are using percentage off offers for email sign-ups however, fewer than 10% of CPG and QSR brands are doing the same. In fact, many CPG and QSR brands aren’t offering either percentage off, cash discounts, or alternatives like free shipping to gain more opt-ins to email lists. This, say the experts, is a mistake as the busy holiday season ramps up.

“Providing a clear value exchange is the motivating force for shoppers to share their data, especially now, as they’ve gotten more price-sensitive and discount-dependent since the pandemic. But our view is that discounts and incentives shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all, but instead should be personalized and optimized by leveraging data, insights, and the latest advancements in artificial intelligence, in order to motivate the highest volume of high-quality opt-ins, while also optimizing profits,” said Treiber.

More data from the RevTrax Opt-In Value Exchange report can be accessed here.



Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with, NBC News,, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.