Two months ago we launched a new feature in beta (of course) with one of our long-running clients, Business Insider. Unlike the usual updates on the personalization side of things, this time we decided to take on an age old challenge in the email world: list growth.

Our dev team was eager to tackle the challenge of tweaking our onsite recommendation capability so it could serve as a newsletter sign up opportunity. The results are pretty remarkable: 3 weeks after it launched, Business Insider saw a 26% increase in the rate of sign up’s compared to the 3 weeks prior to launching the feature. And a 35% increase when compared to the start of the year.

How did we get here?

Read any one of the numerous “top 10 challenges in email marketing” articles, and one of the topics inevitably is email list growth. We agree, as we often hear this as a key challenge among our clients.

But the advice out there is as old as email itself: collect an email address at checkout, embed a sign up link on your homepage, include a newsletter call-to-action on social media sites, etc. Why try to collect an address at the end of a transaction process, when the customer is likely already “checked out” of your site, both literally and figuratively?

Customers are getting tired of this, so much that services that offer fake email addresses to solve this problem have launched. We knew we could offer list growth in a better, less annoying and more effective approach. The challenge was to drive user engagement (and subsequent sign ups) while utilizing the core strengths of Sailthru’s technology. And here’s where we landed.

We leveraged our onsite recommendation capability, which we call Concierge, to recognize those not on a current email list and to serve up a request for newsletter sign up. This provided an easy, non-intrusive way to capture new users who were currently engaging on Business Insider’s site. Users can simply add their email address and continue reading content without interruption, which they did to a noticeable increase in registration.

Yet another example where one part inspiration (thanks to our clients!) and one part perspiration (thanks to our awesome dev team!) created strong results. We’ll be rolling it out more widely soon so keep an eye out for additional advice on how to use this capability to grow your lists.