Learning how to grow an email list is one of the best things you can do for your business.
According to the Data & Marketing Association, 99% of consumers check their email daily. Similarly, Content Marketing Institute’s research shows that 40% of marketers consider email marketing vital to their content marketing success.
The above statistics are a good indicator of learning how to build an email list for your business.
What is an email list?
An email list, often referred to as an customer list or mailing list, is a collection of email addresses gathered from individuals or entities who have provided their consent to receive communication from a particular sender or organization.
Email lists serve as a valuable tool for businesses, marketers, and organizations to engage with their audience, deliver updates, promotions, or information, and build and maintain relationships.
They are typically used for sending newsletters, product updates, promotional offers, and other relevant content.
Building and managing an email list ethically and in compliance with data protection laws is essential for effective email marketing campaigns.
Why grow an email list?
Growing an email list is crucial for several reasons:
- Direct communication: Email provides a direct and personal channel to communicate with your audience. Unlike social media or other platforms, email ensures your message reaches your subscribers’ inboxes, increasing the likelihood of engagement.
- Audience ownership: Unlike social media followers or website visitors, your email list is an asset you own. You have control over your list, and it’s not subject to changes in algorithms or platform policies.
- Targeted marketing: An email list consists of subscribers who have shown interest in your brand, product, or content. This allows for highly targeted and relevant marketing campaigns, increasing conversion rates.
- Analytics and insights: Email marketing platforms provide valuable analytics, helping you understand subscriber behavior, preferences, and campaign effectiveness. This data allows for continuous improvement.
- Promotion and sales: Email lists are powerful for promoting products or services, announcing new launches, and driving sales, making them indispensable for e-commerce and businesses.
How do you grow your email list?
In this guide, we’ll share email marketing tips to help you generate more subscribers.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- What to do before you start growing your email list?
- How to use your website to encourage visitors to sign up?
- How to get more subscribers from your social media profiles?
- Different ways to grow your list using offline methods.
- What to do before you start growing your email list?
Before you start growing your email list, there is one thing you must do: create an interesting and engaging incentive.
According to a McKinsey analysis, we spend 28% of the workweek reading and answering emails.
That’s a lot to go through.
The last thing anyone wants is more emails without a good reason.
An exciting lead magnet provides value and encourages visitors to join your email list.
Some email list incentive ideas include:
- A simple discount code
- A fun quiz
- An email course
- An e-book
A free incentive is more likely to help you get subscribers than just inviting them to sign up for a newsletter.
Once you have a great incentive, you can implement these 17 creative tactics to grow your email list.
Use your website to grow your email list
Your website should be more than a page that talks about your company.
Here are a few amazing ideas on how to grow your business email list through your website:
1. Include sign up forms throughout your website
You should first add an email sign-up form on your homepage. However, your website visitors may arrive at other pages first, like a blog post, your services page, or the About page.
Consider all the places where it makes sense to add sign-up forms throughout your website. Then, make it easy for anyone who decides to subscribe.
2. Add a call-to-action in every blog post
If you have a business blog, include a call-to-action (CTA) in every blog post you publish. The CTA should lead your visitors to a landing page where they can sign up for your email list.
You can also include a sign-up form in your blog post and a preview of your lead magnet.
3. Use an announcement bar to promote a lead magnet
An announcement bar at the top of your website is great for promoting your lead magnet. Since it sits at the top of every page, it’s immediately visible wherever someone lands on your website.
For example, your announcement bar should link to your email list sign-up form or lead magnet landing page.
4. Ask for email addresses at the point of sale
A Jupiter Research study shows that in-store and face-to-face events rank second in effective techniques for email acquisition.
Get the most from your efforts by training staff to ask for information from every customer and explaining what’s in it for them.
5. Offer different incentive types to segment your list
Your website visitors won’t all be interested in the same thing. Nor will they be at the same stage of the buyer’s journey.
Use different lead magnets to segment your email list based on your subscribers’ interests or buying potential.
Segmenting your list helps you:
- Grow your list faster.
- Send targeted email campaigns, improving your open rates, click-through rates, and overall conversion rates.
6. Offer exclusive discounts during holiday sales
For many businesses, holiday offers are their biggest revenue generators. But beyond that, holiday sales can also help you gain a lot of email subscribers.
Here are a few crucial tips on how to grow your email list during holiday sales:
- Offer an exclusive coupon code for visitors who join your list.
- Make a super-secret product just for visitors who sign up for your email list.
- Promise exclusive sales through your newsletter.
- Give subscribers access to sale items before the public.
7. Offer a promotional price with the purchase
Either ask for contact information at the register (or on your shopping cart checkout page) and hand over the incentive immediately or ask for an email address to send a discount code on the next purchase.
8. Make every contact point an opportunity
Every customer service call, every request for a brochure or catalog, every follow-up call, and every price quote inquiry is a golden opportunity to add another person to your campaign list.
9. Publish industry research
Provide downloadable e-books, product catalogs, and owner’s manuals in PDF form to potential customers; becoming a thought leader in your area makes you the go-to resource for information. Require email information to download the information.
10. Use social proof
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people tend to follow the actions and decisions of others when they are uncertain about what to do. In the context of growing your email list, social proof involves using evidence of existing subscribers or endorsements from trusted individuals or organizations to persuade more people to subscribe to your email list.
How to grow your business email list using social media
Your social media profiles are excellent places to promote your email list and encourage your followers to sign-up.
1. Promote your landing page with a link in your Instagram bio
You can also add a link to your website in your Instagram bio. But, instead of linking to your homepage, link to your lead magnet’s landing page — complete with an email sign-up form.
Make it easy for your followers to click through and join your email list.
Promote your lead magnet at least once a week on your Instagram feed and Instagram Stories. If you have the swipe-up feature on Instagram Stories, you can use it to link to that landing page, as well.
2. Create engaging Instagram posts
Craft visually appealing and relevant Instagram posts that encourage followers to subscribe. Use attention-grabbing captions and interactive features like polls or quizzes to engage users.
3. Run Facebook ads
Utilize Facebook’s advertising capabilities to target specific demographics and interests. Create compelling ad campaigns with clear calls-to-action for signing up to your email list.
4. Add a call-to-action to your Facebook page
Consider taking advantage of Facebook’s business tools when determining how to grow your email list. For example, add a call-to-action button on your page, which sends your Facebook audience to a landing page for them to sign up for your email list.
Some tools will help you add an email sign-up form directly to your Facebook page. Some email marketing providers offer this feature natively, while others can be integrated through a third-party app like Wishpond or ShortStack.
Here are some other tips on how to grow your email list through Facebook:
- Promote your lead magnet in Facebook groups.
- Go live and mention your lead magnet.
- Share your latest newsletter campaign and invite people to sign up.
5. Include share buttons on thank you pages
After someone signs up for your mailing list, redirect them to a thank you page with social media share buttons. Then, invite your new subscribers to share the valuable lead magnet they’ve received with their friends.
When they share information about your lead magnet, more people will learn about it, resulting in more sign-ups for your email list.
6. Run a contest
Social media contests can boost your engagement rate and help you gain new followers. They can also help you in your quest to learn how to grow your business email list. There are various contests to consider, including sweepstakes, photo captions, and comment-to-win.
Contests can work well on any social media platform. For a successful contest, offer a valuable prize related to your main product offering. In addition, encourage email sign-ups by providing up-to-date information about the contest in your newsletter.
7. Make short introductory videos
Share brief videos introducing your brand and its value proposition. Include a call-to-action directing viewers to subscribe to your email list for updates or exclusive content.
8. Create how-to videos
Produce informative how-to videos related to your niche. Promote these videos on platforms like YouTube and encourage viewers to subscribe to receive more educational content via email.
9. Use Twitter lead generation cards
Twitter offers lead generation cards that allow users to sign up for your email list directly from a tweet. Craft enticing messages and visuals to capture leads effectively.
10. Utilize YouTube
Create and optimize your YouTube channel to attract subscribers. Include links to your email sign up page in video descriptions and encourage viewers to subscribe for more valuable content.
11. Use Pinterest
Share visually appealing pins that lead users to dedicated landing pages for email sign ups. Create boards related to your industry and engage with your audience.
12. Add QR codes to your display ads
Incorporate QR codes in offline marketing materials or display ads. When scanned, these codes can lead potential subscribers to your email sign up page.
13. Utilize guest blogging
Write guest blog posts for reputable websites within your industry. Include a call-to-action within your author bio, directing readers to subscribe to your email list for additional insights.
14. Implement affiliate marketing
Partner with affiliates or influencers to promote your email list. Offer incentives for each subscriber they refer, such as exclusive discounts or content.
Email marketing tips for growing your list with offline methods
You can also find subscribers outside the digital space. Here’s how you can grow your email list with offline methods:
Tip 1. Use a signup sheet
Use a sign-up sheet to grow your email list if you have a brick-and-mortar storefront. For example, you can ask customers to sign up during the checkout process and offer a discount if they do.
In addition, several sheets placed throughout your store might encourage buyers to sign up while browsing.
Tip 2. Collect email addresses at events
Networking events or trade shows can provide excellent opportunities to grow your email list. You can use a sign-up sheet just like you would in your store. Some email marketing software even comes with a mobile app, so you can use an iPad to collect email addresses from event attendees.
Virtual events provide a fantastic opportunity to ask participants to join your email list. As a speaker or sponsor, you can post links to a landing page where attendees can learn more about your business. This landing page should also include a sign-up form that offers a download related to your presentation.
Tip 3. Use word-of-mouth advertising
Customers share their finds with friends and family whenever they enjoy an exceptional sale. Remember, Infusion found that 62 percent of business owners claim that encouraging referrals and word of mouth is the best lead generation tool.
How do you encourage your customers to spread the word? Make them happy! Offer regular sales, bulk discounts, fun contests, and exceptional customer service.
Tip 4. Encourage people to text to join your list
Make it easy for your audience to join your list by offering a text-to-join option. Some email marketing providers like Constant Contact and Mailchimp offer integrations that make it easy to enable this feature. Here’s a quick example from the SimpleTexting service:
With this option, you’ll set a keyword (like “JOIN”) that people can text to a five-digit shortcode. Then you simply promote the keyword, and people who send a text to the shortcode are automatically added to your list.
Tip 5. Host events
Organize in-person events, workshops, or seminars related to your industry or niche. Promote these events through various channels, both online and offline, to attract a targeted audience.
During the event, collect attendees’ email addresses by providing sign-up sheets or tablets for on-the-spot registrations. Highlight the benefits of subscribing to your email list, such as receiving event updates, exclusive content, or special offers.
Tip 6. Ask at events
Attend industry-related conferences, trade shows, or networking events. When engaging with attendees, initiate conversations about their interests and needs within your niche.
If there is a relevant connection, kindly ask if they would like to join your email list to receive valuable insights, event notifications, or industry updates.
Be sure to carry physical materials like business cards or flyers that include QR codes or instructions for signing up on the spot.
Additionally, follow up with these contacts after the event to maintain the connection and encourage them to subscribe.
Your email list is vital to the success of your business.
This guide has covered email marketing tips to help you grow your list using your social media accounts and website. We’ve also shared tips on how to grow your email list with offline methods. Combining these tactics can greatly help you increase your subscriber count and engagement.
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Common questions about growing your email list
Tactics like compelling opt-in forms, engaging content, and clear value propositions. Offer exclusive content or discounts to incentivize sign-ups, ensuring a seamless user experience.
Implement prominent sign-up forms on your website, utilize pop-ups with targeted offers, and leverage exit-intent pop-ups. Craft persuasive copy that highlights the benefits of subscribing.
Yes, try checklists, resource lists, quizzes, and exclusive video content. Tailor lead magnets to your audience’s needs and preferences for maximum engagement.
Promote your lead magnets or content upgrades on social media. Run targeted ads with compelling visuals and concise copy, directing users to sign up for your email list.
Yes, run contests requiring email submissions for entry. Offer desirable prizes and encourage participants to share, amplifying your reach and email list growth.
Consider tools like Mailchimp, ConvertKit, or OptinMonster to manage and automate email list growth. These platforms offer customizable forms and landing pages for seamless integration.