Email is one of the most direct ways to gain access to your customers, and email marketing is not subject to the same constant algorithm changes as social media or SEO. And while the quality of your list is much, much more important than the size of your list, it never hurts to have a few more subscribers.
Here are 11 ways to grow your email list that you can take action on today.
1. Offer an opt-in freebie or incentive
An opt-in offer, like a free download, e-book, webinar or white paper is a great way to incentivize new subscribers to sign up for your email list. For retail stores, restaurants, hotels and service industry businesses, you might also try offering a special discount coupon, free shipping, or free gift exclusively to email subscribers. Additional ideas include free digital wallpapers for desktop computers and mobile devices, or exclusive access to a free online course.
Pro tip: An opt-in offer should not be a throw-away. Instead, focus on giving some of your best stuff away for free to build trust and loyalty among your subscribers.
2. Include a signup form on your website contact page
If a visitor has made it as far as your contact page, chances are they’re a likely candidate to subscribe to get email updates from you. Include an opt-in form or link to subscribe along with your contact information.
Pro tip: Track your signups on a platform like Google Analytics to see where you can make improvements. Is a link to a traditional form working better? A pop-up? Test out efficacy, and keep tabs on your signups!
3. Use a pop-up, but proceed with caution
Pop-up boxes are used across the Internet because they are effective. However, not all pop-up boxes are created equal. There is no point in having a pop-up box appear as soon as a visitor lands on your website for the first time, nor within seconds of beginning their exploration of your site. However, pop-up boxes that are timed to appear only when a visitor seems ready to exit your site can help you retain more customers and increase conversions.
Pro tip: Pop-ups can feel intrusive to a user, so you may want to ask yourself these six UX questions before you proceed.
4. Create a landing page for your email list
Once you’ve got that opt-in offer all ready to go, create a special landing page on your website where visitors can opt-in to your email list and get access to the free goods.
Pro tip: Include testimonials from current email subscribers on this page to strengthen your call-to-action and create social proof.
5. Set up a call-to-action on Facebook
Facebook offers a call-to-action button with options including “Sign Up.” Set up one of these buttons, and for the website option, send your Facebook fans to the landing page on your website with your opt-in offer and email signup form.
Pro tip: Email platforms like MailChimp have a built-in Facebook integration.
6. Use the one hyperlink Instagram offers to your advantage
On Instagram, you’ve only got one shot to get a user to click to your site. The link in your profile is the only place where a user can click through to learn more about you or take action. Use this link to direct your followers to your email list’s landing page. Add a call-to-action in your bio on Instagram, directing your followers to sign up for email updates.
Pro tip: Shorten that link in bit.ly form!
7. Don’t forget the power of a simple sign-up list
If your company participates in local community events such as festivals or networking nights, be sure to bring along a way to collect names and email addresses from the people that you meet. This could be as simple as a clipboard and paper sign-up list, or better yet, bring along an iPad or tablet device and let interested parties opt-in to your email list on the spot. (Community events are a great way to build trust and create long-lasting connections with customers.)
Pro tip: This tactic can work well for both businesses with physical storefronts as well as online-only businesses.
8. Offer a call-to-action to sign up at the point of sale
At the point of purchase, be sure to ask your customers to sign up to your email list for future updates and special offers. For e-commerce retailers and other online businesses, this may seem obvious, but brick-and-mortar business can do this, too. A restaurant or retail store might include a call-to-action to sign up and the URL of their email list’s landing page on each receipt.
Pro tip: You can also train employees to verbally share the benefits of signing up to your customers.
9. Make your emails about your customers, not about your company
Getting sold to sucks. We’re bombarded by a ton of information every day, and the last thing any of us needs is another sales pitch via email. Use your emails to share your best, free stuff exclusively with members of your list. Make sure that your subscribers know how special they are to you, and use your emails as a way to help them. Loyal customers who feel a strong connection with your brand are infinitely more valuable over the long run.
Pro tip: Remember to give more than you receive, because givers get!
10. Include a call-to-action in each email you send
Be sure to include a strong call-to-action in each email you send to your list, and invite your readers to engage with you and share the newsletter with their friends and family if they’ve found it useful.
Pro tip: Platforms like EMMA track shares of your email content.
11. Always be on the lookout for more ideas to grow your email list
Here are a few posts on how other companies have seen massive growth for their email lists, including the tactics they used:
- Get More Subscribers in Fewer Than Five Minutes
- How Buffer Doubled Email Signups in 30 Days
- How to Build a First-Class Email List in 30 Days — from Scratch (an oldie but a goodie!)
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