Ever since internet usage started becoming more mainstream, email marketing has been one of the best ways to promote your brand.
Of course, before you can even start blasting out emails to prospective clients or customers, you first have to build an email list by collecting names and addresses.
But even you’ve gathered a healthy collection of contacts, you’re still not done. In fact, you’re never done collecting email addresses.
Why? Because your email list is likely to degrade by about 22% every year.
You need to keep adding fresh contacts. Here are 30 ways to start growing your email marketing lists.
1. Generate Word-of-Mouth Buzz
If you want to build your list, generate some word-of-mouth buzz by offering your existing contacts outstanding content in their inbox.
If you’re under the impression that every email blast should be little more than a dressed-up sales pitch, think again.
Craft content that your contacts actually want to read. Use an irresistible subject line that will draw them in and convince them to click.
In short, treat your email marketing much like you handle your content marketing. Give the people what they want and they’ll spread the word that you’re providing valuable info.
This is one of the best ways to work on your email list building. Then your list will grow organically.
2. Go Offline
Did you know that you can collect email addresses without even going online?
Sure, it’s often easier for people to fill out a form online because they might be using a browser that pre-fills many of the common fields for them. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t collect email addresses offline.
Working an event? Ask people to fill out a form the old-fashioned way (with a pen). Be sure to include a place where they can put their email address so you can add it to your distribution list.
Of course, technology works in your favor. Sometimes, you just need to scan someone’s badge and you’ll automatically collect the person’s email address.
Be sure to import all the email addresses you’ve collected to your own database.
3. Direct Mail Campaign
Why not use a strategy from yesteryear to help you with modern-day digital marketing?
Use a direct mail campaign (yes, you’ll have to open some books that you haven’t touched in years) to encourage people to join your email list.
By the way, even this far into the 21st century, some marketers still swear up and down by hard-copy newsletters. If that’s how you roll, use the newsletters to promote your email list.
On Your Site
4. Use Popups
If you’re using popup technology to get people to subscribe to your list, then you’re probably also using a cookie that effectively prevents the popup from appearing again until after a certain number of days have passed. Check your settings to see if this is happening and change them so that your popup will appear over and over again.
If they don’t subscribe right away they may change their mind and decide they want to subscribe in the future.
You should have an easy-to-locate link somewhere on your site that makes it easy for them to do so.
5. Gated Content
People are always looking for productivity hacks. Maybe you’ve got one that’s relevant to other people in your niche.
If so, put it on the cloud and offer it for free. Give it a catchy title and watch it lure people in. The only “price” they will have to pay to access your service is an email address.
Gated content is a great suggestion if you’re wondering how to build an email list easily.
6. Set Up Traffic-Specific Sticky Bars
Sticky bars are the little micro banners at the tops of websites. They lay over your actual content. You can use them to offer discounts or advertise your email list.
You can also personalize them to match where your traffic is coming from. Did the user come from Facebook? Say that somehow! Maybe they found you via Google? Add that in, too!
If a user feels as if your content is more personalized then they are more likely to hand over their information.
7. Use an End of Post Sign-Up Form
Consider using an end-of-post sign-up form or a footer.
As the name implies, an end of post form appears at the end of the posted content. Users who’ve read all the way through are likely to be very interested in whatever it is your brand is offering, so the form should convert well.
8. Use an Inline Sign-Up Form
By now, almost the whole world knows about the importance of using popup forms to get people to sign up to an email list.
But those popups are starting to run afoul of Google’s mobile-friendly policy.
As an alternative, consider using an inline sign-up form. That’s a form that appears in the content of a blog post that a visitor really can’t miss.
9. Link to Your Landing Page in the Header
It’s very difficult to have too many places where people can sign up to your email list. Even if you have a popup, an inline form, and a link to your landing page in the sidebar, there’s still room for a link somewhere else.
Look to the header.
You’ve probably got enough room in your header for a link to your landing page. Put some clickbait text next to a CTA button.
A short and to-the-point form won’t take up much space and will be sure to get you some new subscribers.
10. Add Links Everywhere
Find as many places as possible where you can add a link to your signup form.
Consider adding it to employee signatures, your Twitter bio, and in the sidebar on every page of your website.
Don’t spam your audience with your emails but you should definitely spam them with your links!
11. Embed a Video on Your Landing Page
By now, you’ve probably visited more than one landing page that had a video embedded in it. The video plays automatically when you visit the page.
There’s a reason why marketers use those videos. They work.
You can also use that trick on your landing page. Add social proof to your page by including the testimony of a few people who downloaded your freebie and appreciated it or who subscribe to your mailing list and learn from your awesome content.
Leverage Your Events
12. Hold a Contest
Modern technology makes it very easy to hold a contest that will help you build your email list. Of course, you’ll need a prize, but that’s usually a limited investment (e.g., one of your smaller products or a short consultation if you’re a service provider).
The trick is that people have to supply an email address to enter the contest. Of course, you’ll add that email address to your distribution list.
Remember, to target your contest to the right people. You don’t want just anybody on your email list. You only want people who are likely to be clients or customers.
13. Host a Webinar
One of the more recent crazes in digital marketing is the webinar. There’s no shortage of business owners using webinars to promote their brands.
You can also use a webinar to collect email addresses. Just ask people for their email address during the registration process.
14. Make Your Content Shareable
Most email marketing platforms make it exceptionally easy to include social share buttons. If you’re not already using them, start doing so today.
Enable others to post your content on their channels to increase brand awareness.
15. Use Twitter and Facebook
Do you have followers on Twitter? Fans on Facebook? Stop asking how to grow an email list when the answer is right in your pocket!
Talk to your existing followers and fans about the email marketing lists you’re building! Make it sound exclusive and worth their while to sign up.
If you’ve followed the advice from one of the previous points, and you’ve got a free offer or service, be sure to let them know about that as well.
Also, Facebook lead forms work really well for email capture. In fact, lead forms built into your social platforms are probably one of the easiest ways to work on your email list building.
16. Use Facebook’s Call to Action Button
Facebook makes it easy for you to give fans and curious visitors alike an easy way to get to your sign-up page. It’s the call to action (CTA) button towards the top of your page.
Just opt for the “Sign Up” text on the button and link it to your landing page. Then, people who visit your fan page and like what they see will have an easy way to add themselves to your distribution list.
17. Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the so-called “Facebook for adults.” It’s also a great way to get people to sign up for your email list.
Just add a gated offer to your LinkedIn Company Page and to LinkedIn posts. People who are likely to be part of your target market will follow those links and grab your freebie in exchange for an email address.
18. Use Pinterest to Promote eBooks
If you’ve got a Pinterest presence, you can use it to build your list as well.
Just make a picture relevant to one of your free offerings. Then, upload it to Pinterest with a link to your landing page.
Boom. People will click the link, see your great offer, and provide their email addresses.
19. Use YouTube
Too many marketers fail to leverage YouTube properly. That includes marketers who even make it a habit to upload videos regularly.
Remember, YouTube allows you to not only include links in your video description but also as annotations. Those opportunities allow you to get the word out about your email list.
Just add an annotation that reads something like: “Are you learning a lot? Click here to learn more.” When the user clicks the link, he or she is taken to a landing page that offers your freebie in exchange for an email address.
You can add a link to your landing page in the description field as well.
20. Publish It on Google+
If you’ve got a Google+ page (and you should if you don’t), add a link to your email subscription page in the “About” section. People who decide to learn more about your business will also have the opportunity to sign up to your list.
21. Test Out Paid Search Ads
Your email list is a marketing tool. As such, it’s worthy of an investment.
If you haven’t already done so, run some paid search ads promoting your email list. Be sure that the ad copy includes a clickbait headline so that you can get the most bang for your buck.
22. Use Guest Posts to Promote Your List
You probably already know about the importance of guest posting for SEO purposes. But why limit yourself to just SEO when you’re posting on somebody else’s blog?
Use your guest post to also advertise your freebie. Include a link that takes people to your landing page so they can exchange their email address for your offering.
22. Make Use of Partners
Like most marketers, you’re probably working with one or more partners. Why not ask those partners if they can advertise your freebie on their websites?
Of course, be sure to practice good karma. If partners are nice enough to let you advertise on their sites, you should return the favor and let them advertise on yours.
23. Use a Reputable Autoresponder
There’s not much that will hamper your email marketing efforts more than a poor autoresponder.
If you’re totally new to this and you’ve never heard the word “autoresponder” before, it’s just a fancy term that describes the service you use to blast emails to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people.
If you decide to go cheap or try something free just to save some bucks with your email marketing, you’re probably going to regret that decision later on. That’s especially true if your email list grows dramatically.
Invest in a reputable autoresponder that offers templates, tools, and easy-to-use administrative features. The service you select should also provide you with analytics so that you can see which types of emails are getting the best open rates.
24. Email Your Customers a Receipt
If you’re running anything like a brick-and-mortar business, you should ask your customers if they’d like to save some trees by getting an email receipt rather than a paper one.
If they say “yes,” they’re not only helping the planet, but they’re also volunteering to get on your email list.
25. Give ‘Em a Carrot
Want people to sign up to your email list? Give them a reason to do so.
A lot of brands will offer a free ebook, webinar, or small product offer. Whatever it is, give them a reason to want to download your resource. Require a valid email address before allowing them to download your freebie.
Of course, you’ll also add that email address to the email list you’re building.
26. Tell Them Exactly What They’ll Be Getting
Before people sign up to receive an email every so often, they want to know what they’re getting into. Be sure to explain it to them clearly and in such a way that they want to subscribe.
For example, if you’re running an auto parts store, your popup might include text like: “Join over 10,000 auto enthusiasts who receive weekly tips on auto maintenance and news about the hottest deals on the web!”
That’s a message that will appeal to car lovers everywhere. Make a message like that for your niche and watch your subscriptions go up.
27. Tell Them How Often They’ll Be Getting It
Sometimes, people don’t subscribe to an email list because they aren’t sure how often they’ll be receiving your emails.
“I don’t want to get spammed with sales messages every day!” they think to themselves as they click the “No thanks” link on your popup.
But maybe you weren’t planning to send out emails every day. Maybe just once a week is good enough in your market.
That’s why you should tell people how often you’ll send out emails. For example, you could include text that reads: “You will receive no more than one email per week.”
Be sure to keep your promise!
28. Offer a Discount in Exchange for an Email Address
If you’re running an e-commerce site, you might offer people the opportunity to check out quickly without the hassle of filling out numerous form fields.
That’s awesome. But you can still use the checkout process to dangle a carrot in front of your customers so that they give you their email address. Just offer a discount on the current order or an item similar to the one that they’re purchasing free of charge in exchange for the email address.
29. Create Multiple, Targeted Email Lists
Speaking of targeted lists, create several of them. Each list should be relevant to a market segment.
For example, if you sell auto parts, you might want one list specific to people who are into vintage automobiles and another only for people who own RVs.
People are more likely to sign up for a list that’s relevant to their very specific needs.
30. Keep Your Form Short
Really, what do you need to collect from prospects? Probably no more than a first name and an email address.
If so, then collect just those pieces of information and nothing else. Don’t worry about the address, city, state, zip code, phone number, marital status, gender, or blood type.
You’re going to lose people who might otherwise have joined your list if you overcomplicate the signup form.
Grow Your Email List Now!
I just gave you 30 days, good luck growing your email list! If you need help, let us know or subscribe to Ignite Visibility university for more advice.
FAQs on How to Build an Email List
- Why do I need an email list?
With Google announcing that they are saying goodbye to cookies and iOS no longer tracking their users as frequently, you’re going to need a better way to target your audience. Email marketing lists are the best way to do this.
- What are the best ways to go about email list building?
Give your audience a reason to want to join your list. Offer them a freebie or a discount in exchange for their information.
- What’s the most important thing to consider when you start to think about how to grow an email list?
Make it easy for your user to give you their information! You want the information more than they want to give it to you so don’t make it harder for them to turn it over. If you make it as easy as possible, they’re more likely to give it to you.
- Do I need to pay for email marketing lists?
No way! You definitely can hire an agency or professional to help you and you can also run paid ads but you can also take advantage of the free things around you, like your social media channels and a popup on your existing website.