7 Powerful Ways to Grow Your Email List

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If you’ve just started a small online business, you may already know that modern marketing isn’t just about social media. Email marketing campaigns can play a key role in your overall strategy. However, it’s hard to make much progress if your email list isn’t very long.

Fortunately, there are lots of simple and inexpensive ways to grow your email list. All this requires is your time, dedication, and a few simple strategies.

In this post, we’ll explore why email marketing is a great way to grow your business. Then we’ll cover seven powerful ways to grow your email list. Let’s get started!

Why Email Marketing Is an Effective Way to Grow Your Business

To succeed, you have to cover all your bases. That’s why any ambitious content marketing strategy should be comprehensive. Some people may forget about email marketing because we spend so much of our time using newer forms of communication, such as social media and messaging platforms.

However, 4 billion people still use email worldwide. Additionally, the number of emails people send on a daily basis continues to grow every year. Therefore, email marketing remains a highly effective form of lead generation, even in 2022.

Email is also highly targeted, and when you’re organizing your inbox, you have to address every single message. When there’s such a big audience at stake, neglecting this platform would mean missing out on a significant opportunity.

The Mailchimp marketing platform’s home page.

With the rise of newsletters and the continued importance of email, there are now plenty of popular tools like ConvertKit and Mailchimp to help you manage your campaigns.

These tools offer an all-in-one solution so you can effectively reach your audience. They’re a great place to start – however, you’ll need more than just a dedicated tool. Let’s dive in.

7 Powerful Ways to Grow Your Email List

Your email marketing campaigns are only as strong as your email list. Let’s cover some worthwhile ways that you can get more leads and grow your base of subscribers.

1. Add an Opt-In Form to Your Website

An opt-in form is a simple element that prompts website visitors to sign-up to receive emails from your business. Usually, an email address is the only personal information requested. This is an easy way to convert readers to subscribers fast, and it’s at the top of our list because it requires minimal effort on your end.

Reebok’s opt-in form

Some opt-in forms are more subtle, and others are more attention-grabbing. A few common types include popup forms, exit-intent forms, and bar forms. It’s important to choose your design carefully, and base it on your product and your overall marketing style.

The timing and presentation of these forms are essential if you want to maximize sign-ups. If you’re not sure where to start, try using opt-in forms on your most popular pages:

If you’re using WordPress, you can easily create and manage opt-in forms by downloading and installing a plugin like OptinMonster or Convert Pro. Either one will enable you to choose from a wide variety of opt-in form templates and designs, which you can further customize to meet your specific needs.

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2. Host a Giveaway

There’s nothing like a giveaway to get people excited. People will always love free stuff, so it’s a great way to incentivize readers and followers to sign-up for your email list. If you’re lucky, most won’t even think twice about offering up their email address. When done well, you can see massive growth in your email list in a very short time.

You can offer up your own products, but if this would cause undue stress on your product pipeline, then you don’t necessarily have to. Another option is to conduct a sponsored event with one or even multiple brands:

An Instagram holiday giveaway

For example, a farm-to-table restaurant may partner with a variety of brands or supermarkets that offer organic goods. A small jewelry business might pair with a high-end sunglasses company.

Of course, be mindful of your partnerships. They must make sense for your business and offer quality products. If you accept a sponsorship deal with a subpar or irrelevant product, this might be off-putting to your audience.

While you should always be cautious, giveaways can be a gold mine. They are an especially useful opportunity for anyone who already has a strong social media presence:

If you’re not sure how to run an online giveaway, you can use a free WordPress plugin like RafflePress:

The RafflePress WordPress plugin

This solution offers an intuitive giveaway builder that lets you start by choosing a template for your giveaway. Then, you can take advantage of promotional and marketing tools to maximize the number of participants.

3. Offer Content Upgrades

Content upgrades are another type of ‘freebie’ you can offer. There are plenty of different types, but some common options are ebooks, workbooks, printables, and guides:

Free content upgrade: a workbook when you sign up for the email list

It’s important to remember that these content bonuses should be exclusive. The only way to get them should be by signing up for your email list.

As with any other strategy you use, it’s best to opt for something that’s relevant to your brand. Here, a food influencer with a cookbook offers recipe box functionality, but also a free recipe download upon sign up:

A free content upgrade on a recipe website

Notice how this offer is paired with catchy and irresistible copywriting: “5 Secrets to Super Simple Meals”.

Don’t forget that you can always combine the strategies on this list to increase their effectiveness. As in the example above, you may consider offering your site’s visitors an opt-in form upon entry, but also dangle a freebie in the navigation bar. The more opportunities visitors have to sign up, the more likely they are to do so.

4. Organize a Webinar

A webinar is a workshop, seminar, or presentation that you conduct online using video conferencing software. Most of us have attended one at some point, but if you haven’t, you can still host one without much difficulty.

For most, a webinar means moving your content to a different medium. It’s cheap and easy, but production may take a good amount of time:

A webinar sign-up tweet

This method is well suited to bloggers and influencers who have already monetized their ideas, but any expertise you have to offer will do. If you’re wondering how to host a webinar, you should start by choosing a topic. Then, be sure to nail down the logistical details, spend plenty of time preparing, and of course, promote your webinar.

This is a great way to get lots of new email addresses, but you want to be thorough so that all your hard work doesn’t go to waste. Remember to make the most of the opportunity. If you host your webinar on a popular social media platform such as Instagram or YouTube, you can boost your engagement as well.

Additionally, a webinar can provide you with social credibility. Since the time commitment from viewers is significant, this is not only a great way to get emails, but it may potentially lead to long-lasting and loyal customers.

5. Create an Email Course

An email course is similar to a traditional online class, but it arrives in your inbox. Typically, an email course is automated and has a short time frame of a few days or a few weeks. It should be easily digestible for participants:

A five-day email course advertised in an Instagram post

Email courses are usually self-paced, but individual classes arrive on a set schedule. They don’t require any follow-up or feedback from the instructor. So you don’t have to worry about grading your students. This is also a great way to repurpose old content.

For example, if you already have a thorough how-to guide on your blog, you can simply expand on that and make it a three-day email course. If you’re using an email marketing service, many of them will already have this process streamlined for you:

The Mailchimp email course workflow

The beauty of this type, of course, is that you can re-use it or revamp it whenever your email list needs a boost. You can even promote your products in the course! As always, however, you should make sure that the content of the course is truly useful to the participants.

6. Give a Welcome Discount

Another way to get people on your email list is by offering a generous one-time discount. This can be especially effective because it also incentivizes users to buy your product right away:

The Reebok sign-up form offering a discount

This can be a more costly strategy than most of the methods on this list. However, if your budget allows for it, you can be sure that many customers will find this offer difficult to resist.

Typically, an online store will offer somewhere between 10 and 25 percent off of an initial purchase when you sign up for its email list. When you use an eCommerce solution such as WooCommerce, creating discount codes is a breeze.

7. Start an Email Newsletter

In the past few years, email newsletters have become wildly popular. They are emerging as a new form of media consumption, but also as a new form of marketing. When you’re producing a quality newsletter, you’re sure to get more email addresses for your list:

A newsletter sign-up form

Many newsletters are some combination of quality long-form content blended with product promotion via recommendations and favorites lists. They can also be combined well with affiliate marketing.

The beauty of the email newsletter is that anyone can do it, from the biggest corporations to the humblest solopreneurs. The only catch is that it’s a long-term obligation. Newsletters typically go out weekly or monthly, so you would need to commit to a regular schedule.

The majority of the popular email marketing services can offer you step-by-step guidance on how to create a newsletter. However, before you embark on this journey, you should make sure you have a clear goal, and always prioritize quality over quantity.

Grow Your Business with Email Marketing

We know that getting a respectable email list together may seem challenging. No one wants to launch an email marketing campaign with just a few people to contact.

Fortunately, you can make sure that all your hard work gets the viewers it deserves. Just remember to focus on growing your email list with the following strategies before you launch:

  1. Add opt-in forms. Encourage website visitors to sign up for your email list on popular pages, using tools like OptinMonster or Convert Pro.
  2. Host a giveaway. Offer free products or sponsored products to incentivize people to share their email addresses. WordPress plugins like RafflePress make this simple.
  3. Offer content upgrades. Give people quality exclusive content in the form of ebooks, printables, guides, and so much more. You can pair this with opt-in forms to maximize sign-ups.
  4. Organize a webinar. Use your expertise to host a webinar and offer participants valuable knowledge.
  5. Create an email course. Repurpose old pillar content and provide your audience with a practical, short-term course. Use a popular tool like Mailchimp (or any email marketing service) to streamline the process.
  6. Give a discount. Offer people a generous one-time discount for users who sign up for your email list. You can create discount codes in an eCommerce platform such as WooCommerce.
  7. Start an email newsletter. Commit for the long haul and lure users with the promise of quality, regular content. Your preferred email marketing platform should be able to help you get started.

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About the Author:

Alex is DreamHost's Digital Marketing Manager, based in Portland, OR. He is responsible for acquisition, email, and affiliates. In his free time, he enjoys cooking and building synthesizers. Connect with him on LinkedIn.