How to Grow Your Email List

We’re going to be honest with you – your email list naturally degrades by about 25% each year. This happens when subscribers abandon email addresses, opt out of your communications, or change companies. This is why it’s so important to continuously grow your email list with new contacts. As long as you keep your numbers going up, your email campaigns will reach more people and potentially generate more revenue.
There are lots of effective ways to boost your subscriber numbers. From great content to segmentation, these 14 tips for list growth have the potential to generate powerful results.

1. Ask Subscribers to Share and Forward Your Emails

Add social sharing options or an “Email to a Friend” button to the end of every email. Your subscribers will be far more likely to share your emails if you make it easy for them. This also gives you access to their contacts, making it a great way to grow your list quickly. Just make sure to include a “Subscribe” CTA, so that every recipient of your emails can opt in.

2. Allow Users to Subscribe to a Specific List

Creating targeted content is a powerful way to boost your contacts. By allowing people to subscribe to a specific list – whether it’s a newsletter, promotions, or updates – you’ll increase the chances of them signing up. In return, you have the opportunity to send them relevant, personalized content that your subscribers will enjoy.

3. Add a Pop-Up to Your Homepage

Unless you have high-ranking blog posts, most of your traffic will land on your homepage first. So, when you’re focusing on capturing email addresses, your homepage is a great place to start. Pop-ups are an effective way to increase subscribers, as they grab your visitors’ attention immediately.
To put a fresh spin on your pop-up, consider creating a “Wheel of Fortune” to get your visitors engaged. The “Wheel of Fortune” allows visitors to win prizes and discounts once they land on your site. But to spin the wheel, visitors must first enter their email addresses, making it a fun and powerful way to grow your subscriber list.

4. Revive a Dead Email List with a Re-Engagement Campaign

If you have an old list that you’re not seeing results from, try launching a powerful re-engagement campaign. Encourage your contacts to re-subscribe by offering them access to valuable content or special offers. Meanwhile, make it clear that you’ll remove old contacts who don’t respond.

5. Create a Gated Offer

Creating what’s known as a “gated offer” is a great way to generate new leads. Experiment with fresh types of content that visitors will want to gain access to, such as eBooks, video courses, and free trials. Then, host the offer on a landing page and ask visitors to subscribe with their email addresses before they can download or access the content. If you need inspiration, this blog post lists 20 ways to create lead generation content quickly and easily.
To utilize your gated content successfully, you’ll need to grab your visitors’ attention first. Offering valuable free content in the form of a blog is one of the best ways to do this. Your blog posts could offer beginner-level advice on a subject. Then, to access more advanced content on the same subject, readers would have to submit their email addresses. Another bonus of blogging is that it makes it easier to get your site ranking well in search engine results.

6. Use Social Media

Social media is a fantastic tool for building brand awareness and growing your emails list. Hosting Twitter chats, contributing to LinkedIn groups, and promoting giveaways on Instagram are all great ways to convert your followers into subscribers. You’ll find more effective ways to grow your email list with social media in our free eBook.

7. Optimize Your Landing Page

The user experience on your landing page can have a great impact on the subscribe rate. Here are a few things you need to pay attention to:
  • Make this a “squeeze” page, a page dedicated to squeezing the email address out of your user. Squeeze pages are effective as they are short, the copy is persuasive, and there is one clear call-to-action. It is all designed to keep users’ attention on the page and motivate them to subscribe.
  • If you decide to add more content to the page, consider adding the subscribe form at the bottom of the page as well, to make it easier for users to subscribe once they’ve read or skimmed the page content.
  • Add a link to your anti-spam policy, so your subscribers are aware that you will not misuse their email address.

8. Run Online Contests

Offering giveaways in exchange for contact information is a powerful way to grow your email list. To reach a wider audience, try promoting the giveaway on your social media channels. But always ask participants to click through to your website and supply their email addresses there.

9. Run A/B Test Campaigns

So, you’ve created landing pages, gated offers, and giveaways – but you’re still not generating leads? If it seems like nothing’s working, it might be time to test your design and your copy. A/B testing (also known as “split testing”) tests different aspects of your campaign with slightly different versions of the same content. This might be a new CTA, banner placement, or subject line. Although the differences seem small, A/B testing can yield powerful results when it comes to engagement.

10. Gamification

Gamification involves adding elements of game design to other applications to make them more fun for users. And if you’re looking for an innovative way to grow your email list, this is a tool that’s worth testing. Gamification can be a powerful way to increase consumer engagement and influence behavior. Users are typically given virtual rewards, such as points or badges, for specific actions – like signing up to an email list or ordering a particular product. These rewards allow the user to access exclusive offers or services.
Nike’s NikeFuel program is a great example of gamification. A digital platform, NikeFuel was created to allow users to track their progress, post their run times, and challenge friends. In return, Nike offers user rewards in the form of free shipping, personalized workouts, and early access to products. But to use the platform, users need to sign up with their email addresses, giving Nike the opportunity to expand its contact list. To learn more about using gamification in email marketing, take a look at this blog post.

11. Install an Exit-Intent Pop-Up

Installing a simple Exit-Intent pop-up can also be a great way to increase conversion rates. If a visitor hasn’t found what they’re looking for on your website, offering them a discount can save what would otherwise be a lost opportunity.
But it’s important not to overexpose your visitors to pop-ups. So, if you’re using software like Justuno, Privy, or SumoMe, create a set of logic conditions. For example, you might decide to show the pop-up to new visitors only, when they’ve been on your site for 45 seconds.

12. Add a Promotional Banner to the Website

Add a banner to the pages that get the most visibility, like the homepage and your blog, or to the most relevant pages.
By placing the banner just above the footer, you don’t interrupt the shopping experience, but you still allow the user to subscribe.

13. Create Valuable Email Content That’s Worth Sharing

If you want people to stay subscribed, you need to give them valuable content. From subject lines to body content, your emails should always be useful, relevant, and engaging. Avoid writing copy that’s overly formal or robotic, and instead use natural language that will humanize your brand and keep the reader engaged. Grab your subscribers’ attention with high-quality images and graphics. If subscribers find your content inspiring or informative, they’ll be far more likely to share – giving you the opportunity to build your list of contacts.

14. Scrub Your Email List

If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your email list, now is the time to do it. “Email scrubbing” involves removing unengaged subscribers from your email list and it’s important to do this a couple of times a year. When your email list is clean, it means that only people who are interested in your brand will receive your emails. This helps to improve open and click-through rates, reduce spam complaints, and lower bounce rates. It could also reduce your overall spend, as some email service providers charge according to the number of emails you send or how many subscribers you have.
Your network of subscribers can have a powerful impact on your online business. As you continue to grow your email list, you’ll have the opportunity to turn your contacts into loyal customers. But when tackling list growth, it’s important to try as many tactics as possible. The strategies listed above are all things that you can start to implement straight away and you’ll soon discover what works for your business. So, start today and take the next step towards higher email revenue!

For in-depth advice that’s tailored to your business, get in touch with our email experts!
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  • Heath Weaver

    Managing Director, Principal

    Heath Weaver has almost two decades of eCommerce digital marketing experience. He has run multiple agencies, headed up Search Engine Marketing for the consumer electronics division of Sony, and served as a Vice President at Trilogy Software. He enjoys working day-to-day with clients to level up their retention marketing game.

  • Xiaohui "X" Wang

    Founder, Principal

    Xiaohui "X" Wang is a veteran of the email marketing industry. In the last decade, he has led the strategic and tactic retention marketing efforts for over 300 ecommerce brands ranging from small mom & pops to IR500 retailers. He's passionate about all things eCommerce, email, and SMS.