As an entrepreneur, it’s critical to have a list of engaged email subscribers to sell to. Learning how to grow your email list helps you to keep in touch with people who have expressed interest in what you are doing (or at least have in the recent past). These are individuals who fall within your target market -- eager to learn more and take advantage of new offerings. Make sure you are doing everything in your power to foster this connection. The return on this investment includes future sales, referrals, and even lucrative partnerships. Ultimately, you can grow your business to seven figures.
First: Why Email Marketing Is The Best Way To Grow Your Business
Email marketing is not dead, in fact, it’s very much alive and well. Every business regardless of size or industry should be focusing on building an email list to boost sales and influence.
In addition to producing higher revenues than any other form of marketing outreach, including direct marketing, some of the benefits of increasing the size of an email list include:
- It’s a low-cost method of capturing leads, running campaigns, and understanding where your traffic comes from.
- It’s permission-based, meaning people have to choose to receive information from you which gives you authority.
- Email marketing is 40 times more effective at connecting with people than Facebook and Twitter combined. (McKinsey)
- It can boost sluggish sales with just one email campaign with a special customer offer.
- It’s possible to reach people on any mobile-enabled device or home computer.
- Email attracts new customers and it’s easy to share and make recommendations.
- The email list belongs 100% to you and is not dependent on any particular program or service.
- It’s more personal and helps build relationships with consumers who prefer emails over other types of marketing methods.
That doesn't mean you get to sit back and do nothing.
It's not just a matter of putting up an opt-in box on your website home page and hoping for the best. This is a task that needs to be taken seriously and performed with care and consistency. This is about your business success and it’s in your best interest for you to take action. It’s been proven that having an email list makes an online business predictable, scalable, and sellable, therefore it is a must for online entrepreneurs.
There are tried and true methods of encouraging website visitors to agree to share their email address with you. People often consider their email addresses as private and they value that privacy, so it can take some convincing. Whether you are just starting out building an email list or you have a stale list that could use some “Miracle Grow” to revive it, you’ve come to the right place.
How To Grow Your Email List - 50 Expert Methods
It’s been said that the secret to online business success is an expansive email list. Let’s get cracking with this massive list of 50 simple ways how to grow your email list fast!
#1: Create a valuable lead generation offer.
Your first order of business is to develop a lead generation offer that is perceived as valuable to your target audience. It may be free, but it needs to pack a lot of punch. Focus on meeting the pain points of those whom you serve, which is what will compel them to sign up.
#2: Provide access to an online mini-course.
Courses are all the rage today. It doesn't take much to spin some of your best material into a fun, yet informational course. Get one put together and offer it for those new email signups. Then follow-up with more valuable courses and coaching offers.
#3: Share a series of popular blog posts in a special report.
This is often referred to as the “content upgrade”. Locate your top 3-4 blog posts from the previous year then craft them into a special report you can use for an opt-in bonus. This is very shareable content your email subscribers will love.
#4: Start a monthly affiliate contest.
If you haven’t already set up an affiliate program, run... don’t walk and do this now. Affiliates are wonderful for getting the word out to their networks. A nice little competition boosts results. Before you know it, your affiliates have shared their email lists with you and vice versa.
#5: Record special messages for subscribers.
Set up an opt-in page with a special message specifically for those considering signing up for your email list. Give them a sneak peek as to the type of content you will be sharing and how they can benefit from this relationship. Emphasize you respect their privacy and they can opt-out if you fail to meet their expectations.
#6: Host a webinar presentation.
Webinars can be a fun way to get in front of groups of people to share exclusive content. When people sign up for the webinar they are also opting into your email list. Put your webinars on autopilot after you have recorded them and keep the momentum going.
#7: Participate in a product giveaway with partners.
Join with a group of others who have great products and offerings in a product giveaway event. Offer your best product along with a bonus of some type, such as a discovery session or a free business tool. At the end of the event, the emails are all shared and this increases everyone’s subscription lists.
#8: Offer a fun quiz with email opt-in.
Nearly everyone loves a brief, yet entertaining quiz. Use social media to post a free quiz (use QuizMonkey) with the chance to win a prize. Then watch people sign up and use these results to form your next product. It's a win-win for everyone.
#9: Focus on exclusive content libraries.
When your subscribers opt in, give them access to a library of content that only they can enjoy. Tease others to join by gathering the testimonials of subscribers on the value this content library has and what they can obtain just for signing up. Your courses can live here too.
#10: Re-establish or refresh your brand.
If you have neglected your email list for a while, or your website or blog could use an overhaul -- now is the time to do this. Refresh your brand and relaunch with announcements sent out to all subscribers and a new opt-in page for potential subscribers. This new branding will attract new people and help you stay committed to delivering fresh content.
#11: Connect with your LinkedIn colleagues.
You’ve spent years building up your followers, friends, and colleagues on the top professional network. Why not take the time to invite your colleagues to sample your best offer and sign up for your email news to keep better tabs on you?
#12: Update your email signature with a link to your opt-in offer.
The easiest way to get people to sign up for your offering is to include a link to it in your email signature. If you have a team working for you, make sure they have the link in their signatures too.
#13: Publish an article with a link to your offer.
Content is king, especially when it comes to getting the word out about your offers. Take the time to draft some killer content in an area you are an expert in, then submit it to several large publications in your industry. If it gets published, then you will have second rights to publish it to your blog a month later, which gives you more mileage.
#14: Include an exclusive, shareable email offer in each newsletter.
Your newsletters should always be working for you too, so take the time to develop monthly offers that are specifically for your subscribers. Test new product ideas, launch coaching programs and more courses this way. Always ask subscribers to share the newsletter with others who may be interested.
#15: Publish a case study and include your email signup.
Client case studies are always an encouraging way to share your talents while giving examples of success stories. This can help others realize you are an expert who likes to help others solve their problems. Offer a case study as an exclusive content upload.
#16: Pitch guest blog posts to colleagues with your opt-in link.
Another way to build backlinks and gain more email signups is to ask your colleagues if you can post original articles on their blogs. Pitch a few relevant ideas and write the article promptly once approved. Include your opt-in page link in your byline.
#17: Use Facebook ads to promote your email offer.
Facebook advertising allows you to target specific individuals and market to them. Develop eye-catching advertisements and post them with a small budget. Test the ads to get the right results and more email signups.
#18: Post your email signup in community forums in your signature.
Earlier it was mentioned to add opt-in links to email signatures. Do the same with any profiles you have on community forums and groups. People can click on them to learn more. Make sure your offers are relevant to the groups you participate in.
#19: Boost your total site content with upgrades and new features.
Once you have improved your brand and updated your content to produce new offerings, why not update your graphics with a social media series, infographics, videos and more. Continually introduce new content made out of existing content, and add new content to the forefront of the website. Lock premium content behind email signup.
#20: Write a press release about an event or activity.
When used correctly, a press release can be a useful way to gain attention and attract journalists seeking new leads. Make sure your press release is newsworthy and will be announcing a new event, report, or study. Then post your opt-in link for people to obtain more information.
#21: Post articles to LinkedIn with your email opt-in.
The article posting platform on LinkedIn is the perfect way how to grow your email list by posting an article at least once or twice a month. Since the traffic is extremely high, your article can be in the front page of every search engine results in just a few days. Use this to your advantage and include your offer with an email signup.
#22: Get featured in an industry magazine as a guest contributor.
Just like getting featured in an online publication, a print publication can also be a great way to increase email signups. Post a shortened version of your link to make it easy for people to request it.
#23: Use an email opt-in exit pop-up.
Oftentimes, people stop by a website to browse but they forget to sign up for the offer because they are distracted. Use an email pop-up application to remind them to grab a copy of your content before they leave. An example of this in action is a test by Darren Rowse in which he increased his subscribers from 40 to 350 a day once installing a pop-up subscription box on ProBlogger.net.
#24: Host a sharing contest with current subscribers.
Give your subscribers a chance to participate in a fun contest by being active share-ers of your newsletter content. You can make it a monthly contest where they can win a prize like an Amazon gift card or you can do an annual push to drive your email list numbers up quickly.
#25: Develop an eBook and publish it on Amazon.
An ebook can be an effective way to get your offering out there to the masses and get more email subscribers fast. Work with a ghostwriter or use existing content to develop an original book and make sure to put your offering with your opt-in link in several places in the e-book.
#26: Be part of an industry workshop or webinar series.
When building your email list, one of the most effective ways to do those is to partner with others. Participate in an industry workshop or webinar series in your industry. Find a topic that you are an expert in and that people will get excited about. Come up with a special offer just for participants.
#27: Automate your sign-ups with a slider.
A fun way to increase sign-ups is to include a non-intrusive reminder app that simply slides up and down as the website visitor moves around your site. While ideally, you want to have an easy to find opt-in form, this is not always possible with the design of a website home page. Allow the slider to remind folks to share their email address for important reminders.
#28: Send a special gift to new subscribers.
People love to receive something for nothing, therefore you can take advantage of this by offering a special gift to new subscribers. This can be a fun package that they receive in the mail such as a new pen and a journal or it could be a t-shirt. Just a nice way to say thank you. And enough of an incentive to sign up.
#29: Create a landing page for each new product.
A good course of action is to create a landing page with an opt-in for every product that you release. It's possible to also have these products on your website but this will extend your reach and you can share specific opt-in pages with consumers to segment your list. It's also a lot easier to track where email sign-ups are coming from.
#30: Update your Twitter profile with your opt-in offer link.
Remember those 3,496 Twitter followers that you worked so hard to build? Take advantage of this and make sure that your opt-in link and your special offer is included in your profile. Use a product like Hootsuite to automate regular posts that include your offer. You'll be amazed at how many sign-ups you'll get this way.
#31: Send Facebook messages to new visitors with your offer.
When you set up a business page on Facebook you also have the opportunity to send out a welcome message to every visitor. Take advantage of this and create your offer link to be sent out to everyone that comes along. This process will repeat every time someone visits your page no matter how many times they've been there.
#32: Capture emails at business events and exchanges.
It can seem a little old-fashioned but every time you are at a business mixer or an event or a conference make sure that you are collecting many many business cards. Send a follow-up email or connect with people on LinkedIn and let them know about your offer. Ask them if they'd like to learn more by signing up and also ask them to share it with others who may be interested.
#33: Launch a viral competition online.
Just the idea of being eligible to win some cool prizes is enough to convince some people to sign up for an email list. Create a viral competition and let the fun begin! The idea is that people must sign up and then they have to get others to sign up as entries into the contest.
#34: Upsell a piece of content within a blog post.
Every time you publish a blog post make sure that you are maximizing the byline and other sections of the blog post with an opt-in graphic and link. There are some apps that will do this for you. Another opportunity is to create a graphic or image header and drop your opportunity in there with an arrow pointing to the link below in the post.
#35: Add a viral loop to opt-in pages (recommend others).
If you want to increase your email list quickly a great way to do this is to add a viral loop to your opt-in. What this means is when somebody signs up for your email list they go to another page where they are asked to recommend at least five colleagues who might be interested. Now don't go and spam them, but reach out to them and let them know they've been recommended by a colleague as someone who may like some free information.
#36: Create a viral pre-launch campaign.
This is starting to become a very popular way how to grow your email list in advance of a product launch. Using a special widget on the homepage anyone can create an email signup box that simply allows people to pre-register before a course is offered or an event takes place. If you are launching a new business, use an “under construction” script to welcome visitors to your homepage and collect email addresses
#37: Use lead boxes in the author's byline section.
In most word processing programs and blogs there is a section included in the byline where someone can add their information including links to their websites and social media profiles. Make sure you are taking advantage of this and including a link to your opt-in email form.
#38: Write effective and compelling lead magnets.
It should go without saying but if you're going to get people to sign up for anything, you must be able to write effective email lead magnets. Consider how a more visually stimulating and compellingly written lead magnet will produce more results. Instead of saying, “Hey sign up here”, you may want to try saying something like. “Find out how 500 people changed their life with this product.”
#39: Offer a free assessment or audit.
People love to know where they stand and where they measure up as compared to others. One great way to get people to share their email address with you is to offer a free personal assessment or an audit of their business. They get immediate gratification with the results and you get their email address.
#40: Pin your opt-in page to Pinterest.
Anyone who is selling to women needs to have a presence on Pinterest. Take the time to not only create boards and share content there but also pin your opt-in page to Pinterest in multiple boards that are relevant to your subject. Every time you launch a new product make sure you update this so people have access to it immediately.
#41: Answer questions on Quora and include your link.
Quora has become the go-to place to get answers that are hard to find elsewhere. As an expert, you can create a profile and answer questions in your industry. You can also post difficult questions for others to answer. In either case, make sure that you are including your opt-in link in your responses so that people can learn more about what you do and sign up for your offers.
#42: YouTube Call to action cards.
This trick has been around for a while but people forget about it. Create YouTube call to action cards to direct viewers to take specific action as they're watching your video or at the end of your video. Make sure you create at least one that has your email sign-up link.
#43: Slideshare lead forms on slides.
If you do a lot of presentations or enjoy creating slideshows then one of the best ways to get your email list growing fast is to create a SlideShare presentation. You can publish this online and make it shareable so people can use the information, share it, and give credit back to you. Make sure that you have your email opt-in link included in several places so people can find out more about you and get more information.
#44: Add an email sign-up on Instagram.
Instagram is growing rapidly as a go-to fast place for getting information on our favorite celebrities, or just a little entertainment. Take advantage of this by creating appealing images and including a clickable link to your opt-in. If you are lucky they will go viral and you will have many signups.
#45: Offer segmented opt-ins for different types of visitors.
It's possible now to create opt-in advertisements that are actually segmented for specific types of consumers or visitors. For example, you may have an option that addresses three types of consumers: one who is just browsing, one who has an identified problem, and one who requires a higher level of support. Use these options to create email lists that are for specific groups so they are more willing to sign up.
#46: Add a call-to-action form to your Facebook profile.
Again make sure you have a strong call to action form on your Facebook profile whether at your business or your personal pages. You can create this in your header image and also in your about section. Also, create a directory of downloadables that includes your link.
#47: Use Facebook to post clickable life stories.
A great new feature that Facebook just rolled out is the life stories option. Take advantage of this with clickable mini-stories that show your offer and go right to your opt-in page. This can be very effective for building an email list and also for a pre-launch of a product or event.
#48: Comment on blog posts and include your opt-in as your URL.
Blogs are still very popular and therefore it's important to take the time to not only follow your favorite bloggers but all post a comment on their posts. Whenever you do comment use your opt-in link in place of your website link so people automatically click here. While this won't increase your email list overnight, it will gradually build your list with people who are interested in what you have to say.
#49: Inform podcast listeners about how to access your free offer.
If you don't have a podcast but you've ever considered it, creating a podcast for your business a very effective tool. Podcasting has become increasingly popular especially for those who like to listen to information while on the go. Whether you are podcasting yourself or you are participating in a podcast never forget to inform people how to sign up for your free offer by sharing their email address. There can be literally hundreds and thousands of people listening either during the live podcast or the recording.
#50: Book a speaking engagement and pitch your offer.
Getting in front of an audience of people can both be thrilling and rewarding If you have something that you want to share with the world, book a public speaking engagement and make sure that you focus on pitching your offer at the very end. Provide value and great information along with a sense of humor and energy to keep people engaged.
The Final Word
The above tips have been shared by professional email marketers at Hubspot, Social Triggers, Sumo, Optin Monster, and more. They’ve all had varying degrees of success, but these methods have outdone others in terms of volume of email growth, quality of email subscribers, and management of email lists. You can choose to try any one of them and you will get results. We recommend you start at the top by developing a great offer and then loading it up to an effective lead page with a strong opt-in message.
Remember, the best way to manage and grow your email list fast is to:
- Provide high-quality content that your targeted subscribers will get value from.
- Be consistent with email marketing branding, offers, and scheduling of emails.
- Partner with others to expand your reach and influence in the market.
- Continually test your emails to find the “sweet spot” for your business.
Why should you put so much effort into building your email list? According to Neil Patel, a well-known marketing expert, email marketing provides the highest ROI of any other marketing channel. A study from Campaign Monitor advised that email marketing outperforms all other marketing outreach methods by 4400% ROI and generates $44 for every $1 spent.
Patel says, “The question isn’t: “Should I build an email list?” but rather, “How can I build my list as quickly as possible?”
As you learn how to grow your email list, you’ll find that the rewards will outweigh any challenges you may face. You will be able to connect with a larger and more diverse audience of people eager to try your products, while you create a strong brand and sell more. You will be able to put at least part of your business on autopilot using email marketing technology, which frees you up to land more clients and grows the business. Email marketing is definitely worth the effort and growing a list should be an ongoing part of that effort.
Best of all, once you understand email list-growing strategies like these, you can hand this task off to a team member to implement.
Entrepreneurs who want to finally get out of the grind of doing all the work themselves need to be smart about it. Creating standard operating procedures (SOPs) for tasks like this can help you move into the "Owner" box of your business. There, you'll work on your business rather than only in it. That's good news for business owners who don't want to put in 80-hour weeks. By creating systems and SOPs, you can free up some of your time to be more strategic in your business. As you see improvements in cash flow, you can win back even more of your time by learning how to invest the profits from your business to generate passive income.
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