I hate to break it to you, but your email marketing contact database is not invincible. Your contacts’ email addresses change when they move from one company to another or they opt out of your email communications. Heck, sometimes subscribers abandon an address they use specifically for online forms. As a marketer, it’s your job to ensure you’re constantly adding fresh contacts to your email list. While you can always purchase email lists, this is usually a poor choice. In this post, we will explore a number of ethical ways to build your email list.
What is an email list?
An email list is a collection of addresses that a business has because customers have submitted their emails and asked to receive content and updates about your company via email.
Your email list will shrink as people unsubscribe and grow as you collect more addresses via lead generation methods.
If you’re not currently working to build your email list, or have run out of ideas on how to do so, here are 39 easy ways to build your email list.
37 Creative Ways to Grow Your Email List
How to Grow Your Email List Using Email
1.) Generate Unique Email Content
Do you want to retain your current subscribers and have them help you grow your email list? If so, you’ll need to generate a collection of unique email content. If your emails are informative, entertaining, and provide value, then your email list will look forward to your correspondence and will be more likely to share with their networks. Doing so helps you gain exposure and earn additional subscribers.
2.) Encourage Your Email List to Share & Forward Your Emails
It’s vital that you include social sharing buttons and an “Email to a Friend” button on your marketing emails. In doing so, you’ll gain access to your subscribers’ friends, colleagues, and social networks. This is a quick and easy way to expand your subscription list. Make sure you include a “subscribe” CTA as a simple text-based link at the bottom of your emails so that people receiving the forwarded emails can easily opt-in too.
3.) Segment Your Subscriber List by Buyer Persona
Your subscribers are more likely to click through emails that cater to their specific interests. This means that you need to use different emails to target each of your buyer personas. If you develop multiple targeted subscriber types, you’ll increase the odds that visitors will subscribe to one of them. In fact, marketers who employ segmented campaigns have seen increases in revenue as high as 760%.
4.) Revive a Stale Email List with an Opt-In Campaign
Are you operating with an older email list that is likely mostly decayed? If so, you can create an engaging opt-in message, send it to your old list, and encourage contacts to re-opt in if they wish to do so. The catch here is that you need to promise that you’ll remove all contacts who do not respond. It may seem counterintuitive to remove contacts from your email list to grow it. However, emailing contacts who you know are engaged can improve your deliverability. Doing so also increases the odds of your subscribers sharing and/or forwarding with their contacts.
5.) Add an Opt-In Link to Your Email Signature Template
A hyperlink in your email signature that takes people to an opt-in landing page is a great way to grow your email list. Furthermore, if you’re already in a natural email conversation with a prospect, subscribing to more emails can be a natural next step.
6.) Create a New Lead-Generation Offer
Create a new gated lead-generation offer, such as a free ebook, and host it on a landing page that asks visitors to provide their email in order to download it.
7.) Create a Free Online Tool or Resource that Requires Visitors to Sign-Up
Everybody loves an online tool that makes life easier. This is especially true if all you have to do is provide your email address.
8.) Create Additional Bonus Content
Gated content isn’t always worth it to a website visitor. Sometimes, in order to gain their interest, you need to provide free content first. You can open with a blog post that provides beginner advice, then offer additional content with more advanced tips that they can access by providing their email address via a landing page.
How to Grow Your Email List via Social Media
9.) Promote an Online Contest
You can use your social media accounts to host a free giveaway that requires contestants to submit their contact information. You can encourage your social following to click through to your website and enter your contest by sharing their email address.
10.) Promote a Lead Generation Offer on Twitter
Create a Twitter campaign to promote an ebook or free resource to your Twitter audience that requires them to share their email address.
11.) Promote Gated Visual Content via Pinterest
Pinterest is a great way to share visual content that encourages visitors to signup to view additional content. You can use this to your advantage and promote gated visual content. Doing so makes users eager to learn more and submit their information to get additional high-quality information.
How to Build Your Email List via Facebook
12.) Make Your Email Newsletter the Theme of Your Profile Cover Photo
Your Facebook profile cover photo is a great way to highlight something specific such as your email newsletter. If you create a high-quality graphic that attracts attention and emphasizes the value of your email newsletter, people will likely submit their emails in order to gain even more benefit from the content offered on your site!
If you decide to put your Facebook cover photo to work, you should definitely consider incorporating the next tip, which makes it easy for visitors to submit their emails once you’ve captured their attention.
13.) Add a CTA to the Top of Your Business’s Facebook Page
The real value of this technique is in the destination. Adding a CTA to your Facebook page that takes visitors to your signup landing page or gated content is a great way to collect emails. Furthermore, placing a sign-up CTA on your Facebook page makes it easier for users since the CTA takes them directly to where you want them to go. Here’s a guide from Facebook on how to add a CTA to your page.
14.) Share Newsletter Previews on Your Profile
Sharing a post that features a snippet of your email newsletter is an awesome way to earn the attention of your audience and entice them to join your email list. By providing a preview of what you have to offer, your followers become eager to learn more and will likely signup to continue gaining value from your business. Within your posts that feature previews of your newsletter, make sure to include a link to your subscription page so it’s easy for visitors to sign-up.
15.) Promote Content via Facebook that Requires Visitors to Share Their Email
Promoting content via your Facebook posts encourages visitors to share their emails in order to access gated content. Content can include something like an ebook, a giveaway or contest, or even promising subscribers early access to future products and/or services.
How to Build Your Email List via YouTube
16.) Add Engagement Features to Your YouTube Content
End screens (aka video outros) are a tool the YouTube offers creators to direct viewers to take action after viewing the video. Actions can include clicking on a link to your website or watching another video on your channel. Since they are used to generate additional engagement from your audience, it’s worth considering adding hyperlinks to your subscription landing page as part of your end screens to build your email list.
This tactic works with informative videos that contain primarily surface-level content. You can then provide a more in-depth video in a gated offer or via your email newsletter.
17.) Use Your Header and Images to Promote Your Email Newsletter
You can capture leads by placing a link to your subscription page in your channel header. This image is front and center on your profile. If your banner is enticing, it will appeal to users, which, in turn, places the CTA link directly in front of them.
The green arrow in the image below points to a CTA on Neil Patel’s YouTube page, which takes viewers to a website analysis tool on his website.
18.) Promote Your Emails via Your Video Descriptions
Your YouTube descriptions provide a preview of what your video covers. This is an extremely important element since your audience wants to have a rough idea of what the video they’re about to watch is about. Each of your descriptions will contain unique elements. However, it can’t hurt to promote your subscription landing page in each description. This approach is especially effective if you create how-to videos, which provide you with a prime opportunity to convince visitors to subscribe for more information-rich content and guidance by clicking the link in your description.
How to Grow Your Email List via Instagram
19.) Add a CTA to Your Instagram Bio
Your Instagram bio is an awesome spot to share information with your audience. One great way to share info via your Instagram bio is to add a CTA that calls attention to your email list.
It is critical that your CTA is enticing and clearly conveys the benefit(s) of subscribing. Benefits associated with subscribing can include access to exclusive offers, bonus information, or a general business newsletter. Placing your link in your bio also reduces customer effort since they can simply click and sign-up in a pop-up window within the app.
20.) Share Posts that Encourage Users to Click the CTA Email Link in Your Bio
It’s unwise to share posts that say “give us your email.” However, you will find success if you share posts that entice your audience to share their contact info. For example, you can promote a giveaway and let users know that they can enter by following the link in your bio and subscribing. In another instance, if you post an informative video about how to use your products, you can guide users to subscribe because your emails will provide additional information about how to get the most from your products.
21.) Use the Swipe-Up Feature to Share Your Subscription Landing Page
If you have an Instagram Business profile and more than 10,000 followers, you can add a link to your Stories that users can access by swiping up on your story. This is an excellent opportunity to share a link to your subscription page or another offer on your site. You can also use this feature to link to a blog post with a lead generation offer that your audience will find intriguing.
22.) Add an Email Button to Your Business Profile
If you’re looking for a more direct way to grow your email list, you can add an email button to your business page. This method is primarily used for service needs so that customers can reach you for support. Regardless, it provides you with the opportunity for further lead nurturing by asking if customers want to opt-in to receive more emails.
How to Grow Your Email List via LinkedIn
23.) Send Your Audience to a Subscription Landing Page
After conversing on LinkedIn, you can share links to your subscription page. In doing so, you’re providing users a chance to continue the interaction you’ve just had since your email will provide additional high-quality info and content related to your business. You can share links via InMail messages, comment threads, and one-to-one messages.
24.) Post About Your Email Newsletter
If you have an email newsletter, you can share snippets of your content and let your audience know that they’ll gain access to the entire piece of content and every future newsletter if they subscribe.
25.) Publish Links to Gated Offers
Whenever you share a post on LinkedIn with high-quality information that benefits your audience, make sure to close it with an invitation to subscribe to your email newsletter. If your content resonates with your audience, they’ll likely recognize that your email newsletter will provide future access to additional high-quality content. You can also do this in appropriate LinkedIn group discussions. However, you need to be mindful of the topic up for discussion and ensure that your offer is relative to the conversation.
How to Build Your Email List via Your Website
26.) Ask Website Visitors for Feedback
Most people love providing feedback on info that pertains to them. Make sure to include a form on your site that asks visitors what questions they have about your business and collect their emails to follow up with them.
27.) Shorten Your Lead-Capturing Forms
It’s tempting to collect as much info as possible right away. However, too many fields can discourage your visitors from completing your forms. If you reduce the length of your forms to two to three fields, your audience will be more likely to complete the form. You can always collect more info once you start a conversation.
28.) Link to Offers Across Your Website that Capture Emails
Create a series of CTA links and buttons across your website that funnel visitors to offers designed to capture emails. A few key places that you want to place these links are your homepage, about page, and your contact page.
29.) A/B Test Different Copy
You might be doing everything right to generate leads. However, if your site isn’t engaging, people won’t convert. The problem could be poor design or copywriting that removes any possibility of a meaningful experience for visitors. This, in turn, can make them feel like they’re wasting their time wandering through a boring website!
You can employ a/b testing to find out what modifications give you the most conversions. For example, try different call-to-action text and copy for your list-building campaigns. You can also try different design choices or placement of sign-up forms throughout your website.
30.) Create a Stunning Blog to Which People Can Subscribe
If you don’t already blog, then now is the time to start. Blog posts will help increase your ranking on search engines and generate subscribers for future email campaigns that are more actionable than ever before!
31.) Guest Blog for Other Websites and Share a Call-to-Action
There are countless websites out there that connect with your audience. Furthermore, most of these websites likely cater to a larger portion of the pie than you. Guest blogging for these websites is a great way to expand your contact list via exposure to a new audience. When you land an opportunity to write for another blog, make sure to include a CTA for readers to subscribe to your blog and/or email newsletter.
32.) Include Customer Reviews on Your Subscription Landing Page
Telling people to sign up for a campaign is great. However, it’s a whole different thing for your delighted customer base to say it too. Customer reviews serve as social proof that encourages people to join a movement. Publishing positive customer reviews on your website is a must. This is especially true of your landing pages with subscription forms. Incorporating reviews adds genuine value to your content when people are unsure about sharing their contact information.
How to Grow Your Email List with a Partner
33.) Run a Promotion via a Partner Website or Email Newsletter
Like guest blogging, partner websites can help you engage with a new audience. You can make the most of a partnership to funnel visitors to your website, where you share your subscription forms.
34.) Host a Co-Marketing Offer with a Partner
Partnering with another business to create an ebook or webinar is a great way for you both to share the work of content production. After releasing your product, split up the leads generated so both parties get a fair shake at taking advantage of what was created via collaboration.
Furthermore, partnerships are a great way to split up the work of content creation and share an audience with a similar business. If you gate your project, not only will you collect email addresses from new prospects but also have an opportunity to nurture them until they’re ready for the next stage of your marketing funnel.
How to Build Your Email List via Traditional Marketing
35.) Collect Email Addresses at a Trade Show
In-person events like trade shows are huge opportunities for professionals in your industry. You simply need to demo your product/service at an appropriate event and let the subscriptions flow in. Once you return to your office, import your new subscribers into your contact database and send a welcome email blast that confirms their opt-in to your list.
36.) Host Your Own Offline/In-Person Events
In-person events such as meetups, seminars, hackathons, educational panels, and conferences are a great way to get yourself front and center of a networking event. Attendees are often more qualified prospects since they attended your event. Make the most of the opportunity and collect email addresses, send a welcome email and encourage them to confirm their desire to join your email list.
37.) Host an Online Webinar
Webinars are an excellent opportunity to discuss your industry and connect with the audience with whom you want to engage. The real kicker is that attendees need to register via email, so you have the emails of those who attend your webinar.