50 Ways to Grow Your Email List


How to Grow Your Email List

There’s a lot of hype surrounding new marketing strategies like social media and mobile applications. But having a strong email list is still a must for small businesses. If you’re looking to grow your subscriber base in 2017, here are 50 ways you can grow your small business email list.

How to Grow Your Email List

Include a Sign Up Form on Your Website

To get people to sign up for your email list online, you need to make sure you have a working sign up form displayed prominently on your website. The form should include a description of what people will get by signing up, along with any other information you require from them.

Offer an Incentive

It’s also essential that you tell people what’s in it for them. Don’t just say you’ll send regular updates or offers. Tell people if they’ll get discounts or free content or other helpful resources.

Be Clear About Your Offerings

You should also be very specific about what you plan on sending and how often. If people aren’t sure about what they’re signing up for, then they aren’t likely to sign up at all.

Reassure Subscribers About Spam

People also want to know that they aren’t going to receive a bunch of spam. So along with your signup forms, tell people that you won’t spam them or sell their email addresses to any third parties.

Create a Free Download

To get people to sign up, you can also create exclusive items that they can download for free just by signing up. This might include forms, worksheets or other downloadable resources.

Write an eBook

If you want to really entice more signups, you can write an ebook and offer it for free for anyone who signs up for your email list.

Include Testimonials

To show people how helpful your email list can be, you can include a testimonial on your landing page or sidebar from someone who found it to be a great resource.

Have a Sign-up Sheet

You don’t have to only collect email addresses online. You can also include a sign up sheet in your store or physical location for people who want to sign up.

Request Emails During In-person Sales

You can also go out of your way to get people to sign up for your list simply by asking people who are making purchases if they’d like to leave their email addresses.

Reward Sign-ups

You can also offer a one-time reward for people who sign up, like an exclusive coupon code that they can use within the first year.

Include a Link on Your Business Cards

You can also use your business cards as a way of letting potential subscribers know about the benefits of signing up for your email list. Just include a link and some information on the back.

Start a Club

For local businesses or those who want to grow customers through events, you can start a club and use your email list as a way of distributing relevant information.

Have a Name for Subscribers

Even if you don’t have the capacity to start a club, you can make your email list seem like an exclusive club by having a specific name for the group or encouraging interaction in some way, like through social media hashtags.

Host a Giveaway

A contest or giveaway can also be a great incentive to encourage sign-ups. Just ask people to leave their email addresses as a way of entering.

Sponsor a Giveaway on Another Site

You can also increase your reach even more by sponsoring a giveaway on another website or with another business.

Invite People to an Event

If you have an idea for a one-time event that might interest some potential subscribers, you can ask people to sign up in exchange for a ticket or event information.

Provide Helpful Online Content

If you want to show people that you can provide them with great content via email, then you need to first show them that you can create great content in general. That means you can start a blog, YouTube channel or other content strategy to showcase what you have to offer.

Create Content Upgrades

Once you create great content, you can add extras like worksheets or additional information that people can only get if they sign up for your email list.

Have a Password Protected Part of Your Website

Or you could create a whole section of your website that’s password protected, and then only offer access to that section to your email subscribers.

Start an Online Community

You might even consider adding a community feature like a forum or even a Facebook group and granting access to those who sign up.

Cross-promote with Other Businesses

You can also connect with other relevant businesses or industry experts and promote their email list with your subscribers and have them do the same for you.



Encourage Email Sharing

Your subscribers can also be a great help in promoting your email list. Ask them to share their experience on social media or share their favorite emails with their contacts.

Visit Trade Shows

If you promote your business at trade shows or other events, include a sign-up sheet or contest that people can enter by signing up for your list.

Collect Emails from Mobile App Users

Or if you want to create your own mobile app, you can offer it for free to those who sign up for your list.

Have an Opt-in on Order Pages

When people make purchases on your website, you can create an option that lets them opt-in while completing their order.

Make Order Confirmations Work for You

Once people have already completed their orders, you can send them a confirmation email that also includes an easy way to sign up in case anyone missed the form on your website.

Include Email Requests with New Orders

Or you can include a sign-up card with the actual package you send out with purchases so people can sign up if they’re happy with the experience.

Include a Sign-up Link in Your Signature

Your everyday emails can also provide opportunities for more email subscribers. You can include a simple sign-up link in your signature for those who are interested.

Add it to Your Social Profiles

You can also include a sign-up link in your social media profiles along with a quick description or incentive for signing up.

Join a Networking Group

If you want to appeal to other professionals in your area or industry, you can join a networking group to meet relevant contacts.

Offer a Free Service

For service-based businesses, you can offer a free consultation or simple service in exchange for people signing up.

Speak at an Event

To share your expertise and show people the kind of information they might get by signing up for your list, you can speak at industry conferences or events.

Give Away Regular Downloads

Free downloads can be great one-time incentives. But you can also attract new subscribers by offering freebies on a regular basis and publicizing them.

Preview New Offers on Social Media

Each time you create a new offering or exciting piece of content, make sure you offer a preview on social media so that your followers can see what they might be missing if they aren’t already signed up.

Create Separate Opt-ins

If you offer a variety of different content to subscribers, some people might not want to sign up because they don’t want to receive all of that different content. But if you separate it into more specific lists, like one just for discount offers and one for curated content, you might attract more sign-ups.

Have QR Codes on Signage

On any signage or print materials, you can make it really easy for people to sign up for your list by scanning a QR code with their smartphones or mobile devices.

Add a Call to Action on Facebook

Facebook also makes it really easy for you to add a call to action to your page. So you can make your call to action the ability to sign up for your email list.

Publish Offers on LinkedIn

If you have content that includes upgrades or requires a password, you can share the link on LinkedIn to increase visibility and gain subscribers from that platform.

Promote Exclusive Content on Pinterest

On Pinterest, you can also share any visually appealing content that includes a link to sign up for your list.

Share Your Expertise on YouTube

Or if you create YouTube videos, you can include calls to action that encourage people to subscribe.

Mention Relevant Influencers on Twitter

On Twitter, you can tag relevant brands or influencers when talking about your emails to increase visibility.

Include Calls to Action on Blog Posts

If you blog for your business, you can also include calls to action at the bottom of each post to encourage more sign-ups.

Partner with Influencers

To increase visibility for your business among relevant consumers, you can partner with influencers and then direct new visitors to a landing page with your sign-up form.

Host a Webinar

If you have relevant expertise to share, you can also host a webinar and allow people to sign up for free by leaving their email address.

Ask for Sign-ups from Direct Mail

If you have a direct mail list, you can ask those people to go paperless by signing up for your email list instead.

Request Emails on Sales Calls

And when you or your team speak with customers or prospects during sales calls, you can also collect emails or encourage people to sign up.

Include Social Sharing Buttons

You can also encourage people to share your emails or any other content you might offer by including social sharing buttons that make it really easy for them to send your content to others via email or social media.

Ask for Help from Employees

Your employees also might be able to help you spread the word by promoting your list with their own contacts.

Consider a Pop-up

Though pop-up windows might be annoying, they have shown to be effective for promoting email lists on websites. So it could be worth considering.

Create Great Email Content

And finally, if you want to get more email sign-ups, you need to share great content via email. Whether that’s discounts, information, downloads or other types of content, you need to make sure it actually lives up to the hype.

Email List Photo via Shutterstock

3 Comments ▼

Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

3 Reactions

  1. Martin Lindeskog

    Annie: I have included a QR code with a link to my newsletter, Lyceum Bulletin, on my new business card. I tell the receiver of the card, a call to action to scan the code and subscribe to my newsletter, if they want to learn more about new media, business philosophy, and the good life (including tea).

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