Part II: Email List Growth

How to Grow Your Email List

In Part I, we examined the most effective email list building methods so that you can start with building your first list of email subscribers right away. Let’s now consider the possibilities to grow your list to maximize the effect of your email program.

There are infinite ways you can grow your email list. New ideas can pop up from one place to another. However, not all ideas for email list building will generate substantial gains for your list or benefit your marketing strategy.

In order to have success with your email marketing program, you’ll want to test various list growing strategies, eliminate those that don’t appear to be effective for you, and fine-tune those that do.

Effective Techniques for Growing Your List

Below we share numerous ideas for growing your email list. You can consider them for implementation when you elaborate your email marketing strategy. Some of the list growing methods allow to attract new subscribers quickly without any additional step from your side while others require more efforts to be effective. 

1) Allow Buyers to Opt-In

Remember: your customers and buyers are not your email subscribers yet. You have the right to send them an onboarding email, transactional email, or registration email, but you do not have the right to send them marketing emails until they subscribe.

If people buy something from you, they are already interested in your products. And they may be interested in other offers you might have in the future. Therefore, consider adding a checkbox during checkout to give them the option to sign up for your newsletter and stay updated on any new products.

If placing a subscription form on a checkout page is not applicable, you can include a link to the subscription form into your payment confirmation email you send to your buyers after they made a purchase with you. 

2) Ask Free Users to Subscribe

If you let people download a free trial or sign up for a free account on your website, send them an onboarding email after they downloaded the trial or created an account. In the email, you can thank them for trying your product or service, include links to tutorials, FAQ or other useful resources and invite them to your opt-in page or form.

3) Use Content Upgrades 

Gated content is a lead magnet that limits the visibility of certain content. In order to unlock that content upgrade, you require your readers to sign up for your newsletter. Content upgrades are a great way to grow your email list and maximize the return on content like blog posts where the reader didn’t have to opt-in previously. 

4) Run Contests and Giveaways

Another way of getting people to sign up to your newsletter and grow your email list is to run a contest or a giveaway to win a free prize or a substantial discount on your product or service. Ensure contestants are required to sign up with their emails and invite people to your contest or giveaway for additional entries. This will increase virality and the success of your marketing efforts. You can also set up custom email flows for your contestants to keep them engaged and updated as the contest progresses.

5) Use Youtube Videos 

If you publish Youtube videos about your brand, products or services you are offering, you can consider inserting a call-to-action in your Youtube video descriptions that lead your viewers to a sign-up form where they can provide their contact information for receiving your email communications.

6) Set up Referral Program

A good way to collect email addresses is to create some sort of referral loyalty program where your existing subscribers can be rewarded for referring others to your newsletter. Referral programs are a great lead magnet that also builds social proof. Social proof is key to virality because people are more likely to listen to their friends than a stranger.

7) Publish Guest Posts

You can also perform lead generation through guest posts. Reach out to an influencer or a prominent company with high traffic within your industry or niche and offer them your blog post for free. Their readers will see you as a leader in the industry and will more likely follow your blog post’s call-to-action to a newsletter opt-in page.

8) Use Live Events

Throw events to teach professionals in your industry. Create landing pages with signup forms that opt-in event attendees to your newsletter. Live events give you the opportunity to speak to your customers face-to-face. Provide check-in tablets that direct visitors to email signup forms or you can post flyers with a QR code that checks attendees in while also giving them the option to sign up for your newsletter.

9) Offer Free Tool 

A free tool is a lead magnet itself. It requires a user to fill out a signup form with an email log-in, you’ll automatically receive an opt-in. Your tool’s users are already warm leads, interested in your work, therefore, newsletter updates about the tool and related products should be expected. 

10) Answer on Question Forums 

Register on your niche forums and participate in discussion to position yourself as an expert in your field. By providing a complete, comprehensive answer, you are more likely to be able to send readers to a landing page to sign up for your newsletter at no cost to you.

11) Use QR Codes 

One more way to grow your email list is by inserting a QR code in your business cards, promotional flyers, and email signature. However, do not forget to write a compelling call-to-action above it so people know what they are scanning and what they’ll receive by scanning it. The better your offer or incentive the more opt-ins you can expect.

Using Social Media for Email List Growth

Social media platforms have been proven time after time to be powerful lead magnets. Consider starting the most popular channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Youtube to drive traffic to your email sign-up forms with a special offer. With time, you’ll cut off streams that don’t perform well and perfect the platforms that do.

Leveraging Social Media Platforms

Below are a few ideas about how you could use social media platforms to grow your email list:

1) Add a Share Button to your Emails 

Have you ever tried adding Social Media Share buttons to your email? Do you want to have your readers share your kick-ass content on social media rather than using a call-to-action in your emails telling them to forward your email to friends?

1. Make a web version of your email.

2. Insert a “view in browser” link in your email.

3. Add your social share buttons to your web version for sharing.

4. Ensure your web version of your email requires any new reader to sign up for your newsletter prior to viewing.

2) Use Content Upgrade as Lead Magnet

If you keep in constant contact with your audience through social media, publish a teaser – a fragment of something interesting – and offer a link to your subscription form. Anyone who is interested in reading the full story will have to subscribe. You will grow your email list while boosting user engagement on the platform.

3) Participate in Social Media Groups

Another lead magnet is social media groups. You’ll want to focus on providing value rather than promoting yourself. People will begin seeing you as an authoritative figure amongst them and will more likely reach out to you in a direct message. Then, you will have the social proof to direct them to your newsletter sign-up landing page.

4) Make Social Media Bios Work for You

You can add call-to-action to sign up for your newsletter in your biography in all your social media accounts including your Facebook page, Instagram bio, Twitter profile, etc. On your Facebook page, you could even add a Sign-Up button that directs visitors to newsletter opt-in forms on your website.

Instagram-Specific List Growth Strategies

Converting your engaged Instagram followers into email subscribers is crucial if email marketing is a component of your digital marketing plan and you use the platform to promote your brand.

Additionally, Instagram users are eager to interact with marketers, making this an ideal opportunity for you to expand your email list. The more methods you can find on Instagram to expand your email list, the better.

Here are a few methods to consider for growing your email list from Instagram:

#1. Put the Link In the Bio

The first thing people see when they visit your Instagram account is your bio. Considering that the average attention span of a modern user is about 8 seconds, your bio can help you convert visitors into email subscribers.

The secret? In the bio, emphasize the email list you have. Seize the chance to entice your followers to join your email community with just 150 characters and one website link.

There’s no need to provide every advantage, even though not all companies may dedicate their whole bio section to list creation. Rather, attract Instagram followers with ease by including an attention-grabbing URL that speaks for itself.

You may want to use emojis to improve the promotion of your email list. Since 65% of people learn best visually, using emojis effectively captures attention. People frequently pay greater attention to visual components when perusing content on the internet.

#2. Ask Followers to Opt-In

Directly inviting your followers to join is the best way to use Instagram to grow your email list and increase conversion rates. You can motivate and advise your followers on how to do the necessary steps in addition to informing them by including strong calls-to-action in captions, bios, or stories.

#3. Collaborate with Influencers

Given that customers are constantly exposed to sponsored advertisements, it is not surprising that 70% of people detest ads, and social media users are more likely to believe influencer recommendations than brand material.

In order to grow your email list quickly and reach more people, think about collaborating with influencers in your niche that have large, active followings. Make use of influencer search tools with filtering capabilities to locate influencers whose audiences fit your target audience. These influencers have the power to greatly increase the visibility of your mailing list.

Take into account the fact that many influencers on Instagram receive a lot of direct messages. Thus, consider reaching out to an influencer via email. Email outreach is a wise tactic to set yourself apart from rivals fighting for the same influencer’s attention.

Along with social icons in the email, you could include your signature with a link to your website to increase brand recognition and trust. Influencers can visit your website or social media accounts to find out more about yourself and your business.

#4. Run a Giveaway

Did you know that using Instagram giveaways, you may build an email list? Yes, this is undoubtedly one of the fastest ways to grow your email list on Instagram!

Psychological research has demonstrated that people have a strong preference for free things, which is why Instagram giveaways are so popular with users. Adding “join our email list” as one of the participation requirements is essential if you want to grow your email list.

Organizing an Instagram giveaway won’t be enough to get you additional email addresses from Instagram. Devoting time and effort to publicizing the offer is equally important in order to draw in a wider participant base.

In the end, the more likes and comments your giveaway gets, the more likely it is to attract participants. This is due to the fact that material with a higher interaction rate is given priority by the Instagram algorithm.

#5. Promote Your Lead Magnets

It’s no secret that people are wary of disclosing their personal email addresses online. However, people are more likely to share their private information if they believe they will receive anything in return.

‘Lead magnet’ is a term that marketers who are experienced in email list building are familiar with. To put it simply, it’s an exclusive deal that a company offers to clients in return for their email addresses.

Having a compelling lead magnet at your disposal can draw in more email subscribers. Still, it’s just as important to actively market your lead magnets.

The following are a few examples of lead magnets for growing your email list:

  • Freebies from brands
  • How-to and explanation videos
  • Reports and case studies
  • Downloads in digital format
  • Discounts and coupons
  • Online courses and webinars

#6. Use Instagram Stories

Building an email list with disappearing material might not seem like the best idea at first. Because it only lasts for a full day, there isn’t much time to interact with a large number of people, which could make it seem pointless to put effort into something that vanishes quickly.

But the numbers speak for themselves: 500 million users create or watch Instagram stories every day, and companies are responsible for 33% of the most popular tales. These numbers demonstrate the platform’s prominence as a tool for list-building.

Simply put, Instagram Stories create a feeling of urgency that encourages users to act quickly on the desired activity. Many story features also make it easier for your email list to expand organically on Instagram. You might tell about your email list and include a story link that users may click to contribute their email addresses without ever leaving the app.

Instagram has become a powerful marketing tool rather than just an application for sharing photos. Instagram offers a range of features that are suitable for businesses for promoting their products and growing their email list. Every business owner may discover a solution that meets their requirements and preferences, from Instagram Story capabilities to CTA in-feed postings. Moreover, Instagram visitors are happy to interact with brands, so you are more than likely to convert your followers into email subscribers.

Curious about this topic? Download our full PDF guide “Effective Email List Building and Management” just for free!

Optimizing Email List Growth with Pop-Up Forms

With numerous list growing methods we’ve already examined, pop-up forms stay the most effective way to collect email subscribers. They work well because they make it clear what you want a visitor to do by putting the call-to-action right in front of their eyes. It also makes things easier for them because they don’t have to search the page for the sign-up form – it appears in front of them without any effort.

However, many website readers find pop-up subscription forms annoying. This unfavorable impression is built when pop-up forms are being used incorrectly. When pop-up forms are used intelligently, they have a surprising power to turn website visitors into email subscribers, which helps you grow your email list.

Let’s look at some tactics you can apply to make sure your pop-up forms are not only extremely attractive but also incredibly effective at converting:

#1. Make It Simple

Without a doubt, the very minimum of information you should ask for is an email address. However, you can ask for more information from your email subscribers without seriously depressing your conversion rate.

For instance, asking for a name is frequently a smart move because it allows you to personalize your email communications for subscribers in the future. 

When creating your pop-up form, avoid requesting more than is required. A subscription form with two fields – email address and name – works perfectly. If you need additional information from a subscriber to better target your email campaigns in the future, you may always ask them for further information at a later time, maybe via a survey.

Simplicity is crucial when trying to attract new subscribers in the beginning. The simpler the form is to fill out, the more likely it is that website users would voluntarily provide their personal data.

#2. Show Societal Evidence

Numerous studies have shown that people are more likely to act when they observe others acting in a certain way. Using this information to grow your email list will be a smart move. To entice new email subscribers to join your community, all you have to do is include a subscription counter. But keep in mind that it will only be effective if you have a sizable following.

#3. Add Image

There is no doubt that pictures draw significantly more attention. Consider placing an image in your pop-up form if at all possible. This could be an image to showcase a product you are offering a discount for. When offering free content, think about including an image or graphic that complements the content’s theme.

#4. Align It with Your Brand

Make an effort to design your pop-up form in the manner that they reflect the visual style of your website. Make use of the same fonts that are used on your website and colors that are part of your brand’s color scheme. This continuity preserves a unified visual experience for users and strengthens the identity of your brand.

#5. Avoid Visual Overload

Colors do, in fact, help to draw attention in site design. On the other hand, a pop-up form is naturally attention-grabbing because it appears right in front of a visitor. Therefore, since attention is already being drawn, there’s no need to use flashy color combinations to increase visibility.

Rather, use a limited color scheme (three or four colors work well) that draws attention to the important components of your pop-up form. These main points are the call-to-action (CTA) button, which directs visitors to submit their contact information, and the headline, which states your value proposition.

Use a muted color for the background, form fields, and paragraph content to preserve readability, and use bright, vibrant colors for the headline and call-to-action button. This method emphasizes the important elements for potential subscribers and avoids visual overload.

Pop-up forms are a great way to grow your email list since, when used properly, they perform better than static inline forms. But it’s important to prioritize your website users and take their experience into account. This may include making sure that users have a smooth transition out of the form or pausing the display of your pop-up form to give them more time to interact with your content.

To recap:

People may unsubscribe, abandon, or change their email addresses – hence it’s important to continue growing your email list. The more email subscribers join your list, the more opportunities you have to promote your products and make sales. 

You can try all possible methods to grow your list, discard ineffective ones and continue with the channels that work best for you. When it’s done right, you can reduce hassle and possibly increase conversions by doubling or tripling them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to grow your email list?

The reality allows businesses to use numerous list growing methods: old good opt-in forms, pop-up forms, social media accounts, Instagram posts, giveaways, contests, purchase follow ups etc. You can come up with numerous list growing ideas and use all channels available at your disposal.

How to grow your email list with social media?

The first opportunity to grow your list with social media is to put the link to your opt-in landing page in your bio. Content upgrades are a great list growing method. That is you publish a fragment and ask for the reader’s email address to open the access to the full story. Another lead magnet is social media groups where you position yourself as an authoritative figure amongst them. If people reach out to you in a direct message, you will have the social proof to direct them to your newsletter sign-up landing page.

How to grow your email list with Instagram?

Your Instagram account gives you one more list growing opportunity. As with your social accounts, have the link to your landing page in your bio. When you publish content, you’ll want to remind the readers about your mailing list. You can run contests and giveaways for your email subscribers only or offer something for free in return for their email addresses. You can try to team up with the Instagram influencers in order they can mention you in their publications. 

How to grow your email list with pop-up forms?

Although some marketers consider pop-up forms annoying, they are still the most effective list growing method. When a pop-up form is designed and applied wisely, it can generate a steady lead stream. The common rules to follow when implementing a pop-up subscription form are: use a lead magnet, match the form with your brand, emphasize the essential, and provide a way to close it anytime. 

You’ve studied the second part of our comprehensive guide about email marketing improvement. Stay tuned for more useful information in the next parts!

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Julia Gulevich is an email marketing expert and customer support professional at Geminds LLC with more than 15 years of experience. Author of numerous blog posts, publications, and articles about email marketing and deliverability.