Do you want to grow your email list? If the answer is yes, then this article is for you! We will give you our top 10 tips to grow your email list and increase your conversion rate and generate more revenue for your business.
Many businesses focus on generating traffic to their website without focusing on building an email list or following up with those who visit their site.
Honestly, it's like flushing money down the toilet. Or lighting it on fire.
Neither of which we recommend doing to your money.
That said, follow these simple steps to start building your email list from scratch.
Read on to get our best strategies for email list growth, boosting engagement rates, growing your customer base, and skyrocketing your conversion rates.
What is an email list?
An email list is simply a group of emails that are compiled in one place so that they can be easily accessed and sent messages from time to time. By using an email list, marketers are able to reach out to their customers with promotional offers or announcements much more quickly than if they were trying to do it individually through social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Why is building an email list so important?
Building an email list is one of the most important things you can do for your business. The reason is that email marketing has a much higher ROI than social media and other types of marketing. It also takes less time to manage, so you'll have more time to focus on other aspects of your business.
I write this blog post as a marketer and agency owner. I know firsthand how important building an email list is important for long-term business success.
Let's talk about why it’s so important to get your audience to opt-in to your email list, how you can build an email list for free (or for very little investment), where to find the targeted traffic – your ideal client – you need to grow your list.
How to build an email list from scratch
The question of how to build an email list is one that plagues business owners and marketers alike. It's not enough anymore to just have a social media account or website with a contact form, you need people who are actually interested in your product or service to be on your mailing list so that they can get the latest updates about what you're up to… and to get your awesome offers.
How are you supposed to make a living if you don't make an offer… amiright?
As I said earlier, email marketing campaigns are the most effective form of digital marketing, and they're easy to set up as long as you've got an email list!
But how do you build that email list in the first place?
In this blog post, I'll share with you my top 10 favorite strategies for getting growing your email list from scratch:
Step 1. Create a new lead-generation offer (aka a Lead Magnet)
Sadly, many small companies don’t have a lead-generation offer. If they do, it’s usually not the right one for their business, it's not targeted to their ideal client, or is outdated (1999 called, they want their newsletter optin back).
The problem with most lead-gen offers is that they are boring and unengaging. They aren't personalized to your audience's needs and aren't sexy enough to get your audience to give up the goods (their email address).
You need to create an offer that will get your prospects interested and excited about the opportunity.
The way you deliver it actually matters a lot less than you might think. Whether you offer a free checklist, cheat sheet, video training, webinar, white paper etc isn't what's important.
What you need to do is create something that solves a big problem your potential client is facing. Give away your best stuff… when you provide really valuable free content, the law of reciprocity will go to work for you!
PRO TIP: If you have existing clients – or are connected to people who would be the perfect client – get feedback from them before spending a ton of time creating your lead magnet.
Sometimes what we think our audience will love turns out to be a flop so getting feedback can save you a ton of time (and tears over those wasted hours)!
Step 2. Create opt-in landing pages and pop-ups
When it comes to online marketing, you need a way to capture leads. That's where optin landing pages and pop-ups come in handy. Let's start with pop ups since they're your low-hanging fruit.
If you have a website, the first thing you want to do is install a popup form on your site. This will prompt your visitors to sign up for your email list by grabbing your free lead magnet. You can also include a link in the menu bar and on all of the site's pages directing people to subscribe to an email newsletter.
Be sure to have a clear call to action (CTA) in your call to action button – eg. Click here to download.
The average conversion rate on a website popup is generally pretty low… a good number to look for is around 3%. But if one of your traffic sources is warm (eg social media followers, guest blogging, or a lookalike audience).
Landing pages are an even more targeted way to capture leads and increase your conversion rates. A landing page is a single web page advert that's created to convert visitors into leads or customers by giving them something of value in exchange for their contact information.
This list-building technique generally turns more visitors into subscribers because it's very targeted and has literally only one action they can take – opt-in.
You can create one using tools like ClickFunnels or Ontraport, but I recommend you work with someone who has some experience because they know what's actually working and can cut down on the steps in your learning curve!
Step 3: Get Traffic to Your Lead Magnets
Collect Email Addresses (and mobile phone numbers for SMS marketing!) in-person
Did you know that collecting email addresses in-person can be one of the best ways to grow your customer list?
It's true! Collecting email addresses in person is a great way to grow your customer list, and it also provides the opportunity for you to make personal connections with people. It might sound intimidating but these tips will help you get started.
How to Collect Email Addresses (and Mobile Phone Numbers) In-Person
At tradeshows or other in-person events, bring an iPad and allow people to optin to your lead capture page in exchange for being entered into a draw.
*Ask new customers if they'd like their information added to our mailing list during checkout or after purchase at any register in-store;
Place Links in Your Social Media Profile or Bio to get more leads
Links to your website, blog, or social media pages are a great way to get people onto your mailing list.
Your links should be visible in the bio section of your profile. You might also consider adding them to all posts on Facebook and Twitter as well – even if they aren't about what you're selling! Just be sure to post them in the first comment as opposed to right in the post.
This strategy will help increase email signups by making it very easy for customers who don't want any more marketing emails from you (but still want the good stuff!). It's important not to make too many offers at once though so try just one new offer
Offer your lead magnet for free via Instagram posts
Offering your lead magnet for free via Instagram posts is a great way to boost conversions and gain more email subscribers.
Unfortunately, Instagram doesn't allow links in posts so you'll need to include the link in your bio section.
If you have several lead magnets you can use something like a link tree to make it easier to organize them.
If you're not an Instagram user, no worries! You can also post your lead magnet for free on Facebook and Twitter as well – even if they aren't about what you're selling!
This strategy will help increase subscriptions by making it very easy for customers who don't want any more marketing emails from you (but still want the good stuff!). It's important not to make too many offers at once though so try just one new offer.
Try a post like this: “Get my free social media marketing guide to attract your ideal client… Link in bio” Be sure to include relevant hashtags either in the post itself or in the first comment to attract new people to your posts!
This will prompt potential customers and clients to navigate to your bio to find your landing page link, give you their email and get a download link in return.
You may also want to include the same offer on all posts you make on Facebook, Twitter, (which we'll get to in a minute) so those people who didn't sign up for Instagram can still receive it.
This technique will help increase subscriptions by making it very easy for customers who don't want any more marketing emails from you (but still want the good stuff!).
PRO TIP: While LinkTrees are cool, it's important not to make too many offers at once though so try just one new offer. A confused mind does nothing.
Email Your LinkedIn Contacts your lead magnet
If you have a lead magnet for your business, emailing your LinkedIn contacts is a great way to grow your list.
LinkedIn's search function makes it really easy to find the people who are in any given industry and these folks may be more likely to sign up if they know that you're trying to help them with their careers!
If you have some budget, a tool like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, paired with an automation tool like Expandi can be one of the most killer combinations in marketing. It might seem expensive initially ($79/month for SN, $99/month for Expandi), but when you see how many leads and sales you can get you'll realize it's WAY cheaper than most paid advertising!
Be sure not to bombard your new contacts with offers right away though, otherwise, no one will connect with you and those who do will quickly block you. LinkedIn is best for real conversations so if you're going to engage there, expect to spend a little time.
Use Facebook Posts to drive traffic to your lead magnet
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms. Often, people will post on their Facebook page and link to a blog post or giveaway they have going on.
If you are looking for an easy way to drive traffic from your Facebook posts–here's what I recommend:
Post at least once every day – either on your personal page or in a group you own – with a lead magnet offer that relates in some way to your business or niche but make sure it's relevant enough so that people want to click through!
You can also do this by posting content directly related to holidays (e.g., Thanksgiving), seasonal themes (e.g., summer break) or current events as well as providing helpful tips and tricks during these times too!
Remember, your Facebook posts should always be valuable for people – not just about sales offers – so you'll want to make sure it is helpful and highly related to your niche.
It's best if you share content often and provide value consistently (rather than sporadically) when trying out these strategies on social media platforms like Facebook.
You will have more success with gaining new followers–and building up an email list from scratch–if you follow these simple tips.
Use SEO to drive organic traffic to your site
Search Engine Optimization is a beast of a topic – way more than we can cover in this post – but if you get it right, you'll get the long-term benefit of showing up in the search engines for relevant keywords… which is MONEY!
Before creating any content you'll want to perform keyword research and optimize your content for the best results on Google by using professional SEO tools: SEMRush, Ahrefs, Keyword Tool.io, Spyfu
There are some free tools you can use as well – Ubersuggest (the free version is now limited but has a 7-day trial), SEO Minion, and WordStream are all great options as of this writing:
Once you've determined what keywords you're targeting, add them to your blog posts in the title, body, tags, description etc, so that they can be found by search engines. If you have a WordPress website using a free tool like. Pro tools like Frase (my favorite… and what I used to write this article) and SEOSurfer can make writing and optimizing your posts way faster.
Link out to other influential blogs in your niche (e.g., Mashable's ‘what are some of the most popular social media sites?' article). If you link back to them from one of their articles then it is more likely for them to link back as a thank you gesture!
Make sure any links or URLs point directly to specific pieces of content rather than just general websites.
Step 4: Keep 'em Hooked
Create exceptional email content to keep your subscribers happy
This should go without saying but common sense isn't always so common these days… make sure that in your email campaigns you provide quality content that subscribers will want to read.
Find a few topics you know your audience would be interested in and share those with them.
Keep emails short and sweet! Nobody has time for long, drawn-out emails anymore. Unless you're an exceptional storyteller, people are going to skim the email before deciding if they'll open it or not so make sure you keep things concise and brief while still providing great information.
Here is my top tip: Know your target audience inside and out – What do they care about? Where do they hang out online? Learn as much about them as possible so you can build trust over time by being relatable!
Make relevant offers often but don't overdo it – People are more likely to respond when you offer something that is in line with their needs. Be sure not to bombard them or they will probably tune out your emails completely and unsubscribe.
NOTE: Unsubscribes are part of email marketing so don't sweat it when you lose a few people. They likely weren't the right audience anyway.
BONUS: Send a Stellar Welcome Email to your new subscribers
Your welcome email is the first impression your audience will have of you, so don't screw it up!
Let them know what they can expect from your email list and how often they should expect to hear from you.
Mention your other products or services in the email as a way of providing options for readers who may be interested, but only if it's relevant!
The goal here isn't just to sell something – you're building relationships with people who are already likely to be interested in what you have to offer. That means that when you do send them an offer down the line, chances are much higher those offers will convert into sales because they'll want more from you than someone else might not know about yet!!! 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Your Email List
Why should I grow my email list if it costs money?
A: Growing your email list is a great way to save time and become more effective. If you have an audience that likes what you do, they'll be less likely to unsubscribe because of emails than regular viewers are on social media channels like Facebook or Instagram. Plus, having an active email list means you can reach people much faster with news about discounts or new products–no waiting for them to come back around on their own!
How often should I send out email messages?
A: The short answer is as often as possible. That being said, once a week might work best for some online businesses while others may need something closer to daily.
How can I grow my email list for free?
A: There are many ways to grow your email list for free, but the easiest is just signing up with a service like MailerLite and creating an opt-in form on your website or blog. You can also offer content upgrades.
Then use a free tool like Loom (for video) or Canva (for PDFs) to create your lead magnet.
How do I get 1000 email subscribers?
The easiest list-building strategy is to start with your existing social media channels and ask people to sign up. If you don't have a big social media following you may need to work on building it up or invest in paid advertising like Facebook ads.
Just because you don't have an established email list or any followers on any of the major social networks doesn't mean you can't build your list. Everyone has the opportunity to grow their following quickly if they put in the work!
How do I offer something of value in exchange for an e-mail subscription so subscribers feel they're getting a good deal?
Offer exclusive content with great value such as free training, downloads, coupons, discounts, and access to private groups where people can connect with each other.
What is a good email list size?
It really depends on the scope of what you're trying to get across and the goals you have set for yourself with email marketing.
If your goal is to sell something and create a certain amount of profit, you'll want to start tracking your numbers to see how many of your subscribers are buying.
What should I do when someone unsubscribes from my newsletter?
When this happens, don't panic! People unsubscribe for all kinds of reasons. It can happen simply because they have too much clutter in their inbox so unless they actually complain (which is a different story and can impact your sender score) the best thing to do is fuggedaboudit.
If you want to get fancy, you can always create an opt-out page with a new sign-up form and signup button with a CTA to rejoin your list.
How many subscribers a day is good?
This is a tough question and really depends on the type of emails you send out. Email marketing isn't an exact science, so there's not a magical number that if exceeded will guarantee success. That said, set yourself a goal of at least 10 a day to start!
How often should I email my list?
Again this varies depending on what your goal or objective for your campaign is but ideally the more personalized the better – free advice here! You want to avoid sounding spammy which can lead to unsubscribes and complaints from recipients so keep it healthy: creating email campaigns that send two or three times per week seems like a good place to start.
If done right, at least one of those campaigns should have some element of time-sensitive information (a live event perhaps). The other days are to draw attention through creativity;
How to build an email list fast?
The fastest ways to build an email list are paid advertising and joint ventures. Joint ventures are where someone who has a big list promotes your lead magnet, usually in exchange for a portion of any profit created by their promotion.